by Stephen Lendman
It didn't surprise. Failure was inevitable. Talks were dead on arrival. Israeli policy is hardline. It's all take and no give.
Rogue terror states operate this way. Israel is one of the worst. It's a democracy in name only.
It treats Palestinians like subhumans. It considers its Arab citizens fifth column threats.
It ignores fundamental international laws. It violates them repeatedly. It does so unaccountably.
Its negotiators were told to maintain status quo conditions at all costs. Demand everything. Give little or nothing in return.
Delay, make new demands, and deny Palestinians what they most want and deserve. Long denied justice remains elusive.
Hours before the midnight Tuesday deadline, Israeli officials said ceasefire talks collapsed. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya'alon recalled their negotiators.
They returned home. They might as well not have come. They had no intention of resolving things equitably. It's longstanding Israeli practice.
Talks ended in failure. It's back to square one. Israel bears full responsibility.
In response, media reports said Palestinians fired several rockets at Israel. No Palestinian group admitted responsibility.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of sabotaging talks. "We don't have any information about firing rockets from Gaza," he said.
"The Israeli raids are intended to abort the negotiations in Cairo."
Hamas was automatically blamed. No corroborating evidence was cited. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner lied saying:
"Yet again, terrorists breach the ceasefire and renew fire at Israeli civilians from Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip."
"This continued aggression will be addressed accordingly by the IDF; we will continue striking terror infrastructure, pursuing terrorists, and eliminating terror capabilities in the Gaza Strip, in order to restore security for the State of Israel."
Israel's only enemies are ones it invents. Lerner didn't explain. Or that Israel deliberately sabotaged talks and unjustifiably blamed Hamas.
Israel responded as expected. Dozens of air strikes followed. Over 30 targets around Beit Lahiya, al-Zaytoun, Maghazi, Khan Yunis, Deir al-Balah, al-Qarara, Sheikh Radwan, Khuza, eastern Shujaiyya and Rafah were struck.
The wife and child of Hamas al-Qassam Brigades commander Mousa Abu Marzouq were killed. He commented on Facebook, saying:
"The Israeli occupation took missiles from Gaza as a pretext to target a senior Hamas personality. The wife of the great leader was martyred with his daughter."
Another air strike targeted the al-Dalou Sheikh Radwan home. A woman and young girl were killed.
Another seven Palestinians were killed in Dier al-Balah. At least 40 others were injured so far. No Israeli casualties were reported.
An IDF statement said "(f)ollowing renewed rocket attacks at Israel earlier this evening, amid the ceasefire, the IDF is currently targeting terror sites across the Gaza Strip."
"The IDF remains alert and maintains both defensive and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression. The IDF is determined to defend the civilians of the State of Israel."
Palestinian delegation head Azzam al-Ahmed said his team would leave Cairo on Wednesday.
"We are leaving?but we have not pulled out of negotiations," he said. He awaits an Israeli response to a Palestinian truce proposal.
"We will not come back until Israel responds," he said. Senior Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq said Israel would "not enjoy security so long as the Palestinian people do not."
Washington commented as expected. It supports Israel's killing machine. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said:
"We are very concerned about today's developments, condemn the renewed rocket fire, and as we have said, Israel has a right to defend itself against such attacks."
It bears repeating. So-called Israeli self-defense is naked aggression. Talks were dead on arrival.
Israel denies Gazans what they most want. It wants suffocating siege conditions maintained. It wants what Gazans won't tolerate.
Fact: Operation Protective Edge was waged to maintain business as usual.
Fact: It was well-planned, cold, calculated, premeditated aggression.
Fact: Launching it had nothing to do with rockets from Gaza.
Fact: It had everything to do with denying Palestinians fundamental rights everyone deserves.
Fact: They include ending Gaza's siege, self-determination, and a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, free from Israeli occupation.
Fact: Hamas and other resistance responded to Israeli attacks.
Fact: They did so in self-defense.
Fact: They acted justifiably as international law allows.
Fact: Israel is a rogue terror state.
Fact: It bears full responsibility for high crimes against peace.
Fact: It willfully targets civilians.
Fact: Over 80% of Gazan casualties are civilians.
Fact: Lawless collective punishment is official Israeli policy.
Fact: Israel destroys non-military related targets illegally.
Fact: They include private homes, entire residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, and mosques.
Fact: Israel uses Palestinians as human shields.
Fact: It blames Palestinians for its crimes.
Fact: It gets away with mass murder unaccountably.
It bears watching what follows failed talks. Will full-scale fighting resume? Will Israeli forces again invade? Will mass slaughter and destruction continue?
Will many more Palestinians die? Will countless others suffer horrific injuries?
Will more families lose loved ones? Will husbands lose wives? Will wives lose husbands? Will children lose siblings and friends? Will entire families be slaughtered in cold blood?
Will world leaders keep turning a blind eye to Israel's high crimes against peace? Will long denied justice for Palestinians remain elusive?
Will horrendous Palestinian suffering continue? Will it be in vain? Will Israel remain unaccountable for genocidal crimes too great to ignore?
Will Washington for supporting Israel's killing machine? Will global efforts to boycott, divest and sanction Israel gain more traction than ever?
Will world public opinion do so? Will it be enough to matter? Will Palestinians achieve long denied justice?
Will their liberating dream come true? Will decades of struggle end equitably? Will some day finally arrive?
A Final Comment
In recent days, Israeli soldiers and settlers attacked dozens of West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians.
This week alone, Israeli security forces kidnapped over two dozen Palestinians. At the same time, numerous home demolitions occurred.
Israel routinely conducts multiple pre-dawn community incursions. Families are terrorized. Homes are ransacked.
Property is damaged, destroyed or stolen. Family members are arrested.
The Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency estimates around 40% of Palestinian males are detained one or more times during their lives.
It's for praying to the wrong God and wanting to live free on their own land in their own country.
Israel considers these criminal offenses. Rogue terror states operate this way. Israel and America have the world's worst human rights records.
They're guilty of virtually every crime imaginable and then some. Their policies threaten humanity's survival.
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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