The Palestinian government in Gaza has called on Arab and international bodies to intervene promptly to stop Israel’s escalation of violence against the besieged territory. A spokesman for Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that urgent messages have been sent to the UN Secretary General, his counterpart at the Arab League and some European governments. According to political counsellor Yousef Zarqa, “Mr. Haniyeh’s government has revealed the extent of Israeli plans to escalate the conflict with Gaza and requested immediate intervention to bring such provocation to an end.”
Mr. Zarqa expressed his deep concern over the Israeli escalation, which he described as “insane and dangerous”. It is, he said, intended to thwart efforts to bring about Palestinian reconciliation and a unified government for the people of Palestine.
“The ongoing Israeli escalation can be attributed to several things,” he continued. “The Israeli occupation authorities are seeking excuses to put the conflict up a notch or two, including accusations against Palestinian groups that they have been targeting Israeli settlements.” He said that he doubts if this is the real reason for Israeli action: “In fact, it’s all part of a strategy reflecting the nature of Zionist ideology, which is based on brute force.”
Zarqa considers the Israeli escalation to be “influenced and affected by the wave of change in Arab countries bringing to the fore movements which are against Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestine. “Israel is using this military escalation,” he added, “to convey a message to Hamas, those pushing for Palestinian reconciliation, and the Arab countries supporting the Palestinian cause, especially the new Egypt.” Zarqa referred to a statement by Israeli politician Tzipi Livni, who has called on the Israeli government to “destroy Hamas” as a pre-emptive step “before the anti-Israel movements [in the Arab world] settle”.