Press TV has conducted an interview with Ramzy Baroud political analyst from Madrid about the Israeli onslaught on Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Hamas has been clear about its demands from the beginning, the left of the siege on Gaza and release of prisoners among other things, while Israel is focused on disarming of the resistance group in the strip, can this work?
Baroud: Well, of course not, Israel could possibly expect the disarming of the resistance if the resistance was defeated and that was the intention behind Israel’s devastating war, genocide in Gaza Strip, I mean we are looking at nearly12,000 people between dead and wounded and hundreds of thousands of refugees within Gaza and this complete destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza Strip and we are talking about genocide and yet the resistance continues and it continues strong.
So Israel is approaching the cease-fire talks with the assumption that it manage to actually defeat the resistance which it did not and that is a big mistake of course because at this point the resistance message is if we don’t achieve the lifting of the siege on Gaza there is absolutely not going back and we will carry on our fight against Israel.
Press TV: During the attack on Gaza we have heard from Israeli officials that Hamas is using population in the area as human shields, what do you think about it?
Baroud: …This is complete lies and fabrications, it might work well on Fox News, it does not work well now especially that there is this growing consciousness around the world about the war crimes committed by Israel. I mean when you are looking at the killings of children, entire families wiped out, targeting infrastructure destroyed, …, I just don’t understand what sort of silliness and nonsense it is. The fact is Hamas and Palestinians have been resisting for the last 66 years and they are not resisting in the name of Hamas.
Hamas in just a passing movement that started twenty some years ago. Palestinians have been resisting the Israeli occupation, Israeli atrocities since 1948. It is important here that we do not separate the plight of Gaza from the plight of West Bank and even Palestinians living in Israel. The Palestinian question cannot be divided between Gaza and between the West Bank. That is number one.
Number two, yes Hamas was elected democratically by the Palestinians and I would say that if Hamas was not elected democratically by the Palestinian people, this is besides of the question, we are talking about a genocidal aggression, genocidal aggression against Palestinian people, what do you expect them to do, they will fight you at every corner, at every street, they will come to your cities, they will come to your borders, they will do all that is their power to protect their children and they will, yesterday, today and tomorrow and this is the way that has been going for the last 66 years.
What you need to do is some searching why are Palestinians resisting, if it were not for the fact that Israel is an occupying power, if it were not for the fact that Israel is a lethal deadly genocidal power, why would Palestinians be resisting? Palestinians are some of the most educated people in the entire Middle East. They would love to build their lives and create the prosper future for their children, but do you create that sort of landscape and platform for the Palestinians to create that sort of prosper future with your sieges and your wars and your military aggressions and your occupations ? Of course not. So what do expect them to do? Just lies, and expect Israel attack supported and financed by the United States to come… and kill the children. They can not do that. I assure you they will not possibly to that.
…What Benjamin Netanyahu refers to as economic peace, basically it means that an Israeli soldier is going to put his boots on the neck of every Palestinian in the West Bank and Palestinians have to submit to that and as long as they have little bit of … coming from the European Union, from the Americans every thing is fine. What I am telling is that this will never ever last. We are not the kind of people that you can buy us with money, we have integrity and our freedom matters. We will shop super markets I assure you, we will build schools and hospitals when the Israeli occupation ends.
At this is point our top priority is the liberation of our people, the freedom of our people in Gaza which is under siege and in at the West Bank and in Jerusalem and for the Palestinians who are living in Israel treated as third class citizens. You cannot be talking about this and normalization between two people with one being the military occupier and being the military occupied. It just does not work neither in Palestine nor would work under any glorious regime at any time of history.
Press TV: In the occupied Palestinian territories, Palestinians and Israelis can no longer travel on the same buses, can they?
Baroud: Of course not, not only they are denying of the right to use certain streets or certain roads or use certain buses, even we are forbidden to use Arabic language, we are forced to use Hebrew language. Israel is going beyond apartheid, in Gaza they have reached to the level of genocide. These are murderers, these are going to someone else’s lands and killing his children.
… I wouldn’t be surprised if Palestinians choose resistance for one simple reason, they have been resisting for 66 years and even more, they have been using every form of resistance from popular resistance to non-violent resistance to violent resistance and I assure you that they will and there is nothing to be sacrificed about.