Press TV has conducted an interview with James Thring, a political commentator from London, about the terms of a ceasefire and the Israeli bombing of children in Gaza.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: What do you think about this operation called Protective Edge – in its ninth day – so I can get a sense of what your views are that has claimed so many lives, to date 220… and over 1,600 injured. On the Israeli side I believe there is one death that has been reported, some injuries and some destruction of property?
Thring: These are clearly war crimes on behalf of Israel.
But coming back to the question you asked Lawrence Korb (Press TV guest) and his answer… I would say that of course Hamas couldn’t easily agree because their communications are disrupted. They can’t sit in a cabinet on the west Bank or in Tel Aviv and discuss things in a moderate way. They’ve got different angry groups who have lost their houses and their families and their food and their water, their ports and their airports; they haven’t got an army.
Of course they’re going to carry on until they’re given some kind of reasonable assurance that their demands for lifting the blockade; for the return of the 400 people who were arrested and still in Israeli prisons as a result of the false hunt for three Israeli students who are now found and no one’s been forensically accused of their deaths.
So, the whole operation has been constructed on the basis of really a lie because it was a lie that Hamas was responsible for those deaths. They would have said if they had been. It’s quite likely that they died in some other way.
Anyway, you can’t really expect a country that’s divided; that’s been deliberately blown into smithereens by constant attacks by the Israeli forces to have some coherent response when they’re asked to agree to a… well, they weren’t actually asked to agree to a ceasefire… but when a ceasefire is muted.
May I go on to say that even if they had agreed to a ceasefire it was meant to start at nine o’clock on Tuesday morning with a 12 hour de-escalation period. Now, within six hours the Israelis started firing their weapons and they’re a far bigger army, a far bigger military force tan the people launching rockets from the desert in Gaza. So who broke the ceasefire?
Press TV: What was their aim then if you think they broke the ceasefire that they had agreed to after six hours?
Thring: One of the things they aimed at was a house that had disabled people in it; they also aimed at the house belonging to the deputy leader of Hamas, which is the equivalent of firing on Mr. Netanyahu’s house isn’t it? I would have thought that was a war crime, too.
Press TV: It seems like the God-given right of a human being is what Hamas is fighting for in terms of its conditions such as the lifting of the siege; but then people say that is something that should not be taken for granted that it should be something Hamas should ask for, which doesn’t make any sense, it’s called the biggest open air prison in the world.
Thring: That’s right. Even Mr. Blair has called it that and he’s not a peace maker. He is on the side of the Israelis.
Of course it’s ridiculous to claim that the Arab countries started the wars on Israel. Israel destroyed Jordan’s and Egypt’s aircraft on the ground before they even took off in 1967. And of course that 67 war led to Israel stealing all of the West Bank.
Now, of course if you want to make comparisons with rocket attacks in America it’s a bit like say the Mexicans coming in to California and taking that over and then complaining because they get rocket attacks back from the American army.
If you steal someone else’s property you can expect some kind of justice to follow. Unfortunately the Palestinians haven’t got access to any justice because they haven’t been given a statehood, which allows them to go to the International Criminal Court and take the Israelis to court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and what in my view amounts to genocide for the number of people they’ve killed and the way they’ve imprisoned a whole lot of people and then bombed them from the air without them being able to retaliate in any kind of sensible way.
Israel has got all the defenses from America that it needs including military protection in terms of the Iron Dome; including F-16s; and even the nuclear option, which they’ve threatened before – they threatened this on Egypt in 1975.
So I think to claim that the Arab countries are responsible is a bit rich and the history needs to be repeated for what it is, not for what is imagined.
Press TV: Third time as our guest said, Hamas firing rockets into Israel… Do you see a truce coming out of this and if not, then what’s next?
Thring: Well, I can’t really expect Hamas to just sit back again for the umpteenth time – it’s not just the third time – the Palestinians have been giving in since 1947.
The Oslo Peace Agreement in 1993 that was rubbish by Israel who actually produced a plan called a ‘clean break’, which meant secretly that they were going to disrupt the Oslo peace process by bringing the Americans in to help them with the destruction of the Palestinian forces.
So, Israel has actually got no intention of agreeing to any ceasefire or any peace agreement. We’ve seen it time and time again. So why should Hamas expect them to agree this time?
And they didn’t. Six hours in the middle of the 12-hour de-escalation time Israel started bombarding innocent civilians in Gaza.
There is no comparison with what Hamas is doing – their rockets clearly can’t get through the Iron dome so it’s no real threat to Israel. And in any case they have the right to object to an illegal occupation in the West Bank. It is part of international law that you can resist illegal occupation.
Unfortunately and probably for reasons that we know, the Fatah movement can’t do anything very much because they’ve been brought into the fold as it were in the Israeli talks, it only leaves Hamas to fight for the rights of the Palestinian people who are gradually being pushed into the sea and killed there too as we’ve seen on the beach with these children.
There is no way that they should be obliged to deal with what really amounts to a terrorist state of Israel.