Thursday, January 8, 2009

A Gaza Chronology that covers more than the past two weeks

I am so tired of seeing journalists embarrass themselves pretending they know anything about Gaza's history. The problem, I think, is that their Google searches only return recent articles. Digging past the first page of results seems to be hard work.

Here to help them, then: A collection of articles dating back to the 2005 Disengagement, to review what has happened since then.

AUGUST 12 2005 - A Foundation purchases Gaza greenhouses for the Palestinians
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A private foundation has raised $14 million to buy most of the greenhouses in Jewish settlements in Gaza, a representative of former Israeli Knesset member Yossi Beilin said Friday.
The Economic Cooperation Foundation will transfer the money to the settlers and the greenhouses will be handed over to the Palestinian Authority.
The money was raised by International Quartet special envoy James Wolfensohn, a former World Bank president who also contributed $500,000 of his money.
Beilin is one of the heads of the foundation and was involved in the talks.
The announcement of the deal comes three days before the Israeli government will officially inform 9,000 Israeli Jews in 21 settlements in Gaza and four small settlements in the West Bank that they must leave as part of the government's disengagement plan.

September 13 2005 - Gazans demolish and loot what Israel left them
Palestinians rushed into former Jewish settlements in Gaza on Monday after the last Israeli troops withdrew. Most of the housing in Gaza had been flattened by the Israelis, but Palestinians set fire to abandoned synagogues and other public buildings.
Palestinian Authority security forces did not move to stop the crowds even though Abbas said the plan was to turn the former synagogues and other public buildings into community facilities for the Palestinians.

February 12, 2006 - Palestinian representative in the US insists that Hamas will act responsibly
BLITZER: Well, is it realistic to assume that Putin and other Russians might be able to influence Hamas to accept those conditions that the Israelis, the U.S. and others have put forward, that they accept Israel and that they renounce terrorism.

SAFIEH: I believe that Hamas is going to behave with great responsibility, surprising many.

May 1, 2006 - Gaza envoy Wolfensohn resigns, says issues 'above my pay grade'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- James Wolfensohn, the U.S. special envoy for Gaza disengagement, is stepping down from that position, he and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced Monday.
Wolfensohn, the former head of the World Bank, said that the issues at work in the Mideast have now gone "above my pay grade."
"With the government of Hamas having taken over with the Palestinians, it's a very difficult movement to be able to try and negotiate any independent type of arrangements that would affect the future of Gaza and the West Bank, because of the emphasis that Hamas puts on the destruction of the state of Israel and the less-than-communicative relationship with that state," he said in a joint appearance with Rice.
Rice agreed that the work needed now in the region is beyond that of a special envoy, and she said she was not seeking a replacement for Wolfensohn. (Posted 7:43 p.m.)

May 18 2007 Israel warns of harsh response to Hamas rockets
GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Israel's response to rockets launched from Gaza into its cities has been "measured" so far but could grow harsher if the attacks continue, Israel's ambassador to the United States said Friday.
"The basic contract between a government and its citizens is to provide them with safety," Sallai Meridor told reporters.
Israel launched more airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza on Friday, the second day it targeted the militant group in retaliation for dozens of rockets it says have been fired from Gaza into Israel during the last several days...
Israel said Qassam rockets launched from Gaza hit a school and a synagogue in Sderot, near Israel's border with Gaza. Two other rockets hit a home and nearly hit a gas station, the military said. Officials said more than 90 rockets from Gaza have landed in Israel since Tuesday.

March 3 2008 - Israel Withdraws Troops from Gaza after entering to destroy rocket launchers
Israeli infantry started withdrawing from the town of Jebalya after midnight following several days of fighting, the military said, but the government vowed it would continue its offensive against rocket squads…
Despite the lopsided death toll, Hamas sent a message to reporters calling the pullout a retreat by the "cowardly'' Israeli military. But Israel said the withdrawal didn't signal it was scaling back its Gaza operations.
"Our efforts against the rocket launchers and those who operate them will continue unabated until Israeli children will no longer be attacked while sitting in their own classrooms, and until their families can sit in their own homes without fear of a rocket crashing through their roof,'' government spokesman David Baker said.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a full-scale invasion was still possible, and Israel might try to bring down the regime of the militant Islamic Hamas. "We will use force to change the situation,'' Barak said at a meeting late Sunday of security commanders, according to a statement from his office.

May 10, 2008 - Rocket launches from Gaza into Israel increase
There has been a steady increase in rocket and mortar launchings from Gaza since Hamas took over in June 2007. There have been approximately 2,000 launches from Gaza since the start of 2008, about the same number as were launched in all of 2007.

It's okay, world media, don't bother thanking me. Just read, please.

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