HOW MANY PALESTINIANS ARE MEMBERS OF HAMAS? HOW MANY ISRAELIS ARE SUPPORTERS OF NETANYAHU?

Governments speak for people even if they have not taken part in electing them. Movements who control the instrument of violence in a country speak for people even if they do not subscribe to their principles, strategies and tactics. It is clear that the attitude of the Israeli government towards the Palestinian people as a whole is determined by its policy on HAMAS.

HAMAS has a military wing which controls instrument of violence. It has command and control structures which are not under the control of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian and Israeli people are therefore hostages of two hostile powerful forces which are now bent on maiming and killing unarmed civilians in the spirit of revenging the atrocities perpetrated by others.

The innocent people need protection and the international community should accept responsibility for protecting the people.

They have a duty to prevail on the belligerents to hold their fire and negotiate a peaceful outcome to the disputes. Israel cannot become more secure by bombardments which kill and maim Palestinians and transform thousands into displaced persons.

HAMAS’ political wing is already a part of a unity government led by the leader of Al Fatah, Mahmoud Abass. The leader of the unity government should be encouraged to lead the negotiation for a cease fire and ultimate settlement. He should be able to prevail over the military leadership of HAMAS to stop the rockets in the name of peace. The whole world should recognise the Unity government to enable it to earn the respect of the Palestinian people and conduct negotiation on their behalf. This is the way forward.