by Stephen Lendman
Chileans old enough to remember won't ever forget September 11, 1973. A "Caravan of Death" followed Pinochet's power grab.
It included mass arrests, disappearances, torture and murder. All suspected regime opponents were targeted.
Victims were buried in unmarked graves. Some were mutilated before being executed. Death squads killed thousands.
Netanyahu treats Palestinians much the same way. Brutalizing occupation and war without mercy reflect official policy.
Netanyahu heads Israel's rogue government. He exceeds the worst of Ariel Sharon and previous hardline leaders.
He's an embarrassment to democratic governance. He and those around him are over-the-top. They're ideologically extremist. They're lawless, ruthless, racist and belligerent.
Israeli governance is more hypocrisy than democracy. Peace is a non-starter. Netanyahu, his security cabinet, ministers and most Knesset members scorn it.
State terror is official policy. Palestinians are marginalized, persecuted, brutalized and denied fundamental rights everyone deserves.
Israeli Arab citizens are enfranchised in name only. They have no say. They're considered fifth column threats.
A so-called peace process never existed and doesn't now. Netanyahu and other hardliners scorn it. They crave violence and instability.
State-sponsored militarism, belligerence, ruthlessness, apartheid, racist hate, occupation harshness, exploitation, neoliberal rapaciousness and premeditated war reflect official policy.
Besieged Gazans suffer most. They're trapped in the world's largest open-air prison. Expect little or no longterm relief from ongoing Cairo talks.
They're ongoing. A current 5-day ceasefire ends Monday night local time. Whatever Israel agrees on won't be worth the paper it's written on.
Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands. It wants its interests alone served. It offers little or nothing in return.
Concessions made are too little to matter. Expect multiple violations straightaway. It's standard Israeli practice.
It says one thing. It does another. The disturbing pattern repeats every time. A previous article explained.
After Israel's November Pillar of Cloud aggression, Egypt under then President Mohamed Morsi negotiated ceasefire terms.
Israel agreed to halt all Gaza hostilities. They included land, air and sea attacks as well as targeted assassinations.
Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups agreed to stop rocket and other hostile actions.
Israel agreed to open border crossings and facilitate movements of people and goods.
Egypt got assurances from both sides to abide by agreed on terms.
They committed themselves to no breaches henceforth. Hamas stuck to the letter of the deal. Israel violated it straightaway.
Expect nothing different this time. Israel calls naked aggression self-defense. It calls legitimate Palestinian self-defense terrorism.
It takes full advantage. It does so for any reason or none at all. It blames Palestinians for its crimes. They're horrendous.
They include genocidal slaughter, widespread destruction, targeted assassinations, mass arrests, lawless imprisonments, targeting elected Palestinian officials for belonging to the wrong party, and all Palestinians for praying to the wrong God as well as wanting to live free on their own land in their own country.
Israel is one of the world's most egregious human rights abusers. It ignores fundamental rule of law principles.
It violates them repeatedly. It does so unaccountably. It willfully targets civilians and non-military related targets.
It does so maliciously. It claims a divine right to operate extrajudicially. It considers mass murder self-defense.
Talks to achieve a durable ceasefire continue. It's unclear precisely where things stand.
On Sunday, Netanyahu said Israel rejects longterm ceasefire terms unless its security needs are met. In other words, unless business as usual continues.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhru said Palestinians won't compromise their fundamental demands. Key is lifting Israel's lawless eight-year siege.
"We are committed to achieving the Palestinian demands and there is no way back from this," said Abu Zuhri.
"All these demands are basic human rights that do not need this battle or these negotiations."
"The ball is in the Israeli occupation court."
Hamas political leader Khalid Mashaal said the key "goal we insist on is having the demands of Palestinians met and (for Gaza to) exist without a blockade."
"We insist on this goal. In the case of Israeli procrastination or continued aggression, Hamas is ready with other Palestinian factions to resist on ground and politically and?to face all possibilities."
At the same time, Netanyahu warned Hamas, saying:
"If (it) thinks it will make up for its military losses with a political achievement, it is wrong."
"If (it) thinks that by continuing the steady trickle of rocket fire it will force us to make concessions, it is wrong."
"As long as there is no quiet, Hamas will continue to suffer heavy blows."
"Hamas knows we have a lot of power but maybe it thinks we don't have enough determination and patience, and even there it is wrong, it is making a big mistake."
Egypt reportedly presented a "final proposal." Wording is suspect. Loopholes remain.
-- both sides committing not to engage in any "sea, air or land" hostile actions against the other;
? Palestinians promising not to dig tunnels to Israel;
? Israel recognizing Hamas/Fatah unity;
? opening all crossings between Gaza and israel to facilitate the free movement of people and goods to include construction materials for rebuilding;
? the transfer of goods between the West Bank and Gaza;
? reducing the Israeli/Gaza buffer zone to 300 meters, then 100 meters on November 18.
? deploying PA forces on Gaza's borders beginning January 1;
? gradually expanding Gaza's fishing zone to 12 nautical miles offshore; and
? involving Israel in international efforts to rebuild Gaza.
At the same time, wiggle room loopholes remain. Key issues are unresolved.
They include unconditionally ending Israel's eight-year blockade, and Hamas' demand to build a seaport and airport. They're needed to facilitate imports and exports.
Another provision pertains to funds transfers for 45,000 Hamas employees. Israel froze them. They remain unavailable.
Other unresolved issue include transferring and administering Gazan rebuilding funds, letting Hamas receive other donations, and whether the PA will control all aid donations.
Terminology is key. Egypt's proposal mentions "Palestinian factions" without naming them and the "Palestinian government."
Hamas and Islamic Jihad reject this. They want to be mentioned. Egypt and Israel are opposed.
At the same time, both sides must agree on what goods may enter Gaza, in what amounts, how they'd be inspected, and how free movement of people will be handled.
According to Egypt, "end(ing) the blockade" depends on resolving these issues. Israel claims no blockade exists.
It wants language only mentioning the easing of border restrictions - not ending them altogether unconditionally as Hamas demands.
Much work remains unfinished. Israel remains hardline. It wants terminology defined its way. It wants loopholes to exploit.
It wants terms as easy as possible to violate. It wants Hamas and other resistance groups marginalized and weak.
It wants business as usual to continue. Egypt's proposal largely benefits Israel. Unresolved details left for later can be exploited to its advantage.
For example, no exact date is specified for opening Rafah's border crossing. Construction of a seaport and airport is unresolved. So is lifting the blockade entirely.
Letting PA security forces operate in Gaza risks rendering Hamas and other resistance groups irrelevant.
The only thing both sides agree on is the importance of ending hostilities. Continuing them means more Palestinian deaths, injuries and destruction.
Israel needs time to recoup from the pounding its image took. it got more criticism than any previous time in decades.
Reversing its pariah state status won't be easy. Perhaps impossible if bombing and shelling resume longer-term.
The possibility remains. On August 16, Reuters headlined "Hamas says Israel must accept Palestinian demands of face long war," saying:
It "rejected on Saturday as insufficient offers made in Cairo to Palestinian negotiators seeking to end (Operation Protective Edge), and raised the possibility of renewed fighting when the current truce expires."
Israel has yet to accept or reject Egypt's proposal. Both sides will continue discussing terms on Sunday and Monday through the midnight deadline local time.
On August 17, AP headlined "Optimism Fades as Talks to Resume on Gaza War," saying:
On Sunday, an unnamed Palestinian negotiator said his side is "less optimistic" about ongoing talks "than we were earlier."
Gaps between both sides remain wide. Terminology and provisions proposed advantage Israel. Key for Hamas and other resistance groups is entirely ending blockade conditions unconditionally.
Israel categorically refuses. It wants Gaza demilitarized. Both sides are at loggerheads.
Whether compromise can be reached remains to be seen. Most important is Israel's consistent violation of previous agreements negotiated.
If ceasefire terms are agreed on in Cairo, don't expect this time to be different.
Israel can't be trusted. Once a violator, always one. For sure with hardline extremists running things.
They're lawless, ruthless, anti-peace and belligerent. Expect nothing good for Palestinians from Cairo longterm. Expect business as usual to continue.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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