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Israel/Palestine: Background to the present conflict

category mashriq / arabia / iraq | imperialism / war | opinion / analysis author Sunday July 27, 2014 21:26author by Ilan S. - Anarchists Against the Wall; A-Infos; Ahdutauthor email ilan.shalif at gmail dot comauthor address Tel Aviv Report this post to the editors

Egypt insists on dissolving the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip. Israel "just" wants to sabotage the yielding/compromise by Hamas to the Palestinian West Bank Authority. The relevant political context for the present round begins in November 2012, with the agreement between Israel and Hamas under Egyptian sponsorship. [Italiano] [Português]

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Background to the present conflict


Egypt insists on dissolving the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip. Israel "just" wants to sabotage the yielding/compromise by Hamas to the Palestinian West Bank Authority.

The relevant political context for the present round begins in November 2012, with the agreement between Israel and Hamas under Egyptian sponsorship (Hillary Clinton was present as "chaperone").

The November 2012 transaction took care of two things:

  1. a cease-fire between the two sides and
  2. the opening of crossing points for the passage of goods and people (the official crossing points have been "supplemented" throughout the years by up to 1,500 "illegal" tunnels dug under the border, which have supplied everything the official crossing points were unable to supply, together with most of the income to the Hamas regime from funds of supporters and taxes).
Overall - according to Israeli security officials - Hamas fulfilled its part "nicely": it did not open fire, and most of the time worked to prevent other organizations from opening fire. Hamas has sent its men to take action against Palestinian organizations that intended to open fire against Israel, something not many people know. In exchange, Hamas expected a significant easing of the closure.

This did, in fact, happen (though less than what was promised and expected, but still tolerable) as long as the Muslim Brotherhood were in power in Egypt.

But once Sisi took power in Egypt (summer 2013) and abolished the Muslim Brotherhood government, the crossings were closed again and again and more importantly, the tunnels from Egypt - which were the greatest source of supply and income for Hamas - were gradually closed. By gradually cutting off the tunnels beneath the closed border, Sisi has strangled the Gazan people and Hamas' system of government.

Hamas found itself in a state which progressively got worse: on the one hand it was providing a type of security for Israel (which the Israeli prime minister Bibi Netanyahu was so proud of), and on the other hand the closure was getting worse (and reached a level where Hamas could no longer pay salaries to 43,000 government officials and military force members who Hamas had recruited to manage the Strip). The Hamas government was thereby on the verge of collapse. As a result, Hamas gradually decreased their chase after other organizations and allowed them to increase the rate of shooting mortars, missiles, etc. It also explains why it has responded to the Israeli provocations with all its power.

This is the context that forced Hamas to make an agreement with the PLO/Fatah in April.

Hamas thereby agreed to turn part of its power over to Abu-Mazen (president of the Palestinian Authority of the West Bank), mainly the responsibility for government salaries in Gaza. There is debate between them about which of the 43,000 will continue in their positions and what the role of the 70,000 Palestinian Authority officials who were removed from power in the Gaza Strip in the Hamas takeover of 2007 will be. Throughout these years, they have received salaries from Ramallah to stay at home and should now return to office. But the hottest unsolved question between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is the debt of salaries which have not been paid for several months. The status of Hamas' 20,000-strong armed force has not been settled either. Abu-Mazen claims it is not his responsibility, and that Hamas will have to solve it.

There are all sorts of problems and unfinished business with the agreement, but the most immediate pressing obstacle is the back payroll. And the minimal condition for Hamas to stop the fighting is a return to the previous arangement of re-opening all 1,500 or so tunnels.

Hamas have said they have found who will pay - Qatar. But Israel and the Western powers together with the various banks involved - each for various reasons, some justified and some less - have refused to transfer the money.

The UN offered its services to resolve the problem, but Israel decided to block the involvement of the UN diplomatic envoy and actually put a veto on this channel. The result: tens of thousands in Gaza, including the security/military wing of Hamas, have not got their salaries for months on end.

As Hamas did not stop all the shooting by dissident organizations, Israel started to escalate the confrontation with Hamas and even more so following the kidnapping of the three settler youths, using it as an excuse (although it has recently declared officially that Hamas was not involved).

At present, the Egyptians - who seek to annihilate Hamas - are refusing to return to the arrangements which were in place before Sisi started to strangle the Gaza Strip leading to Hamas' surrender to the Palestinian Authority (arrangements which Israel, on the other hand, will probably support).

Panicked by the "unity agreement" that endangered the continuation of divisions among the Palestinians, Israel started the war in the hope of forcing Hamas to find a different option. It will probably support such a solution and may even yield to some more "openness", as it wants the continuation of Hamas' independent rule in Gaza, giving the public the explanation that the alternative will be chaos or rule by the Jihadists.

Both Israel and the Egyptians do not want the agreement for Hamas' surrender to the Palestinian Authority to be resolved: Egypt, because it saves Hamas from total collapse and Israel, because it would diminish the ability of Hamas to split the Palestinians.

In a surrealistic way we can see the war not as one between Israel and Hamas but a war between Israel and Egypt. Egypt wants to destroy Hamas and Israel wants to restore its power.


Anarchists Against the Walls: http://awalls.org
Ahdut (Unity): http://unityispa.wordpress.com

Related Link: http://ilanisagainstwalls.blogspot.com/
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Issue #3 of the Newsletter of the Tokologo African Anarchist Collective

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The present confrontation between the Zionist settler colonialist project in Palestine and the indigenous working people

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Mashriq / Arabia / Iraq | Imperialism / War | en

Thu 18 Sep, 09:40

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oabubakralbaghdadi570.jpg imageWhat do we think about the current crisis of Iraq? 21:25 Tue 24 Jun by Kurdish Anarchists Forum 0 comments

The Iraq crisis has been continued for decades while it has been under the power of Saddam Hussein or under the “current democratic Regime” since the invasion of 2003. There were no freedom, no social justice; no equality and also little opportunity for those who were independent from the political parties who were in power. In addition to existing brutality and discrimination against women and the ordinary people a very big gap was created between the rich and poor, making the poor even poorer and the rich richer. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, History's wheels turn faster and scream as blood does not oil the axes enough* 23:23 Mon 26 Aug by Ilan S. 0 comments

The turmoil in our region expresses the melting of world history as we knew it. It accelerates before it reaches its end as the axes of the old order cannot hold it any more. The Zionist settler colonialist bridgehead of the developed imperial countries in the cradle of human culture at the east of the Mediterranean Sea is being eroded by the resistance of the indigenous inhabitants who are recruiting supporters from all over the world. The cracks in neoliberal global capitalism, which seemed to have reached its ultimate victory just a few years ago when the end of history was declared, are pointing to the real end of the history of egoistic and alienated class society. In the day-to-day struggle here, it is still hard to discern the cracks in the structure of the system, but you can already smell it in the clouds of tear gas at the weekly demos and feel the ground tremor under your feet. [Italiano]

textPalestine-Israel, Some activities the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative involved with lately 17:23 Tue 15 Feb by Ilan S. 0 comments

There are four main areas of struggles the AAtW activists are involved with: Joint struggle with communities that invite us to join, like Bil'in and other struggles against the separation fence. Other joint struggles against occupation and settler colonialists like Nabi Salih. Joint struggles with wider coalitions like the Sheikh Jarrah coalition and South Hebron. The fourth is within Israel, like prison and jail solidarity, Al Araqeeb and Lod. It seems that our confrontational and direct-action mode of struggle is being adopted by more and more Israeli radicals.

textIraqi trade union leader on the current situation in Iraq 20:28 Wed 03 Oct by Manuel Baptista 0 comments

Falah Alwan, president of the Federation of Workers Councils & Unions in Iraq was recently on a short visit to Lisbon to gather some support for the workers' resistance inside Iraq.

textIsrael: "Occupation 40" - first actions in Tel Aviv 16:48 Wed 06 Jun by Ilan Shalif 1 comments

The 6 days of actions to commemorate the atrocities of the 40 years of Israeli occupation from the 1967 war started in Tel Aviv this afternoon, after an appetizer in the form of nightly hanging of placards during the last few weeks.

text6 days of protests to mark 40 years of occupation 18:50 Tue 05 Jun by Kibush 40 0 comments

For six days, June 5 to 10 - corresponding to the days of the 1967 War - a wide spectrum of events will take place, including exhibitions, demonstrations, theatre plays, academic conferences etc., in order to place a the occupation and the millions suffering under its yoke on the public agenda. June 9 and 10 had been declared as International Days of Protest Against the Israeli Occupation, and we will hold The main march and rally on Saturday, June 9.

textItaly: "Resistance, disobedience, solidarity" - an evening with an Israeli refusni 17:09 Tue 21 Nov by FdCA Fano 0 comments

On Monday 20th November 2006 at the Istituto Tecnico-Commerciale Battisti in Fano, eastern Italy, with Lior Volinytz, a 19-year-old Israeli refusnik and activist in the Anarchists Against the Wall initiative.

textIsrael, Direct action near the border of Gaza Strip 01:29 Sun 19 Nov by Ilan S. 0 comments

It happened when the Zionist leftist peace now (who refused to join the previous Saturday more radical left demonstration against the massacre in Beit Hanun) had their demonstration and at Erez road block. 25 activists organized by the anarchists against the wall initiative traveled to the region bordering the Gaza strip. When the boring speeches started at the peace now not far away demonstration, we entered a compound of army tools of war - about 50 heavily armored soldiers carriers and 5 D9s (of the model that crashed to death Rachel Cury). We climbed on two of the carriers and placed around pictures, banners, and other materials representing massacred people. The soldiers on guard there tried to make us go away but we just ignored their commands. Police officers who came there just asked to see our ID cards, but surprisingly did noting more.

text655,000 Dead in Iraq since Invasion 17:23 Fri 13 Oct by Anarcho 0 comments

According to a new study published by a medical journal between 420,000 and 790,000 Iraqis have died as a result of war and political violence since the beginning of the US-UK invasion in March, 2003, with 655,000 considered the most likely figure.

textStatement on al-Badil article 16:51 Mon 11 Sep by Alternative Libertaire 0 comments

On 27th July 2006, Alternative Libertaire (France) distributed a text entitled "News from Lebanon: the Israeli attack" by our Lebanese comrades, Al-Badil al-Chouyouii al-Taharrouri (Libertarian Communist Alternative). This text denounced the Israeli war, Western plans for a Great Middle East, and criticized Hezbollah as a religious and reactionary organization.

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imageThe wonders of the desperate gamble that Netanyahu lost Aug 26 by Ilan S. 0 comments

To keep Hamas on its legs again after the Egyptian closure forced it to its knees and to compromise with the West Bank Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu started a war that was supposed to set Hamas back on its feet, though much weaker than before the closure.

textKurdish "Terrorists" Rescue Yezidis Aug 15 by PaulB 0 comments

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Embarrassingly for the US, arriving on its white charger to save the day, only to discover they are far too late, the saviours of the Yezidis are the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and their Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) allies. The PKK are officially on the US and EU “terrorist” lists and the autonomous Syrian region defended by the YPG is subject to blockade by ISIS to the South and West, Turkey to the North and the corrupt Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) regime in Kurdish Northern Iraq to the East.

textIsrael burned the stew Aug 02 by Ilan S. 0 comments

The present Gaza war was started before the actual shooting, by Egypt's blockade of the Gaza Strip, intended to break the rule of Hamas due to it being a part of the Islamic Brotherhood movement. [Italiano] [Türkçe]

textSyria: the Struggle Continues – “Day of Rage Against Al-Qaeda & Assad” Jan 19 by TŘÍDNÍ VÁLKA 0 comments

Since nearly three years that an uprising broke out in Syria (as a local materialization of the upheavals shaking the whole regions of Maghreb and Mashreq) most of the reactions, comments and critics from militant structures which claim to be revolutionary, internationalist, communist, anarchist… go in the same direction: doubts about what happens, doubts about essential material determinations that give birth to the movements that develop in front of our eyes, doubts about the class nature of these events, doubts about the potentially subversive content of struggles of our class when it doesn’t wave the “good” flags, etc. [Português] [Français] [Italiano]

imageWhat's going on in Syria? Sep 05 by Monte 0 comments

The difficulty in understanding the current geopolitical situation often depends on the interpretative framework that is used to decipher events. I believe that the world-systems theory that defines the current crisis in the hegemony of the centre - the USA - is the one which more than any other is able to explain the complexity of the redefinition of the relationships of power and balances, the redefinition of alliances and new strategic areas. [Italiano

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imageWhat do we think about the current crisis of Iraq? Jun 24 KAF 0 comments

The Iraq crisis has been continued for decades while it has been under the power of Saddam Hussein or under the “current democratic Regime” since the invasion of 2003. There were no freedom, no social justice; no equality and also little opportunity for those who were independent from the political parties who were in power. In addition to existing brutality and discrimination against women and the ordinary people a very big gap was created between the rich and poor, making the poor even poorer and the rich richer. [Italiano]

text6 days of protests to mark 40 years of occupation Jun 05 0 comments

For six days, June 5 to 10 - corresponding to the days of the 1967 War - a wide spectrum of events will take place, including exhibitions, demonstrations, theatre plays, academic conferences etc., in order to place a the occupation and the millions suffering under its yoke on the public agenda. June 9 and 10 had been declared as International Days of Protest Against the Israeli Occupation, and we will hold The main march and rally on Saturday, June 9.

textStatement on al-Badil article Sep 11 AL 0 comments

On 27th July 2006, Alternative Libertaire (France) distributed a text entitled "News from Lebanon: the Israeli attack" by our Lebanese comrades, Al-Badil al-Chouyouii al-Taharrouri (Libertarian Communist Alternative). This text denounced the Israeli war, Western plans for a Great Middle East, and criticized Hezbollah as a religious and reactionary organization.

textLebanon- The Smoke, Anguish and Terror of a Fascist Attack Sep 02 Grupo Qhispikay Llaqta, Perú 1 comments

The anarchists of Peru and the rest of the world oppose the fascist attacks of the Israeli State against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. We refuse to follow reformist or reactionary positions that call for the formation of a new Palestinian state- a state that even if established could only survive subject to the mandates of American imperialism. Instead, we support and instigate the class struggle in the region as a means toward the eventual foundation of an Anarchist Federation, which in turn is the only way to secure a truly humane and dignified existence for the working class of these countries.

textOn the slaughter in the Middle East Aug 19 Anarkismo 19 comments

«Being slaves of God, the people owe to be, also, slaves of the Church and the State, insofar as the State has been blessed by the Church» Michael Bakounin

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