Your questions to Hamas.

Hamas – or someone who can speak on their behalf – will be taking your questions today, following the appearance of Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev  on yesterday’s programme.

I must say i was impressed with the level of engagement you showed with Mr Regev ; You were courteous and respectful and to the point, without compromising your strongly held opinions ; a credit to the WHYS community.

Since the programme aired , it’s being reported that a high ranking Hamas leader – Nizar Rayyan, has been killed in one of the attacks, which have continued on government buildings in Gaza, and there’s a suggestion of divisions within the Israeli leadership. the UN Security council meeting broke up without a vote on a ceasefire, though aid is getting through.

In short, there are few signs of a quick resolution but diplomacy continues : The Israeli foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, is meeting the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, in Paris today — just a day after the Israelis rejected a French proposal for a forty-eight hour ceasefire in Gaza. The visit comes ahead of Mr Sarkozy’s own diplomatic mission to the Middle East, which begins on Monday. Meanwhile, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who’s on a Middle East tour aimed at halting the fighting in Gaza — is meeting President Mubarak in Egypt.

Now, getting Hamas on the programme (regulars will know they’ve been on a good few times before) isn’t as straightforward as asking Mr Regev to appear. For understandable security reasons, they spokespeople can’t be tied to one phone for an hour. There’s a language issue as well.

Hi, it’s Shaimaa here. I’ve been on the phone all day yesterday and the day before with Hamas officials and spokespeople in Gaza, Damascus and Beirut and as Mark mentioned getting them on air for an hour is very difficult. All of them told me that they basically can’t be in the same place on the same phone line for an hour as that compromises their safety. I’ll keep trying for Hamas officials and let you know if they agree on a last minute appearance.

In the meantime, Dr.Azzam Tamimi has agreed to step in for Hamas. He describes himself as a sympathiser and supporter of Hamas and is good friends with its leader Khaled Mesha’al. He’s also written a book called Hamas: Unwritten Chapters. I’ve spoken to him about what we’re doing on today’s program and he’s happy to take your questions , so keep them coming.

Latest Update:

Hi it’s Shaimaa again. I just got off the phone with Osama Hamdan, he’s the Hamas representative in Beirut and he’s agreed to come on the program to answer your questions. He’s doing a series of interviews before World Have Your Say, but promised he’ll be on so we’ll start off with Dr.Tamimi and as soon as we get Mr.Hamdan we’ll put him through.

243 Responses to “Your questions to Hamas.”

  1. December 30, 2008 at 18:02

    1- What does it take for Hamas and Israel to stop being sworn enemies?

    2- Can Hamas and Israel reach an agreement if there are no external influences from countries like Iran?

    3- Does Hamas share Iranian president view that Israel should be wiped off the map?

    4- How can Hamas think it is possible to have a Palestinian state without recognizing Israel?

    5- How confident is Israel that it can destroy Hamas as a military and ideological force?

    6- concerning the major differences between Hamas and Israel, are they ideological or religious?

  2. 2 Brett
    December 30, 2008 at 18:45

    Well I’d like the questions posed yesterday answered… Especially if its by government officials:

    Heres a question, or questions rather, to pose to them (and it isn’t meant to be rude or anything):

    1) Do you not understand that violence begets violence?

    2) What do you expect to accomplish with such cowardly attacks (coming from both sides)?

    3) Do you think that violence will actually end your problems?

    Good luck tumbling down the mountain on a snowball of degenerate violence, hate, and revenge.

    (And please, don’t anyone cry about bias, that card is well worn. I would pose the same questions and statement to Palestinians)

    Thanks 🙂

  3. 3 anthony
    December 30, 2008 at 18:54

    The deaths, be they accidental or not, of women and children is unexceptalbe and barbaric. The governments that commit these acts are not of the people or for the people. I believe it is the actions of a few government heads and war mongering generals who give the orders, not the wishs of the innocent caught in the middle trying to live their lives in peace.

  4. 4 Marc
    December 30, 2008 at 19:23

    For Hamas:

    Why don’t you just stop the rockets from being fired into Israel and see what happens?

  5. 5 DENNIS
    December 30, 2008 at 19:31

    My questions:
    1)Will there be a CEASE FIRE between the two parties?

    2)Why did the Hamas organisation, decided to cancelled the CEASE FIRE in December 2008…

    3)What is the authorities in both sides are, doing to prevent un-needed civilians deaths among everyone….

    [I hope that the guests are available for the shows]……


  6. 6 Sam West
    December 30, 2008 at 19:43

    My question to Israel. Why do you expect Palestine to sue for peace? When the only peace Israel will except is the continued occupation of the West Bank.
    My country, The U.S. needs to stop blindly supporting Israel. To Hamas, I ask. Why your Tactics don’t work. You’re not a united people, all Palestinians must unite and speak with one voice. Appeal to the new President of America.

  7. 7 Alex
    December 30, 2008 at 19:44

    I would like to know two things:

    1) Why can’t Hamas and the people of Gaza understand that when one shoots at a country during a ceasefire and right after, there will be repercussions?

    2) What is it that makes the American and British media act like neither Britain nor America would respond if attacked? Only giving a one-sided story is poor and unethical journalism. I am not saying that what is happening in Gaza is not bad, but it is a fact that Israel is responding to non-stop attacks. Hamas and the people of Gaza say they don’t want to be attacked and can’t understand it and yet they haven’t stopped instigating this defense. Israel has a responsibility to protect its citizens just as much as Hamas does.

  8. December 30, 2008 at 19:52

    i have some questions for the israeli government,
    I listened to the debate today with an israeli women and it was bad because she said that u israeli’s are defending your self by killing people in palastine and that she is afraid now to go on buses because of terorism and if (4 people where killed by terorists its not worth killing 1000’s of ppl in palastine), and if u stop killing inocent people in palastine i bet they will stop comitting terorism 4 lives are presious but a thousand is not compareble
    im not saying that im at the palastineians side nor your side the thing that i really want to see is freedom around the world
    why is it that the medical treatments are bad in palastine?
    why is it that your are killing kids and woman and starveing them to death ?
    even if your want to continue this war this war is supposed to be like (a man to a man )
    kids do not have any thing to do with this
    why dont u let people help them by food or money or even medical treatments?
    and why are u takeing there lands?
    and thank you and please replay i want to now every thing and i repeat and say that im not with palastinains nor with isrealians
    and thank you again

  9. December 30, 2008 at 20:25

    1 – When will Hamas stop sending rockets into Israel?

    2 – Will Hamas-run children’s TV shows be changed to stop portraying non-Muslims as evil and the enemy?

  10. 10 Bob from Florida
    December 30, 2008 at 20:36

    Hamas, don’t you think that it is better to get a real job, start a business or engage in building a peaceful economy than picking fights with Israel? What is preventing you from getting on with the business of peaceful living?

  11. 11 Steve
    December 30, 2008 at 20:38

    Please BBC? Here is another reputable source for the Hamas Charter?


    How do you expect them to recognize and make peace with israel when they call for the destruction of israel, the extermination of all jews, and refuses to negotiate???? It’s all in the charter. Why not read it and make it available for your readers to read as well?

  12. December 30, 2008 at 21:09

    Mr. Regev does Isreali Government really believe that this is not a war on the Palistine people? Who do you think is being killed?

  13. 13 ellona
    December 30, 2008 at 21:28

    The Hamas leaders are known to be pragmatic, yet I can’t understand how they find their uncompromising stands on liberating entire Palestine (hence, terminating the state of Israel on its 6 million residences) is in anyway productive for the Palestinian cause.

    It is important to remember that the Israelis and Palestinians are (even now) engaged in peace talks. They may be still far away from agreeing on many things, and some violence and atrocities still take place, but both sides are sitting together and talking with each other, which is huge. The last 3 Israeli PM have all openly stated that an independent Palestinian state is within Israel’s best interest (an unthinkable thing only 6 or 7 years ago!), but Hamas would not talk to Israel or make concessions for anything, or even recognize Israel’s existence. How such hardcore and fanatic (and more than anything else – unrealistic) attitude can possible help Palestinians. In its history Israel too had extreme militia organizations that wanted to expand it to King David’s borders and conquer Jordan and Syria, but luckily for the Israelis those fundamentalist where curved in. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, Hamas is only interested in face saving measures; it thrives on conflict and cannot exist without it, and only pushing further away any chances for Palestinian independence, prosperity and dignity. I find it tragic that right when life in Gaza were supposed to get better (after Israel’s withdrew its troops and settlements from it, and billions of international $’s were committed to its development) Hamas took over and things got worse than ever before.

  14. 14 Alec Paterson
    December 30, 2008 at 21:39

    1. I undertstand that the Hamas charter quotes the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in this way: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” Is this your aim?
    2. The charter also says in article 6 “The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned.
    Does this mean that Hamas goals are: the destruction of the Jewish state and the subjugation of the Jews under the rule of Islamic Sharia?
    3. Isn’t Hamas responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza by setting up rocket and mortar batteries in residential areas such as schools, hospitals, and using civilians as “human shields.”?

  15. December 30, 2008 at 21:41

    Does the Israeli Government expect the rest of the world to believe that the Dignity was accidently rammed, your Government is oppressing the Palestine People to the point that you are trying to block aid to these people and yet you do not expect them to retaliate? Wouldn’t you?

  16. December 31, 2008 at 00:13

    assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah
    I have three questions. 1) Was this the wrong time to retaliate with the firing of rockets into Israel? I thank that it was the wrong time, because now it is election season in Israel. The politicians are more likely to use extreme force against Palestine during such times. Both sides are in a position that neither can stand down. It will also be difficult to form an agreement that is agreeable for Palestine at this time. 2) During the first few days of the truce, what was your ability to control other groups like Islamic Jihad who were firing rockets into Israel?* 3) With so much destruction of the infrastructure that Palestine needs to be a viable state, is it possible for the people of Palestine to rebuild the roads, buildings, and other structures that a state needs to function?

    Mark Regev:
    It is hard for me to say much at this point. I wish that your country had more respect for international law and for human life. What measures could Israel take that it is not now doing that could enable Palestinians in Gaza to have more normal lives? Why did Israel choose not to allow sufficient goods through Gaza for basic human life during the truce, even before Islamic Jihad fired those rockets at the end of June?

    * Keeping in mind that it was Israel who fired the first shot during the truce at Palestinian farmers attempting to access their land on 20 June 2008.

  17. 17 Ramesh
    December 31, 2008 at 03:08

    To Hamas: What is the reason behind your starting this episode with rocket attacks on to Israel?
    To Israel: Do you think you can silence or wipe out Hamas in order to prevent further rocket and possibly more severe attacks by it?

  18. December 31, 2008 at 03:58

    My question to the Israeli Government 1) why have you attolerated Hamas for so long allowing them to fire misseles into Israel. 2) Have you now come to the conclusion to get rid of Hamas so that Fatah will be the dominant force for the palestinian people and it would be easier to negotiate peace with them??

  19. 19 louis elias
    December 31, 2008 at 06:00

    I would like to ask the hamas representative 2 questions
    1 why do your leaders hide when civilians cant take cover
    2Why does hamas leave rocket launchers next schools hospitals or where their are children thank you louis

  20. 20 Roberto
    December 31, 2008 at 09:42

    RE Hamas ” Hamas ”

    ———- Why is the basis of your organization the destruction of Israel?

    Why Is Hamas also at war with the majority of Palestinians? Will Hamas ever admit to being the instrument of self genocide of the Palestinian people?

    Why should anyone negotiate with Hamas if they won’t enforce a truce to begin peace settlements.

  21. 21 Nelson
    December 31, 2008 at 10:01

    The Israeli Government and Hamas keep doing the same things over and again but expect a different result each time. The world is alreadt used to this tit for tat games between these two parties. What does it cost to try out a different approach, something new to resolving this never ending conflict?

  22. 22 Sohail, Afghanistan
    December 31, 2008 at 10:03

    Dear BBC WorldHaveYourSay,

    Here are some questions for Hamas and Isreali government:

    1- Why did Hamas not extend the ceasefire after it got expired?

    2- How is it possible to make peace without recognizing Isreali existence?

    3- Can Isreal totally eradicate Hamas?

    4- Are there common grounds between Hamas and the Isreali Government that can help them negotiate and make a peace deal somehow?

    5- If a deal can be reached, can Hamas independently do it without needing Fatah in its side? Can Fatah and Hamas unite?

    6- Does Hamas admit some responsibilites for the murder of the innocent Palestinians since they had not extended the ceasfire that caused the Isreali attacks?

    7- If a peace deal cannot be reached, is it fair that innocent people in Palestine and Isreal die on the daily basis?

    8- Why does Hamas only responds militarily? Why not politically and diplomatically?

    9- Will Hamas recognize the State of Isreal in future? If they do not, how can they stop this bloodshed and genocide?

    10- Why does Isreal act so aggresively? Can they only stop killing the innocent civilians?

    I hope my questions find good answers.



  23. December 31, 2008 at 13:35

    What is meanings of strategy of enedgame,
    it mean crucial fight?
    it mean occupation permanently on Gaza strip?
    it mean end of palestine state?

  24. December 31, 2008 at 13:38

    Hi gang ! :-)… My question to the Israeli guest : Salaam… So what about innocent Palestinian civilians who are getting killed as a result of the operation the Israeli army is carrying out against Gaza ?! Seriously, what about them ?! Six months of ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, what good did that ceasefire bring to Gaza and its people ?! Just more blockade ?! More siege ?! More isolation ?! More starvation ?! More humanitarian disasters ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  25. December 31, 2008 at 13:42

    having seen the behave of Israel,
    i come to the conclusion that
    Israe has decided to take the war
    to its crucial point.

    United Nations is watching all
    but silent,

    We should admire the role being played by the United Kingdom in this war.

    The Philosophy of enedgame mean total occupation on Gaza strip.

  26. December 31, 2008 at 14:15

    I keep hearing the rationale that Israel is only doing what any civilized nation would do under the same circumstances. The mayor of NYC said that of course if rockets were being fired into NYC, we would respond as the Israelis are now in Gaza.

    But don’t you think this is an empty rationale? More importantly, Israel is in the position it is in because of its history and policies, not in spite of them.

    We might do the same immoral act under the same circumstances, but isn’t the point that we are not under those circumstances and Israel is because of its history and abuse of the very human rights that democracies are suppose to uphold?

  27. 27 nora in Santa Cruz, CA
    December 31, 2008 at 14:33

    Why does the Israeli Government bomb a police graduation when an effective investigative force made up of intelligent people would be required to help curtail the bomber cells?

    The bombings by Israel only encourage young people to quench their terror as the bombs fall with dreams of retaliation. Some go on to make war for belief, some for profit, some just because bombings have dominated their lives and the four guys that might form a band in peacetime form a pipe bomb club. The US government was unable to stop the Oklahoma City bombing of the federal building by a disaffected Iraq war veteran. Countless other acts of destruction were unstoppable because despair is relatively common and destruction is relatively easy. Farming, lasting architecture, not so easy. So..

    Why not focus on healing the malnourished, shocked and wounded? Why not sustainable agriculture and joint use projects that bring a new generation of Israelis and Palestinians into non-dogmatic, constructive contact?

    Are you both so caught up in wiping each other off the map because you cannot stand for the next generation to be different from you–raised in peace, attentive to the small repairs, giving away the extra tomatoes? It is unbearable to you to be the ones to stop it so that someone else gets a childhood, and is thus less understanding of your rages and wounded ideologies?

  28. 28 leti in palma
    December 31, 2008 at 14:43

    oh… this is all too depressing and already we’ve been here before.
    OK. Questions:

    1)Do the Israelis realise that their rage and hatred towards moslems may have more to do with their unconscious hatred of their own past? “Moslems “was the name that was given to the concentration camp victims who were close to death. Anyone explored this?

    2) do Hamas realise that they will HAVE to accept the presence of the Israelis in their neighbourhood because thats where the rest of the world wants them?

    3) Why are both sides so unwilling to negociate a settlement, when its totally clear (to any but themselves) that they are BOTH semitic races, BOTH sons of Abraham/Ibrahim and have much more in common than they want to admit?

    4)Does the whole world keep quiet because of its collective guilt about the holocaust, and if so, WHY are the moslems/palestinians paying for it, since they weren’t the instigators of the pogroms in the first place?

    and lastly, all my love and peace for 2009, notwithstanding the bombings
    Asalaam aleikum and shalom, paz y amor from spain..
    (a land where the 3 religions of the book managed to live quite well together for about 800 years , before christian fundamentalist extremists chucked the non christians out! But thats another argument)

  29. December 31, 2008 at 14:54

    Israel is like a house that was built wrongly, so it keeps falling down, harming people who live in it. Whoever the architects were, clearly they had very bad training.

  30. December 31, 2008 at 14:55

    To both,

    are the people firing rockets into Israel sponsored by the government? IF so, then shouldn’t Israel be able to go to a body such as the UN and get some kind of approval to remove the current regime. If Israel can not prove that the rockets are being fired by government sponsored sources, and then is it not a problem of policing? Shouldn’t Palestine be required to prove that they are searching for the perpetrators and bringing them to justice? Why are offenses made by individual sects not treated the same way we here in the states would treat a cult? It seems like there is this limbo game that is being played by both sides. The rockets are not sponsored by the government during the cease fire, but the Israelis are attacking them as if they are. That leads the government to claim support for these sectarian attacks after the fact. So which is it. Are the rocket attack state sponsored or not? If they are can we just get an open declaration of war by one side or the other?

  31. 31 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    December 31, 2008 at 14:57

    Regarding the hypothetical interventionary force I mentioned previously, it is doubtful that Hamas will trust either Israeli or US combatants to hold themselves to the gold standard I suggest.

    Assuming that it were a matter as easy as waving a magic wand and making it so, it might be interesting to see a force made up of German, Japanese and Chinese police intervention troops.

    Germany and Japan: for sophistication of weaponry. Not that they design that sort of thing these days, but they would surely qualify for its purchase.

    China: for the potential number of boots “on the ground,” not to mention their cost effectiveness. (sorry, that’s just the way it is. may God grant that the meek and the strength which grows out of poverty shall inherit the earth.)

  32. 32 Dan
    December 31, 2008 at 15:04

    For Hamas:
    “What land are you willing to give up to gain peace and nation status for Palestinian Arabs?”

    How about getting a direct answer and not a diatribe about what everyone else is doing to hurt Palestinians. The cry that “everybody is against me” is not only getting old but it is what grade school children say, not adults.

  33. 33 A;lby
    December 31, 2008 at 15:18

    1. What prevents Israel from leaving settlements and granting Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank a viable territory without purloining water, arable land, or roads for Israel?

    2. What does Israel know about Hamas’ internal power control over Gazans and how realistic is it that Gazans can democratically influence Hamas leaders and shell bombers?

    3. Does the Israeli government believe factions in Israeli politics following Jabotinsky’s Zionist writings which call for the end of the Palestinian people are destabilizing the peace process and have been doing so since Camp David and the first election of Benjamin Netanyahu? And, what is the government doing about that fact? Why are Israeli peace activists persecuted in Israeli society?

    4. Are Israeli citizens aware of the mounting loss of faith and disappointment amongst voters all over the world in nations that have been monetary supporters and trading partners of Israel? Is an isolated Israel a viable state for your children and their children? Can Israel survive without its annual aid payments from the US?

  34. 34 Art
    December 31, 2008 at 15:29

    Why has the Israeli government tried to prevent Gaza succeeding as a viable state ?

  35. 35 Art
    December 31, 2008 at 15:30

    Is it the Israeli policy to eventually wipe out the Palestinians ?

  36. 36 Alby
    December 31, 2008 at 15:34

    For Hamas:

    How realistic are your stated goals? What are your real goals right now?

    What kind of democratic process do women and young girls have in Gaza to tell your leaders what they think about your continued shelling?

    Will you allow UN election monitors to observe a public referendum concerning your continued shelling?

    What would your reaction be to a total exit by Israel from Settlements in the West Bank? and a dismantling of all access roads from Israel to the West Bank?

  37. 37 brinda Rao
    December 31, 2008 at 16:07

    To both:

    What is your definition of a peace ?

    What is it that you expect from each other ?

    Israel: What should Hamas do to end the conflict? What are your expectations?

    Hamas:What should Israel do to end the conflict? What are your expectations?

  38. 38 archibald in oregon
    December 31, 2008 at 16:24

    Why do you act justified as the oppressor, using the the excuse of being the victim, when there is clearly an imbalance of force? Do you think that Israel has become the “battered child”, that abuses its children? Why must you use Gaza like a cage and still wonder why there is violence? Are they not your brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, breathing the same air and farming the same soil?

  39. December 31, 2008 at 16:25

    For the Israeli spokesman:

    Can you name one conflict in the history of mankind when attacks such as yours have actually defeated a determined terrorist organisation or even weakend their spirit?

    Assuming your answer is “no” isn’t the motivation for you attack on Gaza far more about Israeli domestic politics and a desire to redeem your army’s image after the Lebanon fiasco rather than with any real prospect of victory?

  40. 40 Jack Sjein
    December 31, 2008 at 16:35

    Both Israel and its military and financial sponsor the USA are illegitimate states founded by terrorising the original inhabitants into defeat and continuing to steal their land and deny their human rights. If only Europe had the moral stature to stand up to them both, instead of continually funding the rebuilding of Palestinian infrastructure destroyed with free US weapons and undemocratic UN veto support. The whole fantasy of 2000-year old territorial rights is insane – otherwise the whole world would be in flames. Yes, I was born jewish, but the zionists made me too ashamed.

  41. 41 Ramesh
    December 31, 2008 at 16:41

    May be, I am crazy, but I have a simple solution for Palestine problem! Name hamas controlled Gaza as Palestina and let Israel and Palestina recognise each other. All pending disputes should be solved through UN mediation. No more violence from each side. See, how easy it is to achieve peace! Who is crazy, by the way? me or …….??

  42. 42 samirah from dubai
    December 31, 2008 at 16:52

    Why don’t they both leave each other alone and mind their own business. Administor ur own states and let the other do the samem The entire world is at a mess just because of them 2. Every issue has its root down there the entire globe gets shaken by problemz their side.

    My question to both of them is….. WHAT DO YOU WANT??? Is minding ur own business too difficult for both??? Letting everyone in peace is that difficult for them both??

    Everyone is answerable for their own deedz to GOD, so why poke ur nose in each otherz business

  43. 43 John in Salem
    December 31, 2008 at 17:06

    Once again Israel is allowing itself to be baited into another lopsided military escalation with all the resulting world condemnation.
    How about something different this time? The world hasn’t paid much attention to the Qassam rockets that have been fired into Israel for years, so how about if Israel just starts supplying Qassam rockets to every citizen living within 20 miles of Gaza and let them shoot back?
    Since neither side seems interested in a solution this would allow the conflict to continue for centuries on a lower, more manageable scale and the world could focus on things that CAN be solved.

  44. 44 Steve
    December 31, 2008 at 17:07

    @ Bob

    The British stopped the Thuggis in India.

  45. 45 leti in palma
    December 31, 2008 at 17:09

    what did I say that was unacceptable??
    All I ask is if there is some kind of psychological imperative for the seemingly unceasing hate/fear and loathing between these peoples?

    Obviously there are some people who will censor a question just because it appears to be off the wall.
    BUT I ask again…is there an unconscious reason why the hate of moslems?

    And AGAIN I ask, why does the rest of the world keep silent (relatively) if its not because of its implicit guilt about the holocaust, and WHY should the palestinians bear the brunt when (I repeat) they were NOT responsible for the pogroms?

    Does this get on someone’s nerves or are you just a bigot?

  46. 46 Barry Shaw
    December 31, 2008 at 17:09

    Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a bloody coup against the elected Fatah Goverment of Palestine.
    With Hamas in control and threatening to take over the West Bank no peace deal is possible between Israel and a Palestinian Authority.
    What if the aim of the Israeli Government is to remove Hamas and allow President Abu Mazen to impose law and order in Gaza?
    Surely the end result of the current campaign will bring real hope for a true peace based on the two-state solution that most rational people desire?

  47. December 31, 2008 at 17:15

    What could Israel do in economic terms to help Gaza farmers etc to bring about real economic change to help build and rebuild the Gaza Strip?

    This I feel is a legitimate question because, as far as I can see, either sides are being picked or you are asked to pick sides. The circle of violence will not end until there is something positive to actually begin to talk about.

    Bring about a normality other than that of conflict. The division of the Palestinian people needs to be healed so that they can move forward as one people and negotiate a peace that applies to all.

  48. 48 J in Portland
    December 31, 2008 at 17:32

    It appears that both sides just keep shooting at each other with out any real progress.

    1. Why do they continue with an obviously failing methodology that gets them no where? People just continue to die, on both sides.

    2. Is there something that the both side’s leaders are gaining by these ongoing attacks….something the rest of us are just not aware of?

    Neither side is looking very intelligent or like very good people, I don’t support either side.

  49. 49 viola
    December 31, 2008 at 17:33

    For Hamas: Why do you think Israel should agree to a ceasefire If Hamas and Hamas supporters will not stop firing rockets into Israel?

    For Israeli spokesman: What is Israel’s stance with regard to Palestinians who lost their homes when Israel was created?

    For both: What do you hope to gain from this on-going warfare?

    Please, no propagandistic rants.


  50. December 31, 2008 at 17:48

    The Holocaust was committed by Germans and other Europeans. Why should Palestinians pay for that crime with their land?

  51. 51 JA incognito
    December 31, 2008 at 18:04

    To Israel:

    I am an American taxpayer. In the film Occupation 101, I was told, if I recall correctly, that Israel receives roughly $10,000 per capita in foreign aid from the United States. Why are you spending my money so harmfully on weapons of massive firepower? (and bulldozers)

    Israel is uniquely privileged to purchase the most sophisticated weapons the US sells to its allies. It also claims to have good intelligence on the Hamas *targets* at any given time and place. And yet so many innocent civilians have been killed, and will “regrettably”continue to be killed by this state of the art in modern warfare.

    Is this really a wise use of my tax dollars? How many well trained military police, whose prime directive would be to demonstrate that America and her allies place the human rights of innocents above the lives of its own combatants, and to also demonstrate that our target is the weapons of war, not the people caught up in its wake?

    Please figure that out and THEN send us the bill. I believe too many people have been sold on the pretext of the lie that peace does come through strength. (of superior military hardware)

  52. 52 James
    December 31, 2008 at 18:09

    How does Mr Regev explain the apparrent duplicity of those in the international community who condemn Israeli attacks against Hamas and yet remain silent on on the attacks against the Taliban in Afghanistan in whcih many more thousands of civilians have been killed?

  53. 53 Justin Durueke
    December 31, 2008 at 18:11

    I would like to ask the Israeli government. What if Hamas continues firing rockets despite the Israeli airstrike, are we going to see a ground operation by IDF?

    Justin Durueke
    Seattle, WA

  54. 54 J in Portland
    December 31, 2008 at 18:14

    This ‘defensive position’ that Mr. Regev is claiming, is certainly the same as the Hamas can claim.

    I don’t understand if both sides keep shooting how does anyone expect anything different or to have a non-defensive claim to be made. I think both sides are behaving in an offensive position and not in a defensive position.

  55. 55 Nate, Portland, OR
    December 31, 2008 at 18:15

    I know its difficult to put yourself in the other’s shoes when there’s so much bad blood between the two sides, but I’d like to ask Mr. Regev to attempt to put himself in the shoes of the Palestinians briefly. Given the crippling restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of Palestinian territory, what stake do Palestinians have in a peaceful status quo? What can they actively do to achieve some peace and security? If they stop launching attacks, Israel has basically what it wants but all the potential benefits to the Palestinians are dependent on Israel. The Palestinians have many reasons to not trust that those benefits will be delivered in a thorough and timely manner. Without terrorism, what leverage over Israel do they have?

    I ask this as a supporter of Israel who finds Hamas to be despicable on every level.

  56. 56 Karwolo
    December 31, 2008 at 18:15


    Why wouldn’t you give the people of Gaza the freedoms that you yourself seek? We all understand that you are occupying their land so you should you at least show some compassion on the people you opress and lift the blockade. Give them a chance to move around their country freely and allow them to control their own ports. Failure to do any of this is an effort to commit genocide. If you won’t leave the land at least share it and take efforts for a one state solution like they have in South Africa. End the apathied, end the genocide.

  57. 57 Max Freeman
    December 31, 2008 at 18:17

    Mr. Regev, as the basis of this conflict is one of territory and resources could you please (avoiding any faith based justifications) explain why Israelis have a special right to the land in the Gaza/Israel region that Palestinians of any faith seem to lack in your nations world view.

    Thank you kindly, may we all find peace in our lives.

  58. 58 Njenga
    December 31, 2008 at 18:21

    Does the Israeli guest actually think that many of us around the World are not aware of what life is like for Palestinians…I am surprised that you misrepresent your actions and justify the killings….Please tell me.. do you not see that you are in todays world an oppressor…can you imagine Jews living under occupation today…I have always felt that the world failed the Jews during the holocust…and am sorry for that….I do however think that Israel must understand that to many of us the only words that can describe Israels actions today are apartheid…genocide..holocust…get real and stop repeating history…all people have a right to be free

  59. December 31, 2008 at 18:23

    Happy New Year, WHYSers!

    Will send a question, later! Best wishes for 2009!

  60. 60 Njenga
    December 31, 2008 at 18:23

    please do not censor my comments to the Israelis representative…he deserves to be asked questions while understanding that many of us are informed people…thank you in advance for not censoring my comments

  61. 61 steve
    December 31, 2008 at 18:27

    Why doesn’t the Israel guest just read from the Hamas charter? They spell out clearly they will never negotiate or make peace with ISrael, they want to destroy ISrael AND to kill jews, not just zionists. They base their beliefs off the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Their Charter shows how irrational and insane they really are. Why doesn’t Israel mention this?

  62. 62 Mason in Utah
    December 31, 2008 at 18:28

    Would the government of Israel ever accept an international regime, or multi-religious control (similar to the Vatican but incorporating Christian, Jewish, and Muslim representatives) over Jerusalem?  If so, why has it never been seriously pursued.  If not, will the Israeli government finally acknowledge that the underlying goal of the 1967 war was to capture territory they could not get a hold of in 1949, and to hold on to it at all cost?

  63. December 31, 2008 at 18:28

    It seems that Hamas are Fatah are in deep disagreement over their approach to peace negotiations with Israel. Does Israel envisage a two state solution, with one state in Gaza, the other in the West Bank? If the worst comes to the worst, will the West Bank be granted statehood while waiting for a settlement of the situation in Gaza?

  64. 64 gary
    December 31, 2008 at 18:31

    Has it not occurred to the both of you that so long as each state’s existence is predicated upon the anihilation of the other, you are both failed states? How much do think the world actually cares for you sufferings? It is common sense that the very best thing about other peoples’ problems is that they are, in fact, other peoples’ problems. This thought about your welfare guides most of humanity.
    For Hamas: What have your two billion brethren helped you do other than to die? As you balance your existence on your finger nails, so you must question the motives of those who would “help” you. Someone may win this battle; but everyone on the battlefield loses, and you are on the frontline.
    For Israel: You are a tiny country who has learned to roar. In the sweep of history, roaring has never been sufficient. Your actions entail costs that are remitted by others. Why should they continue to do this?

  65. 65 Chris Flannagan
    December 31, 2008 at 18:32

    Wouldn’t it be easier to administer humanitarian aid by temporarily ceasing the bombardment of Gaza? Since Hamas has agreed to stop bombing provided Israel also stops bombing, I don’t see why Israel is refusing a temporary cease fire. Can you explain the rationale, please?

  66. December 31, 2008 at 18:34

    Your guest has asked a number of times why Hamas cancelled the cease fire and paints a picture of a long-suffereing Israeli state.

    I’d be interested in his reaction to this report which says that the vast majority of cease fire violations were by the Israelis: http://www.imemc.org/article/55700

    This, of course, is before we get into the continuing blockade of Gaza which was supposed to end with the cease fire.

  67. 67 M. Carter
    December 31, 2008 at 18:35

    If the Israelis want peace, as they claim, why have they continued to allow the building of settlements all these years?

  68. 68 Michelle, California
    December 31, 2008 at 18:36

    I wish to express my grief and outrage at the criminal bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli government. I wish the Palestinian residents of Gaza and the West Bank as well as muslims around the world to be aware that there are white Americans – both Christians and Jews who oppose America’s support of Israel’s actions in Gaza now and historically, who oppose Israel’s criminal occupation of Palestine and who stand with Palestinians in solidarity for their liberation and peace.

  69. 69 Ruth
    December 31, 2008 at 18:37

    Blockading the Gaza Strip by Israel is violence which is the root cause of the retaliation by Hamas. When you deprive a people of the necessities of life, you are committing gross violence.
    I find it difficult to listen to the spokesman of the Israeli government, since most of it is scripted and double speak. Of course they are defensive, they are committing genocide. Please note that the word genocide has been used by the United Nations in reference to the Israelis gross aggression against the people of Gaza.

  70. 70 James McCormick
    December 31, 2008 at 18:38

    We have heard what Israel should not do. But I sincerely ask what should Israel DO to stop the missile attacks. What would you do if you were in charge? I ask this particularly of those who are critical of Israel, mostly my fellow lefties.

  71. 71 Roberto
    December 31, 2008 at 18:39

    RE “” explain why Israelis have a special right to the land in the Gaza/Israel region that Palestinians of any faith seem to lack in your nations world view.

    ——- Last I checked, Israel gave control over Gaza to Gazans, which they used to stage rocket fire into Israel

    15% of Israelic citizens are Palestinians, many land owners. Much higher % of Palestinian citizens than can be found Jewish citizens in surrounding Arab lands.

    My next questions to Hamas: Would you allow Israelis to resettle the lands they gave you?Would you accept Israeli humanitarian assisstance and technical help to sort out your fractured economy and infrastructure? Why can’t Israeli citizens travel freely in Gaza?

  72. 72 Bill
    December 31, 2008 at 18:43

    Given that Hamas will not stop active opposition until Israel completely goes away as a Nation-State one way or another. Also given is that Hamas enjoys fairly wide internal support (or at least tacit permission) within Gaza and among Palestinians (whether or not under completely voluntary conditions).

    One reason for that support is that Hamas provides government and NGO-type services (education, health care and hospitals, food, banking, financial, etc.).

    Suggestion: that Israel offer (with United nations guarantees) in-kind services, and do the things that were offered by the G-8 following the Annapolis talks? I suspect many Palestinians are fearful of a support vacuum should Hamas be defeated, suppressed, or unempowered by Palestinians themselves.

  73. 73 Fred S.
    December 31, 2008 at 18:44

    Karwolo and Njenja, you have asked my question! 🙂 Now the answer please? We also know that 50% of the present State of Israel is stolen land. When will this be given back?

    And Jack Sjein, well said. Without the support of the biggest terrorist state in the world today, none of this would have happened.

  74. 74 Lohrasb
    December 31, 2008 at 18:44

    Israel is the forth largest military power in the world, yet, since the installation of a Hamas-led government, it has imposed a blockade n the Gaza strip, under the pre-text of “The Hamas-led government does not recognise Israel’s right to exist!”

    The forth largest military power in the world is afraid of a bunch of Klashnikov and mortar fire men, not recognising it????!!!!!
    It sounds like the Israeli public and the government are in desperate need of counselling for paranoia!!!!!!

  75. 75 Phil
    December 31, 2008 at 18:46

    The timing of these Israeli criminal actions is not without significance. These are the last days of the Bush regime, where Israel has been allowed to get away with murder.

    There is NO justification for the scale of these attacks.Israelis must come to see that…….. most of the rest of the world has already expressed its disgust.

  76. 76 steve
    December 31, 2008 at 18:48

    Apartheid? Might I suggest some of these false claimers visit Haifa and dare say Apartheid?

  77. 77 vijay
    December 31, 2008 at 18:50

    Mr.Regev isn’t there an election coming up in Israel and this offensive is just an attempt by the ruling coalition to get votes by attacking Hamas.

    Isn’t Israel settling scores with hamas now because these are the last few days of the neocon pro Israel US President GW Bush and the new President Barack Obama will not allow Israel to behave in this manner in the future .The USA after all holds the purse strings

    Happy New Year WHYers from India.
    i hear former presenter Anu anand is expecting a child in 2009,one more Indian to add to the 1.1 billion.

  78. 78 Corinna, Florida
    December 31, 2008 at 18:50

    One major reason for struggles in Israel / Palestine is the illogical & unfair distribution of land. Why are Palestinians cooped up in isolated pockets, unable to freely travel from one territory to another.

    Wouldn’t it be more logical & just to divide the land according to population? X% of Palestinians get X % of land – continous land, not pockets.

    Furthermore, to be just to all 3 religions represented by Jerusalem, shouldn’t it be like Vatican City – a separate entity from any country?

  79. 79 steve
    December 31, 2008 at 18:51

    @ Loharbs

    What do you want Israel to do? Not respond, just allow their civilians be attacked? Why do you only expect this from Israel?

    And I ask you, if Israel is just evil, why aren’t they attacking the West Bank? That’s right, because there is no rocket fire coming from there, because Hamas is not in control there.

  80. 80 Gerry
    December 31, 2008 at 18:52

    How does Israelis, occupying Palestinian land, armed to the teeth, backed by a superpower, who have killed Palestinians in a ratio of 10:1, manage again and again to present themselves as the victims?

  81. 81 Lyn
    December 31, 2008 at 18:52

    There will never be peace without a one state solution, one secular government that honestly represents all the peoples of the region. Not Islamic or Zionist, a secular state including the West Bank, Israel and Gaza.
    (maybe under the name of New Canaan)

  82. 82 Max Freeman
    December 31, 2008 at 18:52

    RE Mr. Regev’s comment justifying the existence and authority of Israel under the basis of them being “the best democracy” in the Arab region.

    How can you have a democracy, when it’s existence is marked by the suppression and separation of dissident parties?

  83. December 31, 2008 at 18:53

    Listening toMark Regev’s answers I think there must be political solutions through negotiations and not by Hamas Qassam rockets and Israeli destructive and deadly air attacks.

    What can solve the Palestinian problem is democracy among the Palestinians and fruitful negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

  84. 84 Njenga
    December 31, 2008 at 18:56

    Mark…Thank you for speaking….you have a gift of turning all questions back to Hamas…the more you speak the more horrified I am…What happened to your SOUL…your self righeous attitude helps me understand first you do not answer direct questions about Israel instead you bring up Hamas therefore avoiding the question….
    As for creating hate for Israel I think Isarelis should be concerned about the hate they are creating for themselves…I am not from the middleast but I have developed something close to it for Israel..

  85. 85 Kit in Edinburgh
    December 31, 2008 at 18:57

    My question for Ehud Olmert:

    Given that Hamas hides behind the civilian population of Gaza and uses Israeli air strikes to increase its popularity, how do you intend to achieve a total military victory against Hamas?

  86. 86 Bob in Oregon, US
    December 31, 2008 at 18:58

    Do the Gazians have any legitimate complaints against Israel and if so, what are they from your point of view?

  87. 87 Vince
    December 31, 2008 at 19:02

    Very simple question for Hamas. Does your government recognize Israel and their right to exist. Yes or no.

  88. 88 Geoff Gibson, Los Angeles, California, USA
    December 31, 2008 at 19:02

    Just a simple question to HAMAS:

    Don’t you feel it’s about time to set aside the weapons and at least try to solve porblems diplomatically either through a regional, Middle Eastern coalition, direct talks with Israel, or through the U.N.?

    I understand it may be frustrating as it is an extremely slow proposition but surely the negative international press isn’t helping anything.

  89. December 31, 2008 at 19:04

    My questions for Hamas are simple:
    1. Why did you break the peace agreement?
    2. Do you really believe Israel should be wiped off the map?
    3. In today’s interview with Mark Regev, we heard that Hamas is oppressing freedom of speech of its citizens. One of the callers questioning Regev sure seemed afraid to criticize Hamas. So, is Hamas oppressing freedom of speech of its citizenry?

  90. 90 steve
    December 31, 2008 at 19:05

    @ Lyn

    Do you really think that a fanatical group like Hamas would want to live in a secular state? WE need realistic solutions here! Israel is a fact. People like you and Hamas need to accept it.

  91. 91 Michel Norman
    December 31, 2008 at 19:05

    No other country on earth would put up with what we have had for the last years – We provide electricity to Hammas who are firing rockets at the Power station, We take in their wounded and they fire at the hospital that is treating them. Has any other country in the history of mankind supplied things to an entity that has declared war on it? Are we insane?

  92. December 31, 2008 at 19:06

    Phil, how come you’re not decrying the fact that Hamas unilaterally broke the peace agreement?

  93. 93 Joy Wolfe
    December 31, 2008 at 19:08

    Can anyone explain why many in the media keep saying that no supplies are reaching Gaza, yet there is clear evidence that lorrlyloads of humanitarian aid is passing through the checkpoint on a daily basis, and the World Food Programme has said they will not be taking in any more food at teh moment as their warehouses are full and they have two weeks’ worth of supplies
    Is this yet another attempt to demonise Israel and deceive the world?

  94. 94 Maria from Cyprus
    December 31, 2008 at 19:27

    Question for mark regev ‘why did the israeli authorities ram the huumanitarian ship Destiny yesterday putting activists in danger and preventing the delivery of humanitarian goods to Gaza?.’

  95. 95 james coburn
    December 31, 2008 at 19:27

    Are outdated religions the fundamental problem ?

    1. Do Islamic or Jewish ideologues really believe that there is any hope of a just peace without a renewal of religion based on modern day needs rather than worn out dogmas ? ( ie – “eye for an eye” , “chosen people” “holy war” etc )

    2. What kind of principles would allow all people in the area, of whatever religion or backgroundr, to live together with equal rights, with justice ( compensation) for those who have been uprooted ( the Palestians ) and safeguards for those whose ancestors have been persecuted ( the Jews) ? .

  96. 96 Dave White
    December 31, 2008 at 19:29

    Your guest says the people in targeted areas should move away; my question is to where should they move. With closed borders at Egypt and checkpoints at Israel and gunboats patroling the sea; where should the people of Gaza go to get away from Israel’s attacks?

  97. 97 Richard
    December 31, 2008 at 19:30

    how about taking calls of israelis
    or people who oppose hamas.
    or asking why hamas threw away the ceasfire

    u just interview palestinians shouting how their suffering but not why they support hamas.

  98. 98 Ulric in Brussels
    December 31, 2008 at 19:32

    Dear BBC,
    I think a major question on you call-in programme was not answered, and I fail to understand why your moderator did not insist on it being answered : why does Israël not respect UN resolutions and continue building new communities on Palestinian land according to international law ?

    Thank you .

  99. 99 John LaGrua/New York
    December 31, 2008 at 19:48

    To Hamas : What is the point of provoking the Jews when you know that they will retaliate with overwhelming force causing terrible casualties to your people.?Might not non-violence resistance have more effect than ineffectual homemade rockets.? Don’t you see that loose cannon groups harm your cause? Why are your fellow Arabs so impotent in showing active support for Palestinians? To Isreal :Don’t you see that ultimately your terror bombing will erode any residual simpathy for your enterprise ? The combination of Isreali spies in the US and te undermining of the integrity of the US Congrees by the intimidation tasctics of the Isreal Lobby and the corruption of the US media by the Lobby could restoke fires of anti semitism as well as a demand for the end of military and financial support to Isreal ..Could Isreal survive without US support ? Are you so confident this display brutal retaliation vs the Palestinians won’t ultimately brand Isreal as the ironic successor to the Nazis . Is Gaza different from the Warsaw ghetto or lidice ?Are you gambling that that if you cause a regional explosion that the American public would stand for US military involvement after the Iraq debacle which your neo-cons supporters so effectively promoted to a mindless Bush?

  100. 100 ryan
    December 31, 2008 at 19:49

    @ Richard

    supporting Hamas is a human right that should not be punished by death, Think republicans in America, Iranians in Iran.

    again Hamas did not break a ceasefire it had expired, how do yo break whats already expired, i would give you facts of where Israel, broke an in place valid agreement, but for fear of big brother and the delete button, i actually pray this makes it to you.

    4 people don’t deserve to die, 400 people dont deserve to die equally so, from fire power, or lack of basics.

    reason for supporting hamas, well try the only party standing up to the siege and land grab.

  101. 101 steve
    December 31, 2008 at 19:56

    Happy New Year BBC staff!

  102. 102 Jyotindra
    December 31, 2008 at 20:07

    If both the communities claim to be God’s people and they can not live in peace where is their God? – The conflict has been going on for so long that it has divided the world in two and that is a real recepe for the third world war (God forbid!). The Jews and Palestinians are like two banks of a river, the two can never meet.

  103. 103 javed
    December 31, 2008 at 20:28

    first u have to change the way of dealing the situation. this is the war between Hamas and Israel but between Israel and Palestine cause Hamas gov. is elected gov. Now question to Israel’
    why you do not respect the life of innocent Palestine and human being.

  104. 104 haider meghjee
    December 31, 2008 at 21:16

    even south africa had sin city

  105. 105 elad
    December 31, 2008 at 21:54

    @ ART

    It is no secret that there is no much love between Israel and the Hamas, and that Israel is indeed not interested in seeing the Hamas succeeds. Yet you wrong in saying that Israel didn’t want to see Gaza succeeds. Other than being a valuable trading partner, every Israeli government (right, left or center) would like it southern towns and cities to live in peace and not deal with a daily barrage of rockets.
    Israel genuinely prayed when they withdrew from Gaza, that the tranquility would hold there, as it ended for good any territorial claims on the strip. For a short while it looked promising – billions of dollars were committed to the Palestinians from the Golf states and Europe, and plans where made to build new universities, housing projects, and industrial parks. For this very purpose Israel even left in tact all the utilities in its former settlements. Yet, the first to take over this priceless real estate weren’t the developers but the Hamas (back then – not in power yet) and Jihadic Islam – which converted the places to training camps and front rockets launching sites. And right there – this Israeli unilateral “experiment” and the Palestinians’ first golden chance in history to prove to the world that they are capable to self-govern, prosper, and coexist peacefully – all went in flames.


  106. December 31, 2008 at 21:57

    Why does Hamas use Arab civilians as human shields? Why do Hamas operatives hide behind Arab civilians to attack Israeli civilians? Isn’t it true that Israel values the lives of Arab civilians more than Hamas does, since Israel destroys Hamas’ rocket launchers with sophisticated surgical strikes to minimize the number Arab civilians killed, whereas Hamas intentionally positions its rocket launchers next to schools and homes to intentionally maximize the number of Arab civilians killed?

  107. 107 Dan Linck
    December 31, 2008 at 22:22

    Mousa Abu Marzouk,
    “Do you realized that the Hamas’ position that the rockets raining down on Isreal are launched from Gaza by Isreali operatives to provide cover and justification for the Genocide of Palestinians is as difficult for outsiders to believe as Elvis Presley still being alive? Dan

  108. 108 Bert
    December 31, 2008 at 23:19

    There’s no question that will get a credible, honest answer, I’m afraid.

    Certainly, religious fundamentalism is at the bottom of even this conflict too. What else is new? The other insurmountable problem is that Hamas has no intention of having peace with Israel. Whenever there’s a glimmer of hope that peace might be possible, EVERY TIME, Hamas makes sure it won’t happen.

    Someone tried to use a lame article to “prove” that Israel broke the truce first. Nonsense. Israeli soldiers were scaring people away from the border in those instances, not trying to kill anyone. And, in fact, they didn’t, even though a few were injured. As opposed to what the rockets lobbed into Israel are intended to do.

    Hamas cannot expect that Israel will stand by idle as they keep firing hundreds of rockets into Israel. It would be like asking Britain not to retaliate in WWII, as the Germans lobbed their buz bombs into London. The people of Gaza should take that up with their Hamas leadership, and THEN they would get the support of the rest of the world. As things are now, aside from the humanitarian aspects of the tragic situation, I don’t see how Gazans can get unqualified support. Is it possible that Gazans don’t get this? I don’t believe it.

  109. 109 BillChin
    January 1, 2009 at 00:58

    …Somebody should equip the Palestinians with F16’s, Apache helicopters and tanks; and train them to be ‘more surgical’ in their strikes. Then maybe 400 Israelis will die, instead of 4 from the home-made rockets that they launch into Israeli territory. mostly missing their targets…

    Surely, such a strategy/policy would accord with any standard of equal opportunity to kill, right of self-defence, and social justice.

  110. January 1, 2009 at 01:20

    bismellah ar-rahman ar-raheem,

    my question and concern is this.

    During the recent media blitz on American media we were told that Hamas had been sending rocket fire for the past 2 months. In the interview with Mark Regev he said that it has been ongoing for 9 months.
    Which is it?
    Did the rocket fire start because of the sanctions by Israel or because of hate? I would clearly agree that a government must take action if another government is keeping food, water, medicine, etc. from entering the region, but if it is for another reason, I would question that motive.

    may God guide us all.

  111. January 1, 2009 at 04:13

    I would like to ask your guest to imagine that the whole area has been living in peace for five years… now draw the borders.

  112. 112 Debendra singh(Nepal)
    January 1, 2009 at 08:01

    innocents should not be punished for the fault of hamas.

    To Hamas: you say that you are the government of Gaza so u should think welfare of Palestinians and to do so why don’t you stop voilance by sining ceasefire with israle.

  113. January 1, 2009 at 09:26

    Hi. Why don’t you stop slaughtering each other ?Violence only breeds more violence! We have seen too much bloodshed. We want to see peace in Israel – on both sides, where we can see children playing together – Palestinians and Israelis in a peaceful environment. We cannot have peace in the world until there is peace in Jerusalem. You must turn your swords into plowshares and your spears into pruning hooks and not learn war anymore. God Bless you all.

  114. 114 Colin
    January 1, 2009 at 10:38

    To Bob in Queensland:
    You ask: “name one conflict in the history of mankind when attacks such as yours have actually defeated a determined terrorist organisation or even weakend their spirit?”
    Well, it stopped Hitler and Napoleon, didn’t it.
    Then, the threat of such attacks stopped Socialist Russia from enslaving more of Europe.
    In USA, Al Capone and his ilk would not have been stopped without similar force.
    On the other hand, “Chamberlaining” has not stopped Castro, Mugabe and Hamas from enslaving their own citizens.

  115. 115 Phil
    January 1, 2009 at 12:46


    “The Jews and Palestinians are like two banks of a river, the two can never meet.”

    Very well said.

    Each side just doesn’t trust the other: Israel’s main complaint being Hamas’s rocket attacks. It’s true that the rockets, and mortars, have been persistant, but extremely ineffective.

    This year, there were 2,660 attacks up to the ‘ceasefire’ on June 19th, at a rate of approx. 400 a month. This dropped to approx.10 per month afterwards. These attacks resulted in 3 Israeli deaths, from January – November, 2008. The only Israelis killed since the ceasefire started were the 3 killed by a bulldozer in Jerusalem.

    Many, if not most, of these incidents already led to Israeli reprisal attacks.

    Over the last 7 years, in total, there have been around 12 deaths from rockets and mortars. During the same period, over 5,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces – 80% were civilians.

    So, the attacks are more an ‘inconvenience’ than a serious threat to Israel, at the same time as the whole population of Gaza is held, besieged, by Israeli forces.

    The new air assault has left over 400 Palestinians dead and 2000 wounded: 1 more Israeli woman has been killed from the increased rate of Hamas rocket attacks..

    Can this new assault be justified, in any way? Is it even sensible to think it can bring a positive result?

    (Sources: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1866466,00.html, http://www.mepc.org/resources/mrates.asp I’m open to correction.)

  116. January 1, 2009 at 14:27

    For Hamas: We live in a modern world in which international relations are governed by peace treaties, international summits and conferences, and international law as mediated through the Geneva conventions, human rights charters, and the ground rules set by the United Nations. However, Hamas (as stated in your charter) rejects all this and rules out the very possibility of peace with Israel. You declare your aim to be the destruction of Israel and the creation of a wide Palestinian Islamic state. You employ concepts from the earliest period of Islam, such as jihad and hudna, you cite ahadith and Quranic ayat that call, among other things, for the killing of all Jews. To most people, this is despicable, since it condemns both Israelis and Palestinians to continuous warfare. Isn’t it time to wake up to modern realities and to guarantee some sort of future for your own people?

  117. January 1, 2009 at 14:43

    Hi WHYSers!

    Happy New Year to all, especially Ros and his hard working team of on-air presenters and producers! Great work in 2008. Now to an even more fabulous 2009!

    Allow me to say that, that there is a difficulty getting a one hour sit down with Hamas’ leaders compared to Mark Regev’s appearance on the show yesterday speaks volumes to the lopsided nature of this war. Mr. Regev commented to one of the callers yesterday that, Israel does care about the international community’s impressions of her (?) in the current crisis, as reflected in the carving out of an hour of his time for the programme.

    With respect, however, I must disagree with him in this regard. Surely, Israel cares to the extent that they were able to address some of the issues on the BBC. However, it is also clear that this is a public relations strategy – one of the new developments in modern warfare. The US used the same strategy in selling the war to leaders of the ‘Arab World’, at the beginning of the second Iraq War. This is a statement of Israel’s power in this instance. They are able to commandeer a certain kind of attention which is not equivalent to Hamas’ capabilities, as evidenced in the blurb at the top, today. A classic remake (?) of the David and Goliath Story, in some respects, in terms of the unevenly matched nature of the opponents.

    So, my questions to Hamas are:

    – What will it take to stop rocket attacks on Israel, if this is what is required to get Israel to end all strikes on Gaza?
    – Do you trust that Israel will call a cease fire if you end all rocket attacks against her?
    – How comfortable are you with the characterisation of Hamas as a terrorist organisation, in particular by the outgoing Bush Administration?

  118. January 1, 2009 at 14:48

    Both President-Elect Obama and Secretary of State Nominee Hilary Clinton said, during last year’s campaign, that Hamas is basically the bad guy here, and that Israel has a right to take all necessary steps at its disposal to end the rocket attacks against her. Mrs. Clinton, in particular, noted that there is to be no meeting by the US with groups like yours without conditions and an end to the violence from you.

    What expectations, if any, do you have of this new US Administration in bringing peace to this conflict?

    Are you confident that the historical conflict(s) between yourself and Israel can end? If so, how and when might this happen?

    How much legitimate support does Hamas have in Gaza and the rest of the Region, and how much of a threat is that to the existence of an Israeli state?

    Can all the players cooperate to achieve stability in the Region? Is that something that is even desired, possible or likely?

  119. 119 Mark
    January 1, 2009 at 15:19

    Please ask the Hamas representative the following 2 questions. 1) Answer yes or no, does Hamas believe Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish State?
    2) What is the Hamas definition of occupied territory? Please be specific on all land you feel is “occupied”.

  120. 120 Judie
    January 1, 2009 at 15:56

    1. When Israel withdrew from Gaza, it left a base for a strong, economic state. It included greenhouses from a thriving agriculture business and a Mediterranean shoreline that was a prime tourist attraction.
    Since gaining control of the government of Gaza, what has Hamas accomplished to help the Palestinian residents achieve economic independence?

    2. What has Hamas done to improve the lives of the Palestinians of Gaza so they are no longer totally dependent on charity from other countries or the UN.

  121. 121 Bruce
    January 1, 2009 at 15:59

    Why is Palestinian military armament established in or next to civilian apartments, mosques, schools, hospitals?

  122. 122 Bob from Florida
    January 1, 2009 at 16:01

    Bert is correct I am afraid. But please don’t let Hamas off the hook with answers that are evasive, non specific and off topic as was done in the previous interview with the Taliban.

    Happy New Year.

  123. 123 Michael
    January 1, 2009 at 16:24

    Yesterday the Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Natanyahu led a tour of foreign journalists to the site of rocket attacks in Beersheba.
    He was asked by a British journalist about the death of one Mrs. Shitrit killed by one of those rocket attacks as opposed to the three hundred civilians killed in Gaza.
    What the reporter failed to say was that from the Lebanese War of 1982 to the present day, the rockets used by the Arabs are stored in private homes and garages with no concern for the inhabitants` safety.
    This was true for Hizbullah in the Second Lebanese War and is true for the current conflict today.
    Hamas has spent eight years building its arsenal. Israel withdrew from the settlements in Gaza to allow the Palestinians to run the area as they wished. The former settlements were turned into military camps and the agriculture that the Israelis had cultivated destroyed as being Zionist. Instead of building a Palestinian state, Hamas has devoted its energies to destroying the Fatah entity and buying rockets and mortars to attack Israel. This is to the detriment of the Palestinian man in the street who has to rely on handouts from the international N.G.O.`s., instead of building with the same monies, a Palestinian state of which to be proud.
    As an ex Londoner who experienced Hitler`s Blitzkreig in the 1940`s, I sympathise with the people of the Israeli town of Sderot, who for eight years have had to withstand daily rocket attacks. There is a limit to which any people of any country can withstand.

  124. 124 The JAG
    January 1, 2009 at 16:30

    Why does Hamas use Palestinian civilians as human shields (against International law), utilizing homes, schools and community centers as launching pads. Hamas describes it’s massive action of several 1000 rockets fired at civilians as “resistance” whilst Israel’s attacks on terrorist targets are described as “massacres”. Why does Hamas think they deserve any respect for their actions?

  125. 125 sarah
    January 1, 2009 at 16:38

    I´d just like to say that I am horrified that there should be such strength of feeling in favour of the terrorist group Hamas occupying ( thanks to international pressure on the Israeli government ) Israel´s gaza strip.You may say that public feeling goes out to the ordinary people living in gaza not Hamas – then applaud Israel in her quest to free them from this rule of terror and hate-propaganda they are fed every day.
    Perhaps because the UN has ” helped ” to install a terrorist power within the borders of a democratic nation ( Land for peace ) their own pride won´t allow them to support Israel in her fight to protect herself. This is scary when the world´s leaders are so hypocritical and unable to admit their peace plan didn´t work – now they just want a scapegoat for their own stupidity and have to blame Israel.

  126. January 1, 2009 at 16:50

    What does Hamas want and does it feel that that can be achieved through “terrorism”?

  127. 127 The JAG
    January 1, 2009 at 16:55

    All the talk about Israel using dispraportionate force misses the basic point that proportinate force is enough force to stop the rockets fired at them and prevent more being fired. How much force do you need to achieve that? Israel’s only goal seems to be for it’s citizens to live in peace without constant threat of terrorist attacks. If Hamas stopped killing innocecnt Israelis their charter of “driving them into the sea” maybe the world would be more sympathetic to them.

  128. 128 Pyro
    January 1, 2009 at 17:27

    Why give Hamas a voice they are terrorists! the Israelie peple have a right to defend themself in face of such provacation! If france had been firing Rockets at England for 8 years we would not have taken it so why should Israel? We also would not have given a voice to the IRA in the 70’s/80’s! If they stop denying Israel the right to exsist & stop their racism maybe things could change!

  129. 129 lee davis
    January 1, 2009 at 18:01

    Why do you place your military equipment in your schools and target rockets at Israeli schools?

  130. 130 LesMajestey
    January 1, 2009 at 18:02

    How does Israel respond to the charge (v. Illan Pappe)
    that, since 1948, Israel has been following a continuing policy of ethnic cleansing/genocide toward the Palestinians?

    Would Israel make the responsible officials available to the International courts if required?

  131. January 1, 2009 at 18:05

    Ehud Barack knows what he’s doing. Rockets into Israel cannot be tolerated. If Ireland fired into England, what would the English do ? Everybody knows the answer to that one. Even the PLO say that Hamas is bringing death to it’s own civilians when using them as shields for their operatives. The western press continues to say that Israel is disproportionate. Not so. Hamas wants to wipe Israel off the map. This is why Israel has to make this effort.

  132. 132 Steve
    January 1, 2009 at 18:07

    My question is simple: What does Hamas require to unconditionally and completely lay down their weapons forever?

  133. January 1, 2009 at 18:12

    Israel vacated the entire Gaza Strip 3 years ago. Why does Hamas continue to lob hundreds of rockets into Israel instead of building a just civil democratic society for its citizens?

  134. 134 Bruno
    January 1, 2009 at 18:13

    I really wonder what truce we are speaking about here… To me starving 1,5 million people is not a “truce” …

    Furthermore it is useful to remind that it was israel who breached the “truce” this time first on november the sixth with a raid on Gaza. The cease fire started to unravel from there.

  135. 135 Hikmat Bushnaq-Josting
    January 1, 2009 at 18:14

    question to hamas, from a german-palestinean living in berlin
    If Hamas has a a peace offer to make to Israel that will lead into a two state solution, how would this look like?
    If not, how do you expect to get support or comprehension from the western international comunity, knowing that hardly anyone in europe or the US is interested in seeing Israel removed from the map or under continuous war situation.

  136. 136 Kenneth Hurst
    January 1, 2009 at 18:23

    Would you be willing to agree that Israelis living in the occupied areas outside the 1948 boundaries are in some significant sense protagonists in the conflict and therefore that the rockets that land in these areas are legitimate acts of war?

  137. 137 Scott Broukell
    January 1, 2009 at 18:23

    WESTERN APOLOGY: I beleive the first step in the piece process MUST be an apology from the UK for; 1) failing to maintain the League of Nations mandate over Palestine. 2)not insisting upon the establishment of clearly defined, separate, Israeli and Palestinian soveriegn states after WWII.
    The UK crumbled in the face of US / Jewish preasure to exit Palestine and leave the whole place in a mess in 1948 (?)

    Do any of your Arab commentators agree that this would be an important / good first step ?

    Scott (UK)

  138. 138 Adam Redwine
    January 1, 2009 at 18:35

    In response to the Palestinian representative; yes, Hamas is responsible for rocket firings by other militant groups in Gaza just as Kurdish Iraq is responsible for harboring PKK rebels, Spain and France are responsible for ETA, and Ireland is responsible for the IRA. Some of the governments do a better job than others, but whose responsibility it is to deal with terrorists is clear.

  139. 139 Greg Allen (Portland, OR)
    January 1, 2009 at 18:35

    When leaders keep saying, “We have no choice but violence!”, it’s time to elect new leaders with more imagination.

    This is true for Hamas, Israel and my own country.

  140. 140 tal
    January 1, 2009 at 18:36

    i’m an israeli who lives in the UK and tired of the stupidity which happens in the holyland.
    my question to the Hamas rep is: i’m sure you want peace. what is your vision of the middle east and how can we work towards getting there
    i’m tired of the never ending bickering and narrow minded and short sited of the our politicians . lets be brave and try to talk about the future

  141. January 1, 2009 at 18:39

    Does Hamas think as a recognised terrorist organisation that fire misseles into Israel can in all common sense achieve anything at all.
    Dont they realise the day would come when Israel will have no choice but to retaliate to put an end to Hamas and its terrorist organisation, do they not realise that the innocent palestinians living in Gaza may suffer in the process. Does Hamas care for the men women and children who suffer as a consequence of their terrorist actions against Israel.
    Whilst Israel occupies both Gaza and the west bank, Israel seeks peace and agreed to establish a Palestinian state and has tried to negotiate peace, You Hamas has answered by firing hundreds of rockets into Israel. Hamas in fact is guilty for the suffering of the innocent inhabitants of Gaza.

  142. January 1, 2009 at 18:40

    Follow up to Gaza becoming Terror State question:

    There are so many individual group firing rockets from Gaza (HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committees, PFLP etc. etc.)

    Has HAMAS lost the ability to rule Gaza? i.e. Are these gangs answer to no-one but themseleves?

    Has GAZA become a terror state??

    Thank you,


  143. 143 BillF
    January 1, 2009 at 18:48

    Can the fighting end if Israel — with US and UN agreement and help — will begin building up Palestinian society as agreed upon during the Annapolis talks?

  144. 144 kelvin kamayoyo from Lusaka- Zambia
    January 1, 2009 at 18:49

    Dear BBC,

    l would like to ask Hamas to tell the world how much they have achieved ever since they were elected into power? The social and economic status of most Palestanians is still significantly pathetic and all they have succeeded is to encourage rockets bombings into Israel a thing which is divergent from the sensible and legitimate government. Hamas pull up your socks and work responsibly in order to improve the lives of the ordinary people.

    Hamas is a useless government and it has failed to integrate itself into the global diplomacy and the action taken by Israelis now is the appropriate one. Why is it that the suicide men, women and boys are not members of the top Hamas leadership?

    Bravo Israel and please continue bombing the Hamas target officials and also extend this assault to their supporters.


    Kelvin Kamayoyo from Lusaka-Zambia

  145. 145 Kim Johnson
    January 1, 2009 at 18:54

    A question for Israelis: What took you too long to do this and let the world get rid of Hamas?
    For Hamas: Why don’t you think one time of your people instead of being selfish and destroying your own people with your radical ideas, hate and anger?

  146. 146 Brian Larson
    January 1, 2009 at 18:54

    Disclosure: I see Gaza as perhaps the world’s largest open air prison and an Israeli and international disgrace.
    My questions for Hamas are hard ones. I challenge them not to avoid a ral answer.
    1) Do the Palestinian people have a future without working out an accommodation with Israel?
    2) As for these martyr wars, do they really work? Can they even be given the status of a Pyrrhic victory or are they vainglorious stupidity, a la the English Charge of the Light Brigade at Sevastopol?

  147. 147 Theodore Cantrell
    January 1, 2009 at 18:58

    I am curious about the logic of thought. What did you think would happen by the actions of shooting missiles at another country. Perhaps you could try out Egypt and see what their reaction would be. Only christians are supposed to turn the other cheek after being struck.
    Seattle Washington USA

  148. 148 Eric
    January 1, 2009 at 19:01

    I have heard this same tired discussion, point for point, throughout my life. No progress towards peace has ever been made, nor will any be made with this new phase of the conflict. There is not enough vision and integrity on either side to allow for old grievances to ultimately be put to bed. The egos and racial biases surrounding the power brokers on both sides of the conflict are excluding any lasting peace. This current round of death will buy nothing but a regime change in Hamas.

  149. 149 Greg Allen (Portland, OR)
    January 1, 2009 at 19:03

    >> Theodore Cantrell January 1, 2009 at 18:58
    >> What did you think would happen by the actions of shooting missiles at another country.

    I hear Americans ask this question or a variation of it. Didn’t Obama say something similar?

    Like, “how would America react if Canada started shooting missiles across the border.”

    But the question needs a preface, “If America occupied and blockaded most of Canada … how would America react if they shot missiles across the border.”

  150. 150 Njenga
    January 1, 2009 at 19:07

    Thank you BBC for denying those of us who care about Palestinians an opportunity to be heard….Many listeners are not aware of the fact that BBC will censor calls and emails that have a glimpse of fairness for the Palestinians…today my email was the first to be received and when I called the BBC I was told that all emails have to be “checked” and “modified” before they are approved for public view….when will the British learn…freedom of speech means…YOU DONT GET TO DECIDE WHETHER A POINT OF VIEW IS WORTHY. I think its important to let all your listeners know what you are doing behind the scenes while pretending to present a fair forum…I am well aware that other listeners are aware of the censorship we just need BBC to tell us all WHY

  151. 151 Ibrahim
    January 1, 2009 at 19:13

    I really need to know how people in the “West” think regarding certain issues, in this case, what Terrorist/Terrorism means from their perspective. I therefore would like to know what the answers would be to the following question:

    Which one from the following examples the word Terrorist/Terrorism applies?

    Note: The word “Act” means anything that would lead to taking a life of human being (firing, bombing, suicide bomber, planting explosives, rockets, airplane attacks … etc.).

    The four examples are:

    1- The act is done by X: in a marketplace full of civilians.
    2- The act is done by X: targeting two enemy soldiers in a marketplace full of civilians.
    3- The act is done by X: in a military base of occupant troops that invaded X’s country.
    4- The act is done by X: targeting two enemy soldiers in a marketplace full of civilians, however, the attacker claims that he will try not to hit civilians and he is basically targeting the two soldiers; though he understands that there will be civilian’s casualties but this is the only chance and the only way in which he can get his target (i.e. the two soldiers).


  152. January 1, 2009 at 19:20

    1. Do you actually like the Isrealis to invade and occupy your ground?

    2. Why when they left and even made their settlements leave, do you antagonize the Isreal people and make them send their military forces in against you, because you don’t have any idea of what to do?

    3. Hamas should first solve its problems with all Palistinians rather than fight each other and look like true fools not only to all Arab people, but all the people who begin to doubt if they have any will to survive as a people.

    4. Did you think that by attacking innocent athletes at the Olympic games would win you support from the world, because you cannot figure out a way to attack a military power and preside?

    5. Why is it that you subject your people to such horrible consequences for your leadership and tactics being so cowardly and useless? Why cannot you learn from the great military efforts in the past how to actually preside and be effective.

    6. Why is it that you bring so much pain and death to your children. Is it not clear that all you do is anger the world. Even the other Arab nations scratch their heads and wonder why you are so incapable of learning anything except continual shame on the Arab world.

    7. If you do not think that this is what you are accomplishing, really please listen,
    humans either adapt or they get wiped out. You are actually slowly wiping out your own people.

    8. Do you want a one state solution, where everyone becomes an Isreali or they leave for another land like Egypt or Jordon or Iran or Iraq or Syria????

    9. Do you actually believe you have earned the right to run your own country?

    I think you have to prove that to the world that you have. Presently you get no sympathy from here.

    troop in Oregon

  153. January 1, 2009 at 19:37

    World Have Your Say,

    You delete questions for many reasons, except the ones you stated in your disclosed statement. I mentioned God in my question and you deleted it, I have read many harsh and threatening questions from others on this site and you did not delete them. Why are you so bias???

  154. January 1, 2009 at 19:39

    You hear people say that hamas is close minded or Israel is close minded, but what about you, World Have Your Say???

  155. January 1, 2009 at 19:41

    Please let us have our say.

  156. 156 Lubna
    January 1, 2009 at 20:03

    Hi Chloe my darling… My question to Dr Azzam Al Tamimi is : How can we (as outsiders who do sympathise strongly with the cause of the Palestinian people and think that their ordeal and sufferance must stop immediately) help out innocent Gazan civilians ?! What do innocent Gazan civilians want from me as an Iraqi citizen ?! Happy New Year to you too Chloe my darling… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  157. 157 Linda in France
    January 1, 2009 at 20:03

    Dear World have your say,
    I think that maybe Hamas may be too idealistic and because of this their revolutionary bravado they enticed the Palestinian people to vote for them and now they have alienated themselves from the people and continued to fire rockets at the Israelies with a fight to the death mentality.
    I am not suprised that the Israelies are upset and because of this is that the People of Gaza are having their lives shattered.

  158. 158 Maria in the UK
    January 1, 2009 at 20:04

    Khaled Maschal called for a 3rd Intefadah a few days ago but nothing happened in the West Bank. Does this mean that Hamas is now losing influence and it’s leader is not being listened to?

  159. 159 Pink
    January 1, 2009 at 20:05

    assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah
    I have three questions. 1) Was this the wrong time to retaliate with the firing of rockets into Israel? I thank that it was the wrong time, because now it is election season in Israel. The politicians are more likely to use extreme force against Palestine during such times. Both sides are in a position that neither can stand down. It will also be difficult to form an agreement that is agreeable for Palestine at this time. 2) During the first few days of the truce, what was your ability to control other groups like Islamic Jihad who were firing rockets into Israel?* 3) With so much destruction of the infrastructure that Palestine needs to be a viable state, is it possible for the people of Palestine to rebuild the roads, buildings, and other structures that a state needs to function?

  160. 160 Benjamin
    January 1, 2009 at 20:06

    1. Why do you regard missile attacks on Israeli civilians to be a legitimate resistance to Israeli occupation when these are defined as war crimes in international law?
    2. Why did you launch dozens of missiles against Israeli civilians when the “hudna” or cease-fire ended, despite Israeli warnings that they would have no choice but to strike back, endangering Palestinian civilians?
    3. Why do you base your weapons stores and missile launch sites close to Palestinian civilians, when this is a war crime as it endangers Palestinian civilians?
    4. Is it permitted in Islam to use a mosque to store weapons and to launch missiles against women and children?
    5. How can you justify your firing of missiles against Israeli cities as self defence and a natural reaction to occupation, when it doesn’t damage the Israeli army, it only kills civilians, destroys homes and classrooms and provokes the IDF to retaliate?
    6. Why was the Hamas digging tunnels into Israel during the ceasefire, did you plan to take more Israelis hostage like Gilad Shalit?

  161. 161 Alfred in London
    January 1, 2009 at 20:07

    To what extent do you think the general ordinary population of gaza really approves hamas sending rockets into israel?
    Do they have a choice to say no they don’t want a rocket launcher in their garden if hamas wants to use civilian areas to send rockets?

  162. 162 Daniel in London
    January 1, 2009 at 20:08





  163. 163 Peggy in Sonoma, California
    January 1, 2009 at 20:08

    What does Hamas want from Israel? Please spell it out.

    And please talk in more detail about how Israel has created the conditions in the Gaza strip that have led to the rocket attacks and suicide bombings.

  164. 164 Melvyn in the UK
    January 1, 2009 at 20:09

    Q. Will it be possible for Hamas to agree to a permanent truce if the UN could guarantee a free & secure Palestine state (Gaza & West Bank etc). Surely under such protection from Israeli intervention reconstruction and support from the international community could be guaranteed.

  165. 165 Elton in Monrovia, Liberia
    January 1, 2009 at 20:10

    One quick question: does hamas have control over this sneek-shelling of Israel? Let hamas stop the shelling and Israel will have no further reason to carry on their attacks. Can they stop the shelling?

  166. 166 Scott
    January 1, 2009 at 20:11

    I believe the first step towards a piece process must be an apology from the UK for;

    1) Failing to maintain the League of Nations mandate over Palestine (established 1923?)
    2) Failing to insist upon the establishment of both Palestinian and Israeli states after WWII (1948?)

    The UK crumbled under US / Israeli pressure to exit Palestine after WWI and leave the whole place in a mess.
    Conflict was bound to result in those conditions.

    Do any of your Arab commentators agree that this would be a good first step ?

  167. 167 Paul in Boston
    January 1, 2009 at 20:11

    Does the Hamas spokesman believe that Jews or Christians have the right to live in a sovereign state anywhere in the Middle East? Or are non Muslims always to be confined to the role of subservient “dhimmis” (“tolerated minorities”) as proscribed in the Koran?

  168. 168 Daniel NJ
    January 1, 2009 at 20:12

    If you notice this Hamas supporter said he can’t help but recognize Israel because it exists, but it sounds like for no other reason and he mentioned how Israel is on their land, so in conclusion Hamas is holding on to the past and if this is the case there will never be peace, Israel will not get up and move for a terrorists group or anyone for that matter, Hamas is showing its true colors today.
    What’s more important land and history or human life?

  169. 169 Ben
    January 1, 2009 at 20:12

    Does Hamas desire to live peaceably with Israel for the long term? Is their ideal result a peaceful coexistence?

  170. 170 Daniel NJ
    January 1, 2009 at 20:13

    Oh my god! could you please hang up on people who speak slowly, incoherently, and aren’t making a new point? It makes me insane.

  171. 171 Elton in Monrovia, Liberia
    January 1, 2009 at 20:14

    Can hamas act in the interest of its own people? Hamas can never fight isael to a conclusion. You don’t have that capacity. Hear the frustration of your people. See your people dying in disproportionate numbers. Stop attacking israel! Why isn’t israel shelling the west bank as well? Seek true peace, unilaterally stop the shelling.

  172. 172 Jeff, Portland, OR
    January 1, 2009 at 20:15

    It amazes me the ignorance of Israel (USA). If you oppress a people long enough, they will turn to whatever hope they feel exists. This has become so common in today’s world. You push a group of people into a desperate situation and they will turn to whatever organization they feel will support they’re needs, terrorist or otherwise. It is time for Israel to stop suppressing the Palestinians.

  173. January 1, 2009 at 20:17

    I am sad for gaza

    As an Jew and Israeli and Human being I deplore all killing and all wars. However its me or them. What would you do if a kife was pointed at you. I would pull out a bigger sharper knife and cry as I stab you in self defence. The terrorist thrives on death and killing and the sooner they get to the virgins the better. The Israeli soldiers now doing the shooting will have mental and emotional and moral and physical problems for life. This and all other wars is not part of their being. A Jew believes in life but will flght to defend and a terrorist welcomes death- his own and of others. Gods of all tribes if you exist at all – help us with this insanity. May the destructive God of the jihad meet up with the Gods of peace and sanity . lehaiim to life .
    To life for all including Jews.

  174. 174 Jim Collins, Esq
    January 1, 2009 at 20:17

    Let me ask you: How equitable can this discussion be when you have polished, experienced media expert(s) speaking on behalf of Hamas and yet you randomly pick members of the Israeli populace to represent Israel’s point of view?

    As a marginal listener, who is neither an Israeli nor a Palestinian, The BBC’s anti-Israeli bent, is reinforced by one-sided shows such as this one and the one you aired on the same subject the other day.

  175. 175 katemcgough
    January 1, 2009 at 20:22

    Hi Jim,

    Just to let you know, Israel was represented by Mark Regev, an official Israeli government spokesman for an hour on yesterday’s show. Here’s a link to the podcast, if you’d like to listen.

  176. 176 Barrie Stephens
    January 1, 2009 at 20:26

    The level of ignorance regarding how we got here among subscribers is astonishing.
    The fact that Hamas is the duly elected government for both Gaza & the West Bank is totally ignored.
    Two days into the last ‘ceasefire’ there was an Israeli airstrike killing Palestinians. Such breaches continued. The blockade persisted throughout the period. It was actually tightened considerably. It was not Hamas that undermined it.
    Sadly brave people in Israel like Gush Shalom are not listened to. Instead the public is led by the nose by unscrupulous politicians (election coming up in feb) and career generals with a vested interest in ‘keeping the pot boiling’
    And a question for Hamas…how on earth can the Palestinian people survive in the ghetto to which they are imprisoned. In the Warsaw ghetto there were no unmanned drones overhead nor robot rocket towers surrounding it.
    Wake up world leaders. We do not want a ceasefire..we want an end to collective punishment and genocide.
    Thank you for your attention.

  177. 177 katemcgough
    January 1, 2009 at 20:35


    Just to clear this up, we do moderate this blog but we don’t modify comments. Here is a link to our contributor’s charter – it’s what to expect when posting on the blog. Also, see Chloe’s post from Tuesday.

  178. 178 Barrie Stephens
    January 1, 2009 at 20:40

    I am not sure what programme you listened to but if WHYS yesterday and today is biased against Israel I must look up the dictionary for a definition of bias.
    Even the programme host came out as anti Hamas in the very last question. She is not aware that because US and Israel want a movement ‘terrorified’ and all other countries like lemmings follow suit, does not necessarily make it a terrorist organisation.
    What of state terrorism as one suspects the treatment of Gazans by Israel to be.
    Happy New Year

  179. 179 John_Chrichton
    January 1, 2009 at 20:42

    I have some questions for Hamas:

    When will you end the campaign of terror against innocent Israeli civilians?

    If you wish to challenge the existence of Israel, why don’t you its forces in the open?

    When will you end the campaign of terror against the innocent people under your rule by provoking Israeli attacks and then playing victim?


  180. 180 DENNIS
    January 1, 2009 at 20:46

    [Latest Update:
    Hi it’s Shaimaa again. I just got off the phone with Osama Hamdan, he’s the Hamas representative in Beirut and he’s agreed to come on the program to answer your questions. He’s doing a series of interviews before World Have Your Say, but promised he’ll be on so we’ll start off with Dr.Tamimi and as soon as we get Mr.Hamdan we’ll put him through.]

    Did the interview went thru; Since I am not up to speed to the day’s activities…

    I have a question: Is the Hamas, will make the first step towards a truce and stop using rockets, mortars and other items at the people of Israel?


  181. 181 Ted
    January 1, 2009 at 22:04

    To: John_Chrichton

    Question should be: When the occupation will end?

  182. 182 Alec Paterson
    January 1, 2009 at 22:16

    The two Islamist parties, Hamas and Hezbollah, both see politics, charity, political violence, and terroriosm as viable, legitimate tools to promote their views. They both receive funds from radical Islamist NGOs,”charitable donations” at home and abroad, and the stipends of state sponsors like Iran.

    Cracking down on Islamist terrorism is critical for the social welfare needs of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, as well as giving Israeli civilians a measure of security, and returning to a viable political settlement. But this will never happen with a party, one of whose leaders, Mahmoud Zahar stated that Hamas “will not change a single word in its covenant”, which calls for the destruction of Israel.

  183. 183 Ted
    January 1, 2009 at 22:25

    Paul in Boston
    Muslims and none-Muslims (Christians, jews and others) lived peacefully in the ME for over 1400 years.
    Why you don’t look back in the USA and think about your own (”tolerated minorities”)?

  184. 184 Brian Larson
    January 1, 2009 at 22:56

    @Ibrahim – Let me give you question a try. That you for its sincerity.
    1- The act is done by X: in a marketplace full of civilians.
    Response – Yes, terrorism
    2- The act is done by X: targeting two enemy soldiers in a marketplace full of civilians.
    Response – Yes, terrorism because the intent is to kill common soldiers with a greater side effect of terrorizing the population.
    3- The act is done by X: in a military base of occupant troops that invaded X’s country.
    Response – No, not terrorism
    4- The act is done by X: targeting two enemy soldiers in a marketplace full of civilians, however, the attacker claims that he will try not to hit civilians and he is basically targeting the two soldiers; though he understands that there will be civilian’s casualties but this is the only chance and the only way in which he can get his target (i.e. the two soldiers).
    Response – Yes, terrorism. For civilian causalities to be acceptable (God forgive me this sounds completely insane) the target must be in a position of inflicting substantially greater harm in the near term. In other words, the target must be a threat enabling him or herself or others to inflict substantially greater harm to civilians. For example, the killing of the Hamas leader which caused 18 other deaths is justified if the Hamas leader was planning, coordinating or enabling greater acts of terror. This assumes that the politically slanted news we are fed is accurate.
    In a larger media driven, sound bite mentality, that seems to rule this giant idiot infested ball, a terrorist is a person not on your side. It is a concept used to dehumanize who you or your side is attacking, i.e., putting a black hat on a “bad guy”. … Dead, blood all over the place, guts on your lapel, its OK, he was just a terrorist.
    I’ve been around long enough to know cartoonish, ideological, racist, BS when I see it.

  185. 185 David
    January 1, 2009 at 23:36

    UN and the countries and leaders that make UN shame on you. How can you watch innocent people die in this way. I suggest the International Court of Justice to be clossed.

  186. 186 Brian Larson
    January 1, 2009 at 23:47

    @Ibrahim – On a different level, the U.S. has and is paying $500,000,000,000 to create a democratic Iraq. I’m one of the saps contributing to this bailout. How much do you think the West, i.e., the rich, would pay to get an organized democratic peaceful Palestinian people to settle up? The West Bank and Gaza could be a paradise. They could buy condos in Haifa or Jaffa or what have you. The powerful, how fervently they espouse their political and religious devotions. Their ideologies are a colossal joke, a fraud on the masses that fervently wire their children with vest bombs. I mean after all, don’t you think Castro’s money is in Geneva so it can be easily wired to Miami? Don’t you think his family has property on the Italian Rivera or somewhere else. I mean you got to have a squirrel hole incase the Revolution goes south. As for your side of the ‘hood, how much do you think Arafat and Hama squirreled away? Perhaps both were burnt in the Madoff ponzi scheme. These so called leaders play us all as chumps.

  187. 187 Listener
    January 2, 2009 at 02:38

    Gaza will never be in peace as long as it is the fuse for the invisible super powers behind. Isn’t it the holy war all about?

  188. 188 John LaGrua/New York
    January 2, 2009 at 03:10

    If state terrorism is legitimate in killing innocents as well as resistance fighters vs a forergn invader /occupier why did we execute al those Nazis after Nurenberg..Why were men of conscience so disturbed by the terror bombing of dresden and Hamburg in WW11 Members of the Atomic air crews suffered great remorse in the light of the horrible effects of their raids?Perhaps this current abomination by Isreal could proved decent people a reason to protest the ongoing decent into barbarism that has seized the world.

  189. January 2, 2009 at 05:37

    My question is actually for the BBC managers, How come you use your citizen’s tax money in order to give a propaganda stage to the thugs that will eventually try to destroy all freedoms and individual rights as we know them in the western couture?

    Hamas is a terrorist organization that calls for genocide according to his Islamo-Fascist ideology. (See The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS): http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp).

    The HAMAS is part of the Moslem Brotherhood global Movement which is seeking to rule the world under the Islamic law. Hamas’ aggression toward Israel is merely part of totalitarian Islam’s broader war against the West.

    It is not only the willingness to use rockets and grad missiles to target Israeli cities; it is also the indoctrination of children to hate and the glorifying of death of his own subjects in order to achieve the regime political goals.

    If the citizens of Britain are looking for better life, they should condemn and deny any stage for this death mongering ideologist. This massage can by applied also to the British “channel 4” that choose to give the honor of the new year blessing to the Iranian president Ahmadinejad, which is the had political figure of this hydra that HAMAS is only one of it’s proxies (Like Hezbollah and other Iranian-inspired organizations).
    See: http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/full+transcript+ahmadinejad+interview/797347

    Falling to take a stand for the Human liberty and Individual rights, for life and property as we know it in the west, will only bring the threat of this theocratic Ideology and the missiles and terror that accompanies it closet to our cities and our doors steps…

  190. 190 bobby harris
    January 2, 2009 at 06:52

    this is for one of the leaders of hamas. or someone who can fill in for them i wanna ask that this war stop. it is making young people learn about war instead of trades or jobs to support themselves and also i do not like war i would never touch a weapon of anykind so my question for you is can you or anyone in your group try and sit down with israeli’s and work something out dont they think they should work together to be peaceful to work as team and plant crops to feed people and water to flow in to cities and stuff like that i hate to see people being killed everyday there in middle east i love all people i love arabs israeli’s and even those in gaza all i want to see is talk it over and solve the problem my next question who started this we need the truth if its coming from iran funding this isnt it true that hamas has been brainwashed to beleive a lie i want to know can you all try to stop all the attacks stop and help eachother is this possible at all can you all try setting up a negotiations with anyone if possible what can you tell me about this i am very very curious

  191. 191 Jack Hughes
    January 2, 2009 at 08:41

    Q for hamas:

    How much humanitarian help are you getting from Egypt ?

    Q for the BBC:

    Why do you play down the fact that Gaza has a border with Egypt ? Your maps seldom show this Egyptian border and you never mention it. Why is this ?

  192. 192 John
    January 2, 2009 at 10:31

    I have lived in the Middle East for 20 years and have watched incompetance in local politics fall behind unrealistic ideals. Arafat botched it and the wound remains open.

    Hamas, however portrayed, should stop the rocket attacks now, it would give it a great advantage in the World Eyes not just Arab Street.

    Its current approach is no more that a hooligan element that does not want even the moral high ground in stopping all violence and I really doubt that Hamas has any real control of its organization.

    I used to empathise with my Palestinian colleagues but I fear that they lack credibility because of what the hooligan element are up to.

    Stop the rockets and get the World with you otherwise you play into the hands of your aggressors.

  193. 193 Allan
    January 2, 2009 at 11:58

    Why is it wrong for Israel to rain rockets on Gaza when that is exactly what Hamas is doing to Israel?

  194. 194 nicky
    January 2, 2009 at 12:37

    Until Hamas accept the State of Israel and rockets stop falling on Israel. Until the Palestinian people are represented by leaders who want and work for Peace. Until the democratic government of Israel sits down with a strong Democratic Government of Palestine there will be no Peace. Israel cannot do nothing while Hamas uses the Palestinian people as disposable pawns in it’s hate filed fight with the Sovereign State of Israel and the Jewish People. I m Jewish. I hate war and the loss of innocent lives whether Jewish or Muslim but the bottom line is the right of My people to defend their homeland. Every country has a right to defend itself, Israel is no exception.

  195. 195 LesMajestey
    January 2, 2009 at 14:36

    The attack will end and truce will come to Gaza when:

    (1) Tzipi Livni surpasses Netanyahu in the pre-election polls.

    (2) An international force is introduced in the West Bank to protect the Palestinians.

    The present activity has political objectives, although it dovetails with “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” as detailed by Haif’s Professor Illan Pappe.

  196. January 2, 2009 at 15:14

    Hamas Group,

    You asked to be attacked. Let us hope you will forever be grateful to the Isrealis for their attempting to help you.

    troop in Oregon

  197. 197 Alan Hedges
    January 2, 2009 at 15:45

    To worldhaveyoursay,

    I keep trying to have my say but you don’t publish it. Why?

  198. 198 Alby
    January 2, 2009 at 15:52

    It was so clear from the caller from inside Gaza that Hamas is absolutely not a democratic party, and the people of Gaza are in no position to throw them off now that they’ve given them power.

    The bombings by Israel then are really hurting Israel by inculcating hate and frustration and distrust which will last for generations just like in the Balkans.

    It is clear from the Hamas speaker that these shellings are tied to the illegal settlements and Fatah’s impotency at dealing with them. He said that they officially will recognize Israel in pre-1967 borders. Israel knows what it has to do, but unfortunately the Knesset is a stale-mate, and they will have to turn its own guns on its own people in order to fix the problem which they had to do in Gaza. Israeli settlers also think they are above the law, and fight their own government every day.

    That is their fault for letting the Settlements be built in the first place and they have their own Right-Wing to finger for that. US supporters who sent money to build settlements are also implicated, as are Russian oligarchs who do the same thing. Just like we have our own Right-Wing to finger for many of our current problems here in the US (and our own oligarchs).

    Good luck to all. It is a real mess. Thank you WHYS for putting this on air. And, it will be one of my new year’s resolutions to ignore this issue since the people involved themselves care so little and take so little responsibility.

  199. 199 John in Germany
    January 2, 2009 at 16:12


    Are you in control of the radical elements in Hamas, or is Hamas itself radical?. If you are not in control of the Radical elements, then how do you expect to achieve peace?. If Hamas itself is radical, then you have no chance at all to stop the, unwanted deaths of many, which are being caused by your Rockets, and the retaliating Israeli’s. Why do you blame History for your aggressiveness against Israel?, is it not Allah,(may he be praised) that taught , an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth, or did he?.

    Many questions Sir, but they can be answered in one sentence.

    John in Germany

  200. 200 John in Germany
    January 2, 2009 at 16:15

    Please correct above from 16.20.

    It is not Allah that taught an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth or did he?.
    Thank you
    John in Germany

  201. 201 narupuran Nepal
    January 2, 2009 at 16:55

    Its been more than 50 years that the Israel took your soil at that time the situation was like who has to power will rule and after that also so many countries have done WAR but what happen. One wins other lose. But now why you are stilling thinking to regain the soil. Now What i think is its being almost 5 generation are there. But the wounds in your heart is still the same. Only the generation has differ not your mind. Why not you set a Agenda for Dialouge for compensation. What is there in WAR ? Why you want to kill your children in the same fire that you are going to burn? Please think twice and move ahead rather than going back.
    May be i am wrong but you are wise, you know how to deal and keep good relation with others but what i feel is even if i die its ok but i really and can say noone want to kill their own children. Please sir GET A TRUCE AND stop making sucide bomer. IF someone else is doing HAMAS has to control cause it will be your responsibility…..
    Thank you.
    Insa Aalllah may peace prevail in everyone’s heart.

  202. 202 Alby
    January 2, 2009 at 17:09

    Regev avoided the question about UN resolutions re: 1967 borders, and since then.

    But, that is a problem of amateur questioners who waffle and introduce other side topic outs like ‘apartheid’, which of course Regev took.

    Chloe could have moderated that one. But, I love Chloe about the ‘international condemnation’ question and ‘caring for peace’. Good job!

    The real question to answer there was not about apartheid, but about the UN resolutions that Israel has flouted since the beginning, since Regev himself said that Hamas ignoring UN resolutions was their reason for the military action. Regev is a smooth talker that is why he has that job!

    He says they want peace over and over and over again, but they want to ignore UN resolutions about pre-1967 borders! That is the crux of it and the US, Canada, Japan, UK , Russia, everybody else are in kahoots!

    According to Hamas and Gazans, Fatah are too soft on the borders and the situation in the West Bank is a reflection of that!

    But, good good work BBC. I thoroughly enjoy WHYS.

  203. 203 Ibrahim
    January 2, 2009 at 17:28

    @Brian Larson

    Thank you Brian, it does make sense to me.

    However, correct me if I am wrong: As I understand your response, from your point of view, the following are *not* considered as terrorists/terrorism (please note that I am not in anyway justifying any of these acts):

    1- An Iraqi blew himself up among a group of US soldiers in Baghdad (no civilians involved).

    2- A Palestinian blew himself up in a bus of Israeli soldiers in Israel (no civilians involved).

    3- An Israeli air strike targeting a leader of Hamas in his car “surgical operation” (there might be few civilian’s casualties though).

    On the other hand, the following *are* considered as terrorists/terrorism (also from your point of view):

    4- The individuals committed the attacks of New York 2001, Madrid 2004, London 2005 and Mumbai 2008.

    5- Hamas firing rockets at Israeli cities of civilians.

    6- The man who dressed as Santa Claus and killed nine people at a Christmas Eve party in California 2008.

    7- An Iraqi planting an explosive device on a street in Baghdad (used also by civilians) to hit a US military patrol (there might be few civilian’s casualties though).

    8- Israel targeting the leaders of Hamas by air striking and bombing a city full of civilians with “a greater side effect of terrorizing the population” and a vast civilian’s casualties.

    Brain, I am not playing games; I am really trying to understand here. It’s the differences in culture and the way how people see things (East vs. West) that I am trying to figure out. Though this may seems irrelevant to the serious matter we are discussing, but it’s an example the should explain: when an Iraqi man threw his shoes at a US president, people in the US did not understand the incident like we did, at least not as vivid; the same thing applies for me not understanding why Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch is a big deal. Maybe by more understanding each other we can bring some peace in the years to come.

    Thank you.

  204. 204 LesMajestey
    January 2, 2009 at 17:55

    Peace will require the removal of the settlements,
    a return to, essentially,the 1967 border, the internationalization of Jeruselem and compensation for the 750,000 Arabs victimized by the 1948 ethnic cleansing.

    Israel must develop the political will to stop the policy of continuing genocide detailed in Haifa University Professor Illan Pappe’s book, “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”.

    Although the majority in Israel favor equal treatment for the Palestinians, the political structure prevents this from being done. By stopping the annual billions to Israel, the USA could make a major contribution to the interests of both sides in peace.

  205. 205 John_Chrichton
    January 2, 2009 at 18:09

    TO: Ted

    “When will the occupation end”?

    Occupation of what?

    When will Islamist terrorism against Israel and the rest of the world end?

  206. January 2, 2009 at 20:38

    Questions to Hamas:
    Q1. Given that the state of Israel has become a living reality ( even at the expense of land and related water resources to the Arab and Christian populations of Palestine ) what does it take on your part to come to terms with ground realities of the the existence of the State of Isreal as at 1968?
    Q2. Will financial compensation for loss of such lands be acceptable to Hamas(and by extension to PLO) in principle in return for acceptance of two states ?
    Q3: Can Hamas come to a working arrangement with PLO on governance mode in Gaza in matters of dispute with Israel?

    Questions to Israel:
    Q1. Will state of Israel be prepared to pay financial compensation, in principle, for lands expropriated from Arabs and Christians as at 1967 in return for a permanent peace with Hamas and PLO?
    Q2. Will Israel be prepared to vacate all lands occupied after 1967 under the relevant UN Security Council Resolution of 1968 and hand them back to Hamas and PLO?

  207. 207 Esther
    January 2, 2009 at 22:55

    In anser to Nora’s questions: The reason so many Palestinian civilians are being killed with their children is because Hamas sets up camp in residential areas in the hope the attacks will cease. Those poor people don’t have a chance. So you see what calibur of people the Hamas is. ISRAEL HAS EVERY RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF…..

  208. 208 omissam
    January 3, 2009 at 10:28

    4 Israeli killed by Palestinian rockets as against 400 Palestinians by Israeli bombs!This is due to the policy of all US Presidents since Truman, who have always let free hand to whatever illegal/murderous action Israel took! The rocket attacks are useless but the Palestinians don’t have the planes,helicopters,armed-cars that America has supplied to Israel. The Israeli have the “right to defend themselves”,ok. But they also should have the DUTY to abide by all the UN resolutions as well as the sentence of the International Court of Justice that they have constantly ignored. Had they observed them, instead of continuing the occupation and building Walls, THEY WOULD NOT BE THERE and there probably would be no rockets. What is surprising and unacceptable is that sanctions have been applied to all sorts of peoples but NEVER to Israel who deserves them most! Let’s hope Mr Obama will put an overdue end to this intolerable injustice and make Israel understand that THEY ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW !

  209. 209 omissam
    January 3, 2009 at 10:37

    I cannot repress more my indignation for this shameful injustice 60 years long ! I do hope Mr Obama will put an end to it!

  210. 210 omissam
    January 3, 2009 at 10:41

    No use waiting, I cannot be more moderate. Shlomo Shunn on Dec.31st has been even more explicit !

  211. January 3, 2009 at 14:35

    John Chrichton & others who really think you’ve got a handle on what happens in Gaza,

    It looks likely that an occupation by Israel will begin very soon courtesy of an Israeli ground attack and invasion into Gaza. What will you call that when it takes place – a necessary incursion or something similar to play down the reality of what could take place there?
    Why are the Israeli authorities so insistent upon disallowing the world’s press and media access to all areas of the conflict, if there’s nothing to hide? That is censorship at any level. The same happened with embedded reporters following the course and progress of the Iraqi invasion in 2003. The American’s were most insistent upon the world seeing a picture unfold and one that was conveyed to the general public that the US government wanted the world to see and nobody else’s interpretation was either relevant and definitely unnecessary in their eyes. Indeed any journalist or reporter who strayed from the path or dared not be “on message” was neither assisted, offered any level of safety or security by US military, and metaphorically speaking were referred as to being the “enemy of freedom and justice.” What utter irony!

    Let’s just watch to see what occurs if an invasion takes place. Just how much genuine access will be afforded to the media, and just how much restriction and barriers will be put in place to impede and obstruct their every move of the story of what is actually happening there on both sides?

    I’ll bet everything I have that you won’t find out half of what really goes on in such an unfortunate and dreadful situation such as an invasion by Israeli ground forces. They neither desire nor want the oxygen of negative publicity. Some people would call it honest and insightful reporting, trying to grasp hold of the truth! A rare thing indeed in these highly cynical and politically spun times we inhabit.

  212. 212 Celeste
    January 3, 2009 at 21:29

    I would be there to help if only I had the means. You cannot kill an idea! The Palestine people will have their land back…..ALL OF IT!

  213. 213 peace for now
    January 4, 2009 at 02:12

    Why is it that the Arab nations and those producing oil in particular do not cut off all oil supplies to Israel and make it clear that any and all countries which try to break the embargo will have their supplies cut. This action will focus the attention of those who seek to rule the world into resolving the middle east problems. Israel came about on the show of hands in the UN against any or all opposition, let the same UN declare the State of Palestine valid and that the borders for Israel be at the 1948 settlement. If either Palestine or Israel object just tell them to lump it as that is what they are to get or have.

  214. 214 DENNIS
    January 4, 2009 at 04:11

    John in Germany January 2, 2009 at 16:15

    It is not Allah that taught an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth or did he?.
    Thank you…..

    [I think it is the Bible, that says that….]

    I have a questions for anyone affiliated the Hamas or The Israeli Government:
    Why, don’t everyone come to the table and have a truce; before the current truce, was decided null and voided by Hamas?

    ~Dennis Junior~

  215. 215 DENNIS
    January 4, 2009 at 04:15

    omissam January 3, 2009 at 10:37

    I cannot repress more my indignation for this shameful injustice 60 years long ! I do hope Mr Obama will put an end to it!

    [I hope that Mr. Obama could put and end to it…But, If you take a look at the comments he made in Israel in July 2008 in Israel….Then in my own opinions, the answer is there….]

    ~Dennis Junior~

  216. 216 Common sense
    January 4, 2009 at 07:11

    One question that most seem to be incapable of asking, is: Why doesn’ t Hamas just leave Israel ALONE…, then Israel will leave Hamas ALONE…???….Do you expect Israel to just sit back like a pregnant woman and take constant abuse with rockets firing at them???…is that what you would do if Israel fired rockets at you Hamas, and you do towards Israel.

    Quite frankly, Israel is doing what any government with common sense would do, to protect its citizens from terrorism. and its been a long time coming….Israel retaliates to your terrorist activities, and Hamas cries ‘foul play’…what a double standard. Surely you cant expect the intelligent of the world to take you seriously, if you dont stop YOUR violence against Israel.

    YOU Hamas, stop your violence, and Israel will stop thiers…SIMPLE, otherwise they ARE JUSTIFIED in protecting thier citizens….

    Its YOUR CALL….

  217. 217 Rafael Cerveraa
    January 4, 2009 at 08:47

    Please be unbiased when reporting the Israeli invasion of the
    Palestinian West Bank. Israel is obviously worried about the day when
    Hammas puts germs into the warheads of the missiles it is lobbying
    towards Israel homeland. One little vial of germs will kill hundreds
    of Jewish citizens. Please pay attention to the little details because
    hundreds of lives are at stake… on both sides. The germs will kill Palestinians also.

  218. 218 Colin Hooper
    January 4, 2009 at 08:51

    Surely the greatest weapon available during this time of financial instability, would be for the Leadership of the Muslim International Community, to threaten to suggest to all Muslims, “That they cease to Purchase any goods, or Invest or buy Shares in any business or Company that has any Jewish or American Money invested in or involved in it.” It is always better to negotiate from a strong position.

  219. 219 John in Gemany
    January 4, 2009 at 13:01

    We hear, the Israelis are using to much force, only a few Israelis have been killed, as against hundreds of Palestine’s..
    One is to many, and Hamas have it in thier hands to stop the killing, no one else just Hamas. Cant help having the feeling that hey hope to win on the Sympathy waves. Question-Why should they?. They are responsible, and no one else.

    They appear not to care about thier own people (60% of the Gazza people do not agree with what They are doing) In Germany, Palestine’s demonstrated against the Israelis, all ignorant, not one knew about the Rockets fired from Gazza too Israel. Who can believe that, no one but we must tolerate it because we live in a Democracy, which means we even have to put up with untruths and lies, and biased statements. Thank heavens for a Democratic haven like Europe.

    John in Germany.

  220. 220 Ricarda
    January 4, 2009 at 13:34

    Indeed, Israel is the 51st state of America!

  221. 221 Serge Oberoi
    January 4, 2009 at 18:19

    In order to achieve a lasting peace, United States must act as honest broker in the mid-east crises. America has a chance to regain its lost glory by helping friends and allies to do the right thing and not to give tacit approval without regards to the greater good. USA should listen to the overwhelming world opinion and encourage Israel to:

    1. Accept a call for ceasefire and stop its military operation immediately.
    2. Lift the choke-hold on Gaza and let the international relief restore some normalcy in the lives of 1.6 million impoverished people.
    3. Impress and cajole Israel to stop expansion of its settlement on illegally occupied land.
    4. Come up with a timetable to withdrawal to its legal international 1967 boarders

    Hamas and other so called terrorist organizations will have no support and hence no relevance within the Palestinian society if Israel shows a honest peace overture. The bigger question, however, is: Is Israel willing to give up its illegal occupation in exchange for peace? Or will it use its military might to bring Palestinian to submission. The past forty have shown military power and Israeli propaganda machine cannot crush the desire of people to be free.

  222. 222 hans in norway
    January 4, 2009 at 18:23

    I understand that you have tunnels between Gaza and Egypt for transport of rocket equipment. Why är you not using these tunnels for medical eqipment transfer?
    Stop sending rocket!

  223. 223 samuel
    January 4, 2009 at 19:16

    i wish to ask, if it would not be better for hamas to recognize the right of israel to exist in exchange for open borders and international legitimacy?
    and as to what exactly were they expecting to be born out of the incessant firing of kasam and graad rockets across the border; were they bluffing that israel would not react??
    lastly if offered a cease fire will they stop firing them( the rockets) in the future?

    …the worst of peace is better than the most justified war

  224. 224 Serge
    January 4, 2009 at 20:10

    I have watched on the TV what is happening in Gaza. My questions to Hamas is:

    Would you (Hamas) stop shooting rockets if Israel unilaterally

    1. Declares cease fire and pull its troupes out of Gaza
    2. Remove its choke-hold on Gaza
    3. Stops expanding its settlements on occupied land
    4. Dismantles all illegal settlements
    5. Withdraws to 1967 boundaries
    6. Removes its loathsome checkpoints
    7. Frees hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners including many children
    8. Stops its mission to kill and mane Palestinian who oppose occupation
    9. Stops destruction of Palestinian homes and olive groves
    10. Stops torture of imprisoned Palestinians
    11. Controls its lawless settlers
    12. Gets serious to apportion contiguous territory for free and viable Palestinian homeland
    13. Stops stealing precious water sources from Palestinian land
    14. Takes down security fence installed on Palestinian land
    15. Compensates Palestinian for destruction of their property and years of misery at the hands of occupier
    16. Stops smuggling, importing and building weapons that would threaten Palestine

    Mark Regev, the eloquent spokesperson of Israel said that his country has no quarrel with Palestinian people. Mr. Regev, Israel has killed over 500 Palestinian in the past 8 days in case you didn’t notice. I understand IDF dropped leaflets on Gaza for Palestinians to find safe place before you bomb them. It is very noble of Israel. But Mr. Regev, Palestinian can’t go anywhere. You have them fenced in a cage.

    Remember, if it isn’t Hamas it will some other group that will take up the cause until Israel’s despicable occupation and apartheid yoke is lifted for good. This conflict must end. It’s for Israel to get off its high horse and recognize that Israel is not above everything else.

    The lies repeated often remain lies speaker eloquence notwithstanding.

  225. 225 Serge
    January 4, 2009 at 21:41

    Matthew (January 3, 2009 at 14:35)

    Well said Mathew, my sentiments exactly. Ironic? Yes. Given enough wealth and media control the oppressors can easily paint themselves as victims. Nothing has changed. Nazi’s used similar tactics to sanitize their atrocities against Jews and Romanys. No one talks about the years of repression, humiliation of checkpoints, starvation and force poverty. No one cares above disproportionate death toll of Palestinian. Western media is horrified at Hamas rockets disturbing the sleep of some Israelis. And for that they must pay a very high price. If Israel wants peace it must get out the occupied land otherwise they will never have peace. Nothing will destroy Palestinian resolve to their rightful claim for a viable homeland that is free from the yoke of oppression.

  226. 226 Common sense
    January 4, 2009 at 22:54

    I have ths question to ask Hamas:

    Hamas, do you seriously intend to ‘stop’ if Israel gives you part of thier ancestral land?, or will you continue to pursue a world dominant agenda for Islam? If you were given the whole of Israel, would you even stope there, or you would continue to pursue a world dominant agenda for global Islam with the ‘other radical Islamic elements’.

    Is there any reason why you cant just leave Israel alone?…live in peace in your own corner of the world and practise your beliefs there, ….Why inflict your religion and beliefs on others? You have stated many times that you hate Israel, whatever excues you dream up to justify violence towards them, reveals in the end, just a mask, a facade. Why dont you just simply leave them alone????

    You can agree to disagree and just get on and treat others how you wish to be treated, naive as it may seem to some, its a plain and simple truth that seems to be escaping you….

    I have this question for Israel:

    Israel, do you think that giving away parts of your ancestral land will ever achieve true lasting peace, or just erode away your power and authority, in the end weakening you further against an enemy that will just not stop at any boundary? Do you think that there will ever be peace by this kind of concession or by right action? Does bowing to the pressure of others who are not affected by Hamas further the basic rights, peace and freedom of Israel as a sovereign nation?

    My opinion: As distasteful as war is, sometimes it is necassary for the sake of freedom and peace. I believe you Israel have done the right thing, by taking this step to free your country, and have shown your compassion and concern for the innocents citizens of the area in conflict by warning them to leave when you were coming in war to avoid thier being harmed. What more can you do. Who else does that in war?? I dont believe in the Eyes of God and Justice you have done wrong taking into account the limitations of man from what I see….dont let others who are uninvolved dictate to you at your expense….

    Be honorable, be compassionate where required, but strong with vigilance, so that none can condemn you,Then you can achieve your freedom and peace to the extent possible on this earth as we know it…and above all, seek your honor in your noble ancestral roots and look up, this is the secret of your nations strength, in days gone by and even now…and is the only way Israel has ever suceeded in the face of great odds against them, and will ever suceed.

  227. 227 David Long
    January 5, 2009 at 04:37

    My question is, if you attack Israel, can you win the resulting war? Because you have declaired war on a bigger stronger country than you. If they are bigger and stronger why attack and lose what little you have? Perhaps you should rethink your stratagy. If you can make an agreement we will not attack you and you don;t attack us, then you have something to start with and you will not lose what little you have. If you cannot live together then the land is and will be forever partitioned and you will only have a portion of it not all. The same thing can be said for Isreal. Are they claiming all of their traditional lands? That is why the settlements are a problem. Start a peace then you can start talking about that problem. You might want to try..” Hey you made this wall here.. get back on your side of it…” Yes you are going to lose some land but fight on and you might lose it all. And all you other Arab nations, what are you thinking. When there is peace, help these folks build schools, power plants, water systems ,ect. Shame on you all. Golly this all wants me to yell, “You children get back in your room till you can all act good”… ;/
    david long arcata california usa

  228. 228 Zubair
    January 5, 2009 at 06:30

    What I understand, Hamas is Political party who win democratic election and came in power. Israel don’t like them so Israel is using power to topple the Hamas GOVT.

  229. 229 John in Germany
    January 5, 2009 at 08:44

    One day all of you anti America will have to re-think. If you go from Power being evil, the worst of all evils is not America. At the moment a few up comings are just flexing thier muscles, i worry about the time when the Steroids start working to the full, then God help us all.

    Sorry my remarks are not connected with Hamas, but I read a lot of Anti America in the contributions of some of the predecessors, and that has nothing to do with Hamas either.

    John in Germany

  230. January 5, 2009 at 10:53

    Is hamas trying to establish its reputation as the most deadly terrorist organisation in the world? YES
    HAMAS has caused the dead of more people than all the deaths put together that has been caused by alqaeda.
    why are there no peace keeping forces in Palestine as in other conflict zones?
    The leaders of Hamas are well known and they are more dangerous than Bin Laden but we keep wacthing at them kill innocent Palestinians in the name of fighting ZIONISM.
    Having talks year in year out will not solve anything.Arrest all the Hamas leaders and send them to Guantanamo and release the innocent guys stock in there,then pull out the invaders out of Iraq and tranform the to peace keepers and end them to Palestine.Then God will really bless AMERICA

    SHUNEH SIAKA from Cameroon

  231. January 5, 2009 at 11:55

    John in Germany, others that think like you & questions to Israeli government,

    Hamas is a democratically elected government. You may not like that fact but I thought the Israelis as well as Americans always adhere to the democratic model of government, do you not?

    Even though President Bush’s actual election by the people with regards to the first election is highly dubious to say the least, and the second leaves much to be desired as well. But they can be referred to as democratic elections and results as accepted by the people because the Neoconservative Republicans and certain politically obliged Supreme Court Judges who stand for and uphold democracy at the highest level informed the world. “We know what is right and just and America is always an honest player displaying the highest moral rectitude, the utmost ethics and principles that can be an example to us all as how one must lead their lives for the betterment of the country, the nation and the world.” The invasion of Iraq being a prime example of this, I don’t think so!

    Israeli government why do you not allow any world and international media into the battle zone and no one is allowed to report from within Gaza as to the actual truth of what’s happening there? What exactly is it that you are trying to conceal from the watching public? If there is nothing to hide and you feel fully justified in your actions then you simply must allow reporters in. Israel, you are flouting international law once again? You must be very proud of that fact!

    When President Obama takes office, if he is half the person we all hope him to be, then you will at long last have to listen to your master’s voice, otherwise suffer severe circumstances that your people will not put up with and therefore be forced kicking and screaming into dialogue and negotiation. And about bloody time as well! Without the US aiding, abetting, supplying financial and excessive military capability, you will be marginalised and weakened as a nation. Your enemies will take due note. To even consider biting the hand that feeds you, is something you can ill afford to do!

  232. 232 Common sense
    January 6, 2009 at 03:40

    Why are some so ‘anti-Israel’? when all Israel is doing is protecting itself and its ancestral territory & related citizens?

    Drow the same scenario to your local neighbourhood. Ever had bad trouble-making neighbours?….Imagine if you had neighbours that hated you, no matter what you did to appease them, they just wanted more and more, using threats and violence, even murder to get it from you, and then, when they have got it all from you, they would kill you anyway, maybe have fun with you for a while first….this, is how many radicals Israel is dealing with think…It’s naive to think otherwise. The only way is to eliminate thier ability to make war and shift them out past acceptably distant boundaries.

    In view of this, can you really BLAME Israel for what they are doing?…Would you let your bad neighbours take the land from under you and your children, and then at the end of it have them spit in your & your childrens face as well? ….this is the attitude of many of the radicals who hate Israel.

    Generally speaking, global ooppresion/totalitarianism will never be the right answer, under any guise for any reason, which history has shown, as humanity does not have the moral capacity to govern the world ethically & fairly, … and will ALWAYS end up being oppressive…..this was witnessed to a significant degree in the dark ages and beyond….

    …so, by its ongoing actions, Hamas and the other radicals are paving the way for the excuse of bringing in a totallitarian world system which they are ignorantly ushering in, by artifically creating a ‘need’ for it, ….the very thing they would not like….

    …..however, as far as a nation is concerned, Israel and any other nation being violated MUST be allowed to defend its boundaries and citizens and thier rights……

    What is apparent is apparent, we cant go forward pretending its all nice and rosy and there will be ‘peace’ if we give in to the demands of tantrum-throwing rabid-maniacal elements in the world who want thier way no matter who dies in the process including thier own…

  233. 233 DENNIS
    January 6, 2009 at 04:50

    I have a question:
    Why does Hamas uses ‘woman and children’ if that is true as; ‘human targets’ and reside in areas in residential areas and areas of medical care centres……

    ~Dennis Junior~

  234. 234 Sherry
    January 6, 2009 at 11:26

    I would like to know how can you justify your actions: it is well known that Israel is acting against Hamas in Gaza when civilians do get hurt. However, as much as it is sad Israel do not act against civilians intentionally. Hamas, however, bombs civilians intentionally when it sensd it’s grads to araes in Israel where there is no army but only civilians.

  235. 235 John in Germany
    January 6, 2009 at 16:13

    Dear Mathew.

    Correct, and every democratically elected Government that cannot see when it is time to think about its people and not itself will fall down one day.. Carrying on Fireing Rockets, knowing that the retaliation will kill hundreds of civilians is not in order. I know of no democratically elected government that allows its soldiers to be mummed. The last survey resulted in an answer to your problem 60% of the Palestinians do not want Hamas. most democratically elected Governments look after thier people as best as they can, do i need to go on.?

    Hate is a decease that kills more people than any other illness. more than cancer, or any other drudge of mankind. Hate does not make for Heroes, or clever decisions, just losses and death. Have you hatted Matthew? if so could you think rationally?. Need i say more?.

    John in Germany

  236. 236 Common sense
    January 6, 2009 at 21:53

    Hamas hides inbetween thier civilians firing rockets at Israeli’s, and when firepower is returned, they and the obviously naive and ignorant of the world start to cry out for them to stop.

    One wonders at the intellect of such, that dont take into account the true REALITY of the situation, …the fact that this is a major card Hamas is using politically to be able to retaltiate using thier own women and chldren as ‘human shields’ and at the same time to appear ‘martyred’ and ‘psuedo-justified’ to get support from naive thinking quasi-do-gooders which is creating more harm in the long term.

    Who in thier right mind, -who has ‘true compassion’ on innocents,- would hide amonst them and use them as a shield. The ‘country leaders’ that condemn Israel must either be very naive or just politicallty motivated for some ‘other reason’.

    These people use ‘suicide tactics’ to win battles. THEY are the ones that primarily dont care about women and children: evident by thuier methods, actions and words…. and use them in this way, … and by reported accounts, not Israel.

  237. January 7, 2009 at 15:19

    John in Germany & others who think similar,

    I’m not here to apportion blame for the sake of apportioning blame. The fact remains that there is far more wrong on the side of Israel as opposed to that of Palestinians. It takes two sides to make a conflict, yes. I’m trying to put things into context, which apart from the very odd exception, western media, UK & US media to a fault perpetrate the same myth, misinformation and lies about the reality on the ground for Palestinians in Gaza and within the state of Israel as a whole. One is overwhelmingly a superior power, the 4th largest military force in the world, one who corrals people into certain areas, constructs a divisive wall for the spurious reasons of controlling and safeguarding its inhabitants from attack by Palestinians and vice versa. There is no justice or ethical reason for doing so. Such actions are not done by a government that is seeking cooperation, dialogue or some sort of rapprochement at all.
    It’s hard not to be duped in to supporting your leaders if you as an individual never think outside of the box, whereby you’ve been boxed in to accepting the mindset and barrage of information constantly foisted upon you by those who know precisely how to manipulate and control your thought processes, when it comes to a superfluous examination and interpretation of international events. This has been the way for many years now, but has been increased to an incredulous level over the last 8 years.
    I urge you to study the journalism of Robert Fisk, who not only lives in Beirut, but has studied and reported upon the Middle East situation much longer than any western journalist who purports to have any type of understanding or insight into the situation. For a historical and up to date context read his analysis in Tuesday’s Jan 6th edition of the Independent. You might begin to understand things rather better than before now. And now even better, today’s Independent piece entitled “Why do they hate the West so much” as highlighted by Mark Sandell editor of WHYS.

  238. January 7, 2009 at 15:36

    The questions asked by the BBC in its email were ..

    “Does Hamas use human shields?”.

    Of course. There are pictures videos and even statements by locals Palestinians that confirm it. What is not always understood is that Hamas wants civilians to die to enable them to say to the world, ‘see what Israel does”. Hamas are 6th century fanatics who like Iranian fanatics would like the whole world to be governed by Sharia – Islamic law and Gaza’s population are simply dispensible pawns.

    “Does Israel targets civilians?”.

    Of course not and it makes its job a whole lot harder by trying to avoid civilian casualties. Civilians are warned by text messages and fliers to leave areas and houses that will be coming under attack.

    “Did Israel break the ceasefire?’.

    Firstly there was no ceasefire because rockets continued to fall on Israel and secondly Hamas stated the it would not renew the ‘ceasefire’.

    “Does Hamas wants the total destruction of Israel?”.

    Of course and it says so quite clearly in its charter.

    Hamas has been indiscriminately firing rockets at Israeli towns for seven years now and has been slowly extending the range of its rockets.

    No other country would have tolerated it for even seven days let alone seven years.

    Hamas buries women up to their necks and then stones them to death; kills female family members for speaking to a man in public; burns books and Internet cafes and shoots members of the PA in the back of the knees so that their knee-caps pop out.

    They need to be brought to the point where they unconditionally surrender.

    And please stop this squawking about how Palestinians are crammed into such a small place ..


  239. 239 Tania Maas Geesteranus
    January 7, 2009 at 18:45

    I think what is happening is an absolute tragedy on both sides, however, one needs to ask ones self….”If I was surrounded by neighbors who were constantly wanting to kill or wipe me from this earth…and then in fact rockets were fired at me…would I not respond?”
    I am not for killing of anyone, Palastinian or Israeli. Israel has said they will stop their attack IF the rockets stop. To me it is a no brainer….stop firing the rockets.

  240. 240 Common sense
    January 8, 2009 at 22:19

    I find it really annoying that the UN and others, such as some kinds of media, are not seeing and/or reporting correctly the overall picture and context of the situation.

    Israel is dealing with extremists who are using dirty tactics and methods to try to not only defeat Israel, but to make Israel appear as ‘unhumanitarian’ and as some kind of aggressor. Israel explained what happened, yet, its just does not seem to ‘sink in’.
    If someone stands outside a UN complex and fires rockets, a smaller force with limited equipment and a degree of ignorance or the need to protect oneself will no doubt fire back. How can that NOT be understood???

  241. January 18, 2009 at 14:15

    Yes . Give israil a free hand to end the drama going on for the last 60 years.The on ging surgery is essential to get ramedy from the cancer which has entere in metastasis state and likely to effect the rest of the world.Palestine and Kasmir issue required to be solved as soon as possible to ensure peace in the world.Those who think that they can solve it through terrorism or by any other means are actually in illusion.War agaist such elements is now on. No body can stop it even Obama.

  242. 242 hassan
    February 7, 2009 at 09:04

    really ,im sorry for what is happening in gaza, bu i wish them to resolve the problem for them,

  243. 243 merjem
    May 2, 2009 at 15:25

    i’ think that iran is not helping palestinian cause at all, rather they are close friends with israel,but Got alone will help them

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