The lie according to which they were a victim of a holocaust and the (Jewish) people are a victim — this lie has crumbled with the holocaust of Beit Hanun, the holocaust of Al-Fakhura and the other countless holocausts … committed by the Zionist enemy
This from Hamas leader Mahmud Zahar at a commemoration for one of the attacks during Operation Cast-Lead. The event in question was where the IDF dropped a bomb outside a UN school in response to a mortar being fired from the schoolyard and unfortunately killing innocent people who were seeking shelter in the school as well as the mortar crew.
This was a tragedy and Hamas are well within their rights to hold a ceremony commemorating it, but it most definitely was not an act of genocide. The whole of Cast-Lead killed about 0.1% of the population within Gaza – this being a population that is rapidly expanding. Not to take away from the deaths of innocents, but to suggest that Israel was trying to wipe-out the Palestinians there is ludicrous – if that were the case, Israel could easily have just carpet-bombed the Strip. Plus adding Holocaust denial to his statement just makes a mockery of anyone who thinks that Hamas’ leadership is anything less than anti-Semitic and hateful.
These statements come as tensions around Gaza are ramping up – Jeffrey white from the Washington Institute:
In December 2010, violence increased significantly along Israel’s border with Gaza, manifest by high-trajectory fire (rockets and mortars) on southern Israel, counterstrikes by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and clashes along the border security fence. The Gaza situation since the end of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in January 2009 has been characterized by similar periods of increased violence and tension. Although these episodes have not produced major hostilities, the deterrence established by Cast Lead is decaying over time. Neither Hamas nor Israel may be seeking another round of serious fighting, but the potential for such fighting has nonetheless grown.
In a meeting with Netanyahu yesterday, Egypt’s president warned that threatening Hamas reduces the stability of the region. There’s no doubt that Cast-Lead had a very negative impact on Israel in terms of its relationship with its neighbours, particularly Turkey, but it was necessary at the time to stop the rocket attacks from Gaza. Let’s just hope that the current escalation doesn’t go too far.
Also watch this video from CNN, on a related note: