Palestine Papers 4 and Egypt

We are living very interesting times in the Middle East. The final instalment of the Palestine papers focuses on Gaza and the collusion of the PA about it. What this last batch of papers has shown is that the PA was more concerned with Hamas as an enemy rather than israel and its occupation. The PA colluded with the US and israel to delay and hold up the vote on the Goldston report, they appear to have been informed about the Gaza offensive before it happened, they were so afraid of giving Hamas any semblance of victory that they asked israel to reinvade Gaza, or at least part of Gaza. These are very big revelations. Let’s go through them with a little more detail now, and then focus on the other huge story from the region which is the Egypt protests.

Right, so what do this last batch of papers really reveal? Well the first and foremost thing is that from certain conversations it appears, and I stress appears because nothing is clearly stated, that israel had informed the PA that they were going to attack Gaza. I’m sure you all remember the savage assault two years ago by the israeli army against the civilian population of the besieged Gaza strip. The assault was named Cast Lead and it killed over 1400 people, most of them civilians. If the PA had foreknowledge of this and then did nothing to warn the people of Gaza, then these deaths are partly their resposability.

One thing that came out of the Gaza massacre was a UN investigation which accused israel of having committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. We all remember how the PA pushed for a delay on the UN human rights council vote to endorse it. The papers have shown that this was due to US pressures. The PA have clearly become the political arm of US and israeli interests. They were willing to put the interests of israel and the US before the interests of their own people. The Goldstone report needed swift action, yet the PA was willing to delay action on it in order to please the US.

That’s not all. One very important revelations shows how completely uninterested in defending their own people’s interests the PA have become. In particular, when Hamas was able to break through the barrier between the Gaza-Egypt border and people were able to break the siege for a while and were able to restock on necessary supplies, the PA was concerned with the fact that this represented a victory for Hamas. The papers show that the PA even encouraged israel to reinvade Gaza, specifically the border crossing, in order to undermine Hamas’s political victory. This is astounding. I am lost for words when it comes to that last revelation. How can the PA even pretend to represent the interests of its people? It is willing to ask israel to reinvade Gaza and police the illegal siege that causes so much suffering for the people of Gaza, in order to undermine Hamas. This absolutely unacceptable. Let’s hope that the people of Palestine will finally wake up and overthrow that corrupt and collaborationist body.

There are so much more things to talk about in the Palestine Papers, and I’ll probably get to them at some point later on this blog. However, something quite extraordinary is going on in Egypt and I need to talk about it more. I have already commented on the first day of protests yesterday, you can check out yesterday’s post for that. But what happened today was even more intense. The security forces decided to use very heavy handed tactics straight away. While people were still gathering to start demonstrating, the Egyptian police started using heavy force to disperse the protesters. This lead to the protesters playing cat and mouse with the police throughout the day. Impromptu demonstrations kept happening all over the country and the police found itself having to chase the protesters all over the place. The repression was quite strong though and many people were arrested, beaten up, and some killed.

However, it seems that the most deadly confrontations happened in the city of Suez. There it seems the security forces used live bullets on the protesters, and they responded with Molotov cocktails and barricades. The situation is still unclear over there because there aren’t many journalists there, and all the information we’re getting is from twitter. However, it seems that the police has lost control of the city and that the ruling party’s headquarters there, as well as the police station, have been burned by the protesters. Although I repeat those are unconfirmed reports. The point is that the protests are still going on. It has become a war of attrition between the protesters and the police. It seems the protesters are trying to tire the police by not letting out. The strategy being that protesters can take breaks while the police cannot. As I’m writing this the death toll has been confirmed to have risen to 6 deaths.

Well that’s all from me today. It is really a very interesting time we’re witnessing. I will hopefully talk about the protests more tomorrow, although it depends on what happens. As I understand it, the Egyptians are trying to get 1000000 people down for another day of wrath on Friday. I don’t know if this means that the protest are going to continue between now and Friday or not. Anyway, that’s all from me for now. I’ll see you all tomorrow, in the hopes that the news of the downfall of another dictator will come soon.

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