Friday, January 25, 2008

Wall comes tumbling down

The inspiring breakout of Palestinians from their imprisonment in Gaza is a timely reminder that this is a people who cannot be caged or wished away

By Seumas Milne
The Guardian

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"Anyone with a sense of human solidarity must surely celebrate the demolition of the wall on the Gaza-Egyptian border on Wednesday and the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians starved of basic supplies of food, fuel and medicine by Israel's flagrantly illegal act of collective punishment. There was a further breakout today, when a bulldozer pulled down a new section of the barrier.

It has been first and foremost a human triumph. An occupied and imprisoned people has taken its fate into its own hands and broken a shameful blockade, enforced jointly by Israel and Egypt with the support of the Bush administration and the connivance of the US and Israeli-backed rump Palestinian authority in Ramallah.

But it is also a political defeat for the cruelly-enforced attempt to isolate and crush the elected Hamas leadership in Gaza. By tearing down the walls that held 1.5 million people in the world's largest open air prison, Gazans have broken the siege that had become the main weapon to bring the Palestinians to heel and impose a pliant leadership and an occupier's settlement......

The same goes for the PA leadership. Waiting for Hamas to go away won't work. Only negotiations without preconditions for Palestinian political reconciliation can both restore national dignity and allow the Palestinians out of the dead end they have been forced into by relentless Israeli and US pressure. The magnificent display of popular power this week has shown that there are other ways ahead"

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