Hamas compares Gaza to Warsaw Ghetto

Haaretz, Israel, April 18, 2008

Hamas’ Gaza-based leader Mahmoud al-Zahar yesterday compared activity against Israel in the Gaza Strip to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis. In an opinion piece published yesterday in The Washington Post, Zahar wrote: “Sixty-five years ago, the courageous Jews of the Warsaw ghetto rose in defense of their people. We Gazans, living in the world’s largest open-air prison, can do no less.”

Zahar denounced Israel as waging a “total war” against the Palestinian people, which he said justified last week’s attack by Gaza militants on the Nahal Oz fuel depot. Zahar said that resistance was the only option left to the Palestinians.

Zahar offered praise for former American president Jimmy Carter, who asked to meet with Hamas leaders. He added that peace talks cannot succeed unless Hamas takes part.

Zahar wrote that the world must not forget that Israel turned the Palestinians into refugees. He added that the Palestinians understand the need for patience against Israel, which “is all too vulnerable to time, fatigue and demographics.”

The newspaper described Zahar as “foreign minister in the government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, which was elected in January 2006” – even though that government was declared illegal by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas following Hamas’ takeover of the Gaza Strip.

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