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Seems that the restraint should have always have been from the Palestinians.
Why should Israel be continually threatened by a people who are taught to hate them from birth.

Usual non-statement. Next!

Okay, okay.

Here's what he should have said:

"Israel's air strikes in Gaza constitute an understandable response to months of belligerence on her border."

You don't win in politics by sitting on the fence!

Adam is right in saying that Hague's statement is Another non-statement but he can't defend the loss of life caused by Israel's deaths by bombing. It's hard to be a friend of Israel sometimes.

From what I have heard, Israel's treatment of the people of Gaza is nothing short of disgusting. Nevermind restraint, Hague should be condemning this outright.

Here we go again. Israel is attacked time and time again, even when it trades land for "peace", and the world says nothing.
When it defends itself the world criticises it. "One rule for one, one for another".

Until Israel gets rid off the blockades that hinder everyday activities of the Gazans, they will have no option but to seek help from the one source there at their face, Hamas. if you keep encroaching on each and every inch of land and winding people up by allowing limited amounts of food through a hole in the barbaric wall, how are the ordinary people supposed to live? Hamas sends over 1 bogus rocket and israel retaliates with 1000. its bloody ridiculous and people cant understand why there is so much enmity towards Israel!

Lets look at things in perspective. Israel has said that todays rocket was the last straw in a series of rockets launched by Hamas over the past month. What about the complete blockade of food and travel for Gazan's over the last month? One could say that Israel provokes the situation every time.

Unless, it learns lessons from history, Israel cannot rest and the rest of us cannot move on. I am tired of this and have been for 40 years or more.

The only solution is for Israel to give up land in return for peace. As it looks like no new Israeli government will do this the Gazans will continue their struggle.

The Gazans are effectivly in a large prison, with nothing to lose, bombing them will not persuade them to stop. This leads me to think Israel does not want peace as it can not yet contemplate the painful sacrifices?

Israel made a terrible blunder when they vacated the Gaza Strip and now they have to use force to correct that mistake.

I suggest they cut the cackle and totally reoccupy the area for as long as they wish.

The Arabs made it clear in 1948 that they intended to push Israel into the sea, but have failed miserably every time even in the Yom Kippur War when they caught the Israelis out at first.

It is interesting that Israel is the only true democracy in that area and is a friend of the West unlike other nation in that part of the Middle East.

As far as I am concerned Israel has six million good reasons to defend itself robustly and more power to its elbow!

Hague should butt-out and leave them to it, but seriously are the Israelis really interested in what a failed Leader of the UK Opposition has to say anyway?

If only there was a Conservative Friends of Gaza capable of bankrolling key marginals seats to compete with CFI then we might have a balanced Conservative Policy! The Conservatives - the best money can buy.

Those who, just because it's Israel, dismiss the right of a nation state to take action against aggression from another (whilst, incidentally, simultaneously trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the same people) will repent at leisure when the 'world' finds a reason why their countries actions are declared disproportionate as it defends itself from crazed fascists.

George Lees: you are right. it seems Israel cannot see what is quite obvious to the rest of us. If you keep people as prisoners of course they will react when they are loose. and anyway, it's not as if they are being "asked " to give up their land. most people with common sense are talking about the land they keep taking day by day, building on it, displacing yet more people. If Israel wanted peace it could have got it by now. Using people like Hamas, Iran, rockets etc as an enemy keeps Israel under the "victim" tag and therefore thinks it can justifiably retaliate. People around the world are tired and until it can see the sense of people's argument, Israel and Israelis will live in fear. What type of life is that for 40 years? How long can it rely on the US to fund and feed her? Its time Israel took the steps that are in its long term interest an that is come to terms with the Arabs.

Johnny John,

Of course states have a right to defend themselves. However the best long term defence for Israel is to find a permenant solution, which means giving up the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights.

I hope a Conservative Government will be a friend to Israel but not an unconditional one - we must insist on Israel giving up land. It might not be fair but the USA and Britain end up taking part of the blame for Israel's actions so we also have a selfish reason to force Israel to the table.

Isn't it the intention of every Islamist nation around Israel to push the Israelis (Jews) into the sea?

Whatever ground Israel gives it will never be enough, all it would do is show weakness and encourage their enemies to more hostility.

"Isn't it the intention of every Islamist nation around Israel to push the Israelis (Jews) into the sea?"

Yes, Mr Disgusted - that is what the Arab Nations vowed at the time of the birth of the State of Israel - incited to hatred by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who counted the Nazis amongst his friends.
As ever, Israel is expected to sit back and do nothing! As ever the BBC and its left-wing media friends vilify the only true democracy in the Middle East.

Sally Roberts: Please do grow up! That is often the rhetoric used by despots who are appealing to a disgruntled home audiance. The reality is Israel is NOT going to be pushed into the sea, not as long as the US exists! It is not going to happen in realty and you cannot use it to justify the reason why Israel should exist. What most of us with half a brain are talking about is a solution not the same old lines you and others keep dropping. you have to understand that the situation is a scar on the on the concience of the world and with Israel and its allies continuing to preside over a humanatarian catastrophie. Israel has not given up any land but continues to take and leave the palestinians in an even more perilous position.
unless you have seen the reality on the ground, you cannot appreciate the plight of the desparate. the onus is with Israel to cut out the likes of Hamas but it is not in its interest to do so because if it does find a solution with the palestinians, it will have to learn to stand on its wn feet without the US and that itcant do at themoment, otherwise the best way to bring honest hardworking arabs on side is to show that they are big enough to bargain, honestly and not pretend. have you seen the wall? no suspect youhavent. how is the ordinary arab supposed to look at Israel in good light when you confiscate their home and imprison them? The injustice is beyond imaginable. Let us stop being either staunch supoporters of either one side or another. If only people were grown up about he situation!

I think Sally Roberts you are 60 years out of date. Israel is at peace with Egypt and Jordan and could (if it gave back the Golan Heights) have peace with Syria. Israel is a well governed democracy and deserves praise for that, but from the stand point of somebody living under occupation in Gaza or the West Bank it is not a democracy at all. Israel should not sit back and do nothing it should stop building settlements on other peoples land!

Hypocrisy in Action:
Where were Egypt, Russia, OIC, EU, Britain, Sarkozy, US & Austria when Hamas was pounding Israel with daily barrage of rockets?


Israel causes myriads of problems for Britain in its relations with the Middle East. Israel has a good PR operation but at root they have no special claim on British support. (i.e. Benjamin Netanyahu even turned up to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the King David Hotel's bombing were many British soldiers died.)

I think the Conservatives should treat Israel like any other state. It has a right to defend itself but we should not ignor the grevances of those living under occupation. We should put pressure on Israel to negociate. Support for Israel must have a quid pro quo. We (and the USA)should try and escape from being lumped together with Israel in Arab eyes.

[muslimsagainastsharia] you are a joke! no one is defending killing people on either side. at no time can Hamas or any other arab givernment for that matter even match Israel for might, weapons or brutalit. the world has seen Israeli action on many ocasissions. it has never ever been an even fight. Dont you recal the countless times when 1 suicide bomber killing 1 dozen people was met with 1000 dead on the palestinian side.
again i say, no killing can be justified. however, Israel holds the keys to peace and we have to be honest about the facts. Israel has to be honest.

Of course Israel has a right to defend itself; especially when Hamas are increasingly launching rockets against Israeli civilians.

However, to ensure international support it must ensure as far as is reasonably possible that the their attacks are proportionate and aimed only at strategic Hamas targets.

The serious players in the international community such as the US and the UK both realise that now is the time to get rid of Hamas once and for all as the de facto rulers of Gaza. Basically they're asking for Israel to push on but to try to minimize civilian causalities. Hague has basically said the same but not made it as explicit. Depending on the ensuing impact of Israel's actions Hague seems to be hedging his bets with the ambiguous use of the term of 'restraint.'

Nonetheless, although prima facie Israel has every right to defend its citizens, I just hope this policy is not being pursued by Livni's Kadima for the purposes of improving their chances in the upcoming election where they are trailing Netanyahu's more aggressive right-wing Likud party in the polls.

and exactly how many israelis have been killed by all these rocket attacks?

I'm pretty sure neither Hamas nor the Israeli Defence Force cares one jot about what William Hague thinks on this.

I'll admit I have no understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict, well, certainly not enough to be opining on who is right or wrong or to be getting a map, pencil and ruler out and trying to solve the thing. I suspect many people belligerently wading in on either side of the argument here are equally ill-informed.

I would just observe though that we do seem to be seen in the Arab world as biased in favour of Israel. Perhaps the Arab-Israeli conflict is an area Britain and America are best toleave to countries with a more (perceived?) objective position.

Some people here seem unaware that Israel has indeed pulled out of Gaza, not that that is of any interest to Hamas.

Where is Rob Halfon when you need a good comment?

Quite right, Mr. Disgusted. Hamas' policy of hiding in ordinary villages and firing fromn there does amount to "trying to drive the Jews into the sea". Final Solution Part Two?

ahem!? anyone care to tell us how many Israelis have been killed by the rocket attacks in the last few weeks? come on - all you middle east experts must know surely? any guesses??

My objection to Israel's actions is that despite being the regions most advanced military power and a democracy they time and time again target Hamas fighters without taking into account how many civilians they will kill. Are the 230 people dead all Hamas fighters? Of course they arent, a fraction of them are.

Idiots say "Hamas dont discriminate" Of course not, those that suicide bomb and fire rockets are terrorists! What do you expect them to do?? Israel is a democracy and should start acting like one.

If a British air-strike in an Iraqi town killed this many imagine the outcry and investigations. Heads would roll. Israel just doesn't bother to have these checks and balances for their military in the occupied territories.

"Hamas' policy of hiding in ordinary villages and firing fromn there does amount to "trying to drive the Jews into the sea"."

Absolutely right, Superblue and this is a well-known tactic which was also used by Hizbollah in Lebanon during the fighting in 2006. Terrorists will stop at absolutely nothing to gain the propaganda advantage and as James's comment proves, they invariably succeed!

As to the earlier commenter who asked whether I had ever seen the wall, the answer is yes - in June 2006. It is a hideously ugly construction but it does its job effectively - there would be far more attacks on the State of Israel without it.

Shock horror, world exclusive, Israelis and Palestinians trying to kill each other!

Zzzzzzzzzzzz........Its been happening all my life, its not news, it would be news if Israelis and Palestinians weren't trying to kill each other, but they aren't, they are doing what they love best of all, trying to kill each other, so who are we to try to deprive them of their most loved past time?

The only thing we have to ask our selves is why we give these few million people, for that’s all they are, so much dominance of the media and so much wasted diplomatic effort, , when as I say they have been trying to kill each other for the past 50 years, and will continue to try and kill each other for the next 50 years?

Sharab: "dont you recal the countless times when 1 suicide bomber killing 1 dozen people was met with 1000 dead on the palestinian side."

No, because that has never happened. even hamas describe this current attack, killing 200 as the worst ever. this is a serious issue so please don't make figures up.

The idea that israel can strike a deal with extremists who hate not israel politically but also jews ethnically absurd.

what solutions have been proposed here?
Give up land - this has already happened, but hamas are still attacking.

Turn the other cheek - various people have asked how many israelis have been killed by rockets. does it matter? if anyone fired mortars or rockets into britain, would we say 'oh well, none dead' and leave it?

Sean Fear,

Israel has pulled out of Gaza but still controls of its borders, airspace and coast. It would be a bit like Germany pulling out of Poland but still keeping it surrounded by troops and not allowing supplies of food or medicine inside. In any case Israel made no effort creating political progress in Gaza before it pulled out and has now destroyed the police stations. It is no suprise it is a failure. Reminds me of the Portuguese pouring concrete into the Angolan drains before they departed.

Events are quite simple:
Hamas attacks Israel (or Russia attacks Georgia) and the world does nothing.
Israel (or Georgia) defends itself and the world hinders it.
This is rather less than impartiality.

First and foremost Im no expert and know very little save for the bits and pieces Ive picked up over the years, so what I post may be naive, but all the same its what I think.

Both sides are as bad as each other. The only way for this to be solved is by very small diplomatic steps. The difference between Hamas's violence and Israeli retaliation (or alternatively Hamas's retaliation to Israeli treatment if you like...both are valid viewpoints) is that Israels bombs kill far more people than Hamas's.

The building of the wall did an awful lot to set back the peace process. Both sides need to seriously think about whether they actually do want peace or not.

"Hamas attacks Israel (or Russia attacks Georgia) and the world does nothing.
Israel (or Georgia) defends itself and the world hinders it.
This is rather less than impartiality."

Precisely! As other people have commented, imagine how we would feel if we were sitting in London and knew that at this moment missiles were being fired at Leeds and at Cardiff? Would we sit idly by and do nothing? Of course not.

Those who oppose Israel's action fall into two categories. The first is those who know insufficient facts and in addition have the usually laudable British characteristic of always sticking up for the underdog (in this case believing that to be the Palestinians). The second category is of course those who wish Israel - and the Jewish people - ill. Fortunately that second category is far smaller than the first. It is at this time when Israel needs allies and I am proud to come to her defence.

hang on loss of life - that's hamas fault for using civilians as cannon fodder.

right sharab you are wrong israel gave up the northern west bank , the sinai ,the whole of gaza - in land and in return they got terrorists on their doorstep.

israel offered jordan the west bank they didn't want it .

i believe israel should get out of the west bank , but then arab nations created the reason why israel hold on to the west bank when they said after 1967 no to negotiations or recognition of israel -and this was when israel was most prepared to give up all of the west bank.

also israel should give up the golan heights until syria recognises israel and stops supporting genocidal movements in hezbollah and hamas in their quest to destroy israel.

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