Middle East Online, First Published 2009-07-29
Calling for a coup against Palestinian democracy?
Hardline Israeli PM predicts overthrow of Palestinian democracy as Gazans suffer under Israeli siege.
TEL AVIV – Hardline Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday predicted the people of the Gaza Strip will one day overthrow the democratically elected Hamas movement.
Israel, which wants to crush any Palestinian liberation movement, responded to Hamas’s win in the elections with sanctions, and almost completely blockaded the impoverished coastal strip after Hamas seized power in 2007, although a ‘lighter’ siege had already existed before.
Human rights groups, both international and Israeli, slammed Israel’s siege of Gaza, branding it “collective punishment.”
There are 1.5 million inhabitants in the Israeli-besieged.
A group of international lawyers and human rights activists had also accused Israel of committing “genocide” through its crippling blockade of the Strip.
“If the Palestinians could, they would overthrow Hamas and believe me one day they will,” Netanyahu said at the National Security Academy’s graduation ceremony.
Netanyahu, himself accused of being a radical Jew, accused Hamas of being part of radical Islam.
“Eventually, radical Islam will be defeated by the global information revolution, the freedom to spread ideas and with the help of technology.”
“This won’t happen immediately, but it will happen. The only thing that could delay or disrupt radical Islam’s demise is the possibility that (radicals) will obtain nuclear arms,” he said, in a reference to Iran.
The hardline Israeli PM, who is accused of seeking to starve 1.5 million people to death, made remarks about Palestinian internal affairs.
“By making the Palestinians of Gaza wear a veil, the Hamas regime is not doing much to make itself popular,” Netanyahu was quoted by YNetnews website as saying.
On Sunday, Palestinian officials said Hamas has ordered women lawyers to wear a headscarf while in court.
Israel’s war on Gaza killed nearly 1,400 Palestinians, mainly civilians, and wounded 5,450 others.
The war also left tens of thousands of houses destroyed, while their residents remained homeless.
Gaza is still considered under Israeli occupation as Israel controls air, sea and land access to the Strip.
The Rafah crossing with Egypt, Gaza’s sole border crossing that bypasses Israel, rarely opens as Egypt is under immense US and Israeli pressure to keep the crossing shut.
Fatah has little administrative say in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and has no power in Arab east Jerusalem, both of which were illegally occupied by Israel in 1967.
Israel also currently occupies the Lebanese Shabaa Farms and the Syrian Golan Heights.