The fighting in Gaza has come to a halt as Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire, despite more rockets hitting Israeli territory after the cease-fire went into effect. Also, Hamas has declared a unilateral cease-fire, despite the fact that the blockade persists and Israeli troops remain in Gaza.
both cease-fire statements below, and some thoughts on unilateral activity.
A snippet from Olmert’s statements (sourced from BBC):
Beginning at 0200 [0000 GMT], Israel will cease its actions against the terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip and will remain deployed in the Gaza Strip and its environs… If our enemies decide that the blows they have already suffered are not enough and they wish to continue fighting, Israel will be ready for that scenario and will feel free to continue responding with force.
And the full text of the Hamas statement (
also sourced from BBC):
In the Name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. This is a statement in the name of the Palestinian resistance factions.
The Zionist aggression against the Gaza Strip which has gone on for more than three weeks has failed, and with God’s blessing it failed to impose its conditions on the resistance and on our people.
We, the Palestinian resistance factions announce a ceasefire of our factions in the Gaza Strip and we stress that our demand is the withdrawal of the enemy forces from the Gaza Strip within a week, along with the opening of all the crossings for the entry of humanitarian aid, food and other necessities for our people in the Gaza Strip.
You know, when Israel unilaterally declared itself a state in 1948, it didn’t turn out so well–massive war erupted and lasted for some time and set the tone for what would become one of the world’s most embroiled conflicts. And when Egypt unilaterally decided to nationalize the Suez Canal and cut off the waterway to Israeli trade, it didn’t turn out so well and resulted in Israel attacking Egypt in 1956. It also laid down the diplomatic relationship which allowed Israel to unilaterally pre-emptively strike Egypt in 1967, which of course laid down the relationship for the Arab nations to unilaterally pre-emptively attack Israel in 1973. And when Arafat unilaterally declared Palestinian statehood in 1988, that didn’t turn out so well for them, either. Nor did it go so well when Arik Sharon unilaterally showed signs of Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount, nor did it ultimately go so well when he unilaterally disengaged from Gaza, laying down the framework for the war that was just unilaterally ended.
All this unilateralism, no wonder everyone thinks there’s “no one to talk to”! It seems to me, looking back through the history of this conflict, that perhaps part of the problem all along has been everyone acting unilaterally, for their own interests, never stopping and trying to see how their actions and desires effect others. Until the Israelis and Palestinians can start to view the world through the others’ eyes, I fear more unilateralist policy and politic, leading to more unilateral war–which, ironically, leads to collective destruction.