Student Researcher: Brittany Sandager
Faculty Evaluator: B. C. Franson, J.D.
Southwest Minnesota State University
While the world press focused on Barack Obama’s election, Israel broke the ceasefire with Palestine on the U.S. election day. Israel’s bloody bombing of Gaza began on November 4 while the truce which began Jun. 19, 2008 was still in effect. The truce had been broken before. Israel attacked a house of six members of Hamas’s military wing. They claimed a tunnel was being dug near the Israeli security fence for the purpose of abducing Israeli soldiers. However, this tunnel was being dug for defensive purposes.
Israel rejected a proposal by Hamas to renew the truce. At a December 14 meeting in Cairo, Hamas proposed stopping all rocket attacks against Israel if the Israelis would open up the Gaza border crossing and pledge not to launch attacks in Gaza.
Israel’s rejection of the proposal reflected its preference for maintaining Israel’s leverage over Hamas and the Palestinian population of Gaza through its ability to choke off food and goods.
One Arab observer noted, “The truce failed because Israel will not open Gaza’s borders, because Israel would rather be a jailer than a neighbor.” Israeli continued attacks on Gaza until a few days before Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
“Israel Rejected Hamas Ceasefire Offer in December” Gareth Porter. Inter Press Service News Agency, January 9, 2009 http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45350
Mainstream “Hamas speaks” Mousa Abu Marzook. January 6, 2009 Los Angeles Times (op-ed)