Monday, March 3, 2008
With Amy Goodman
"AMY GOODMAN: Israeli troops have reportedly pulled out of northern Gaza after days of fighting that killed more than 112 Palestinians in the deadliest military assault on Gaza in years. The assault drew worldwide protests for excessive use of force, but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned the withdrawal of troops does not mean Israel’s military operation there is over.
The clashes reached a peak on Saturday, after Israel sent in a regiment of ground troops in an operation dubbed “Hot Winter” that killed seventy-seven Palestinians in two days. According to Gaza health ministry statistics, twenty-two children were killed. More than 350 people were wounded. Since last week, three Israelis have died: one civilian and two soldiers.....
On Monday, Hamas claimed victory over Israeli forces and mounted a rally in Gaza City. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due to arrive in the region for talks tomorrow. Meanwhile, a senior Israeli official told Reuters, “This very limited (Gaza) operation was intended to show Hamas what could happen, what you may call a ‘prequel.’” He went on to say, “If they continue to fire the rockets, then there will be more operations like this one or worse.”
We go now to Gaza to speak with Mohammed Omer, a Palestinian journalist living in the Gaza Strip. He writes for several publications, maintains a blog at rafahtoday.org......
AMY GOODMAN: Mohammed Omer is speaking to us from Gaza, and Amira Hass, correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, one of Israel’s leading journalists, is on the line with us from Tel Aviv.
Amira, do you hear reports like this in Israel on Israel television or radio?
AMIRA HASS: This is exactly what I thought when I listened to Mohammed Omer, that this kind of news is completely absent from the news diet, the journalistic diet of Israelis [inaudible] Israeli. I, for personal reasons, am today in Tel Aviv and not in Ramallah, so I have not been listening to Palestinian or Arab radio and did not watch Arab TV, so I’m also—you know, I was stunned by hearing Mohammed Omer, even though I talk all the time with my friends in Gaza. And this is indeed life here—actually, I can report about how life sixty kilometers north to Gaza, how life is normal, how everybody—except for one demonstration yesterday, that the group of leftwing Israelis held in front of the Ministry of Security, Israeli Ministry of Security, there is nothing....."