Palestinians in Gaza believed Israel had called a 48-hour "lull" in retaliatory attacks with Hamas when Israeli warplanes launched a massive bombardment of Hamas installations in the Gaza Strip, a UN official said Monday. Karen Abu Zayd, commissioner of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which helps Palestinian refugees, raised the possible violation of an informal truce in a video press conference with UN reporters from her base in Gaza.While it is true only 1 kassam rocket was widely reported as being launched from the Gaza Strip on the 26th Abu Zayd neglects to make any reference to the 27 mortar rounds fired into Israel on that day.
(…)Abu Zayd said Palestinians in Gaza were surprised when Israeli warplanes sent more than 100 tons of bombs crashing down on key security installations in Hamas-ruled Gaza starting Saturday morning because it was in the middle of the lull. (…)"What we understood here (was) that there was a 48-hour lull to be called, and this was called by the Israelis," Abu Zayd said. "They said they would wait 48 hours. That was on Friday morning, I believe, until Sunday morning, and that they were going to evaluate." "There was only one rocket that went out on Friday, so it was obvious that Hamas was trying, again, to observe that truce to get this back under control," she said. "Then, everything got loose on Saturday morning at 11:30 am. We were all at work and very much surprised by this," Abu Zayd said.
(…)Abu Zayd mentioned the lull when she was asked whether the population of Gaza was aware "that this was all commenced by the Hamas government unilaterally ending the cease-fire and firing rockets." "I don't think they think the truce was violated first by Hamas," she said. I think they saw that Hamas had observed the truce quite strictly for almost six months, certainly for four of the six months, and that they got nothing in turn - because there was to be kind of a deal," Abu Zayd said. "If there were no rockets, the crossings would be opened," she said. "The crossings were not opened at all."So many lies, so little time. Firstly, the crossings were opened periodically and aid was sent through at various times. Let’s start with the myth of an ‘informal truce’ which was not reported in either the Arab or Israeli and seems to be a delusion created not only after the ‘truce’ officially expired but after the launch of Operation Cast Lead. In fact, Hamas stated very publicly the truce would not be renewed in both Damascus and the Gaza Strip.
As for the 48 hour ‘lull’ period – someone should tell it to the civilians of southern Israel. It seems those code red alerts were still working rather vigorously for an ‘informal truce’ or ‘lull’. Furthermore, it is beyond convenient for Abu Zayd to completely omit all reference to “Operation Oil Stain” I suspect Abu Zayd is counting on her intended audience having no familiarity with what is reported in the local Palestinian press.
As for the claims of Hamas strictly observing the so-called ‘truce’ for four months – try two out of six months – September & October – although neither month was completely projectile free and truce officially began on June 19, 2008.
As for Israeli violations of the truce, once again, I would like to point out there is no human right to build a tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel or fire mortars rather than kassams into Israel. Furthermore, the fact such a tunnel was built by Hamas during the truce is gross violation of the ‘truce’ as well as a violation of Israel sovereignty. When a UN agency becomes the unofficial voice for a terrorist organization there is only one humane course of action - disbandment.