Man Behind Security Gag Revealed

Published: May 9th 2010
in News » Israel

Amir Makhoul

Q. How does Itijah regard the Hamas regime? Does Itijah see it as a regime involved in war crimes?


A. No. No. It is an elected government. It is a people under occupation. According the UN conventions and the International Law they [Hamas] are allowed to wage a struggle against the occupation. No one can say that Gaza is not occupied. Israel is responsible for Gaza and the siege [on Gaza] was not imposed from heaven.


Q. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty and Btselem assert that launching rockets at Israeli communities is a war crime. Does Itijah agree that launching rockets at Israeli communities is a war crime?


A. No. No. We oppose any indiscriminate targeting of civilians, but we acknowledge that the struggle of the Palestinian people is aimed at the occupation and not at the Jews.


Q. Is the launching of rockets by Hamas at Israeli communities a war crime committed by Hamas?


A. No.


Q. Is targeting civilians not a war crime?


A. No. No. No. It has totally different definition. The victim is not Israel. The victim is the Palestinian people, including the Hamas government which is a legitimate movement.


Q. The question I’ve asked referred to launching rockets at Israeli communities. The question is clear and simple: is launching rockets at Israeli communities a war crime?


A. No. No. It is not defined as such... it is not a war crime. The definition of a war crime is different. 


Q. How does Itijah plan to support the Palestinian people in Gaza?


A. We are working on transferring humanitarian support. We regard the Israeli aggression as aimed not only at the Palestinians in Gaza, but at the Palestinian people as a whole. We are not outside of this cycle as the hostility towards the Palestinian society in Israel is abysmal and generated by the government. When we are defending the Palestinian people we are performing an act of defence. We defend ourselves here and in Gaza, because the State of Israel does not make any distinction between us. It refers to the Palestinians as a part of a problem whether here or in Gaza and we oppose that. We regard that [the support of Gaza] as a moral, humanitarian and political support to raise the Palestinian morale in struggling the occupation and mobilizing international support.


Q. Are there restrictions in transferring humanitarian support to Gaza?


 A. Of course. Gaza is now designated an enemy area and an enemy state by the Israeli law since the last summer. Transferring moneys is restricted as well as equipment. We are trying to transfer humanitarian support via ships and international organizations and to carry out civilian struggle. This is our role.


Itijah – Short Background


Ittijah is the umbrella organization for Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Israel. Ittijah strives to empower and strengthen the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel by promoting the development of Palestinian civil society and advocating for political, economic and social change. Its mission is to coordinate the activities and strategies of member organizations while fostering the development of members' institutional and organizational capabilities.


Ittijah – The Union of Arab Community Based Associations was officially established in 1997 as an umbrella organization for the Palestinian civil society within the Green Line. It is part of civil society and the Palestinian people, of the regional Arab civil society movement, and an integral part of the International civil society.

Related articles: (Gag, Security, Israel, Arrest, Terrorism, Hamas, Gaza)

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