The fact that it is so daring and noteworthy simply to state the obvious says a great deal about the present situation.
“Top EU official: Hamas fully responsible for Gaza war,” from the Associated Press and Jerusalem Post, January 26:
Hamas bears full responsibility for the war in Gaza, a top EU official said Monday in the Strip, calling the group “a terrorist movement.”
“At this time we have to also recall the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas,” Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, told reporters.
“I intentionally say this here – Hamas is a terrorist movement and it has to be denounced as such,” Michel said as he visited the town of Jabalya in northern Gaza.
“Public opinion is fed up to see that we are paying over and over again – be it the [European] commission, the member states or the major donors – for infrastructure that will be systematically destroyed,” he said.
Reuters quoted the EU official as saying that the Islamic group had used civilians as “human shields” by placing operatives in residential areas, and said that the years of terrorist rocket-fire on southern Israel served as a “provocation.”
The report also quoted Michel as saying that, “When you kill innocents, it is not resistance. It is terrorism.”
A Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri, was quoted by Reuters as saying his group was “shocked” at Michel’s comments. He lambasted the official for “giving cover to massacres and terrorism committed by the Zionist enemy against the Palestinian people”¦ Palestinian resistance is as legitimate as the resistance of European countries that fought against foreign occupiers.”
Michel announced â‚¬58 million ($74 million) in emergency aid Monday for Palestinians.
Around â‚¬32 million ($41.7 million) of the aid package will go to alleviate immediate needs in Gaza such as shortages in drinking water, food and medical supplies. Another â‚¬20 million ($26 million) will go to projects in the West Bank, the remaining â‚¬6 million ($7.8 million) to Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.