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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Main Committee CONSTITUENCY STATEMENTS

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					HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

        Main Committee

CONSTITUENCY STATEMENTS

               Gaza Strip

                SPEECH
           Tuesday, 10 February 2009


    BY AUTHORITY OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, 10 February 2009               HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                                                      1


                                                  SPEECH
           Date Tuesday, 10 February 2009                           Source House
          Page 809                                                    Proof No
     Questioner                                                 Responder
       Speaker Simpkins, Luke, MP                              Question No.

Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (4.25 pm)—I rise to speak today on the circumstances in the Middle East, in particular
the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. Based on reports by much of the media, it would seem that the conflict is
between the murderous Israelis and the peace-loving Palestinians led by the moderate and progressive Hamas
leadership. If this were not such a serious matter, involving the lives of children, I would consider the majority
of the media reporting an absolute joke. I find it short on historical perspectives and completely devoid of a
contemporary context.

   Hamas is an organisation committed to the destruction of Israel, but it does not have the capacity to achieve
it—not that they would not do it if they could. Yet, because Iran is unable to provide Hamas with the weapons
in the quantities that Hamas desires, the leadership has to adopt other means to attack Israel. It is good that the
security fence has been able to restrict the suicide bombers that terrorised Israel for years. The contemporary
context, therefore, is that Hamas and previous controlling factions have been militarising and indoctrinating
children to a hatred of Israel that helps Hamas recruit extremists and allows them to fire some 10,000 rockets
in eight years from civilian areas.

   The number of rockets fired since the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza has increased. It is therefore
appropriate to clearly state my opinion of Hamas: pathetic men who recruit children to do their dirty work,
cowards who for years have fired their rockets at Israeli citizens from civilian areas in the hope that Israel will fire
back and unintentionally inflict civilian casualties that will then be exploited as a propaganda coup by Hamas.
Hamas are the first ones to promote the photos of Palestinian children killed and injured as the result of Israeli
reprisals, yet at these times they do not promote the photos of very young children holding real and toy weapons
or marching together in the ranks and files of what appear to be military units of 10-year-olds. I would also say
that one of the main leaders of Hamas promotes their cause from the safety of Damascus, in the true style of
cowardice and double standards, exposing his people to great risk from a safe location. The two-state solution
is the only way ahead, but in the way is the fundamental hatred and opposition to Israel. The indoctrination of
Palestinian children with the support of their parents is clear evidence of how far the peace process has to go.

   It is my position that Israel has a right to self-defence against Hamas rockets. While I look forward to a lasting
ceasefire and a return to the peace process, I worry for the future and for the innocent people who have been
dragged into this conflict. While Israel has allowed in humanitarian aid, food and power all along, the blockade
that it imposed on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas ejected Fatah will not be lifted until Hamas recognises Israel’s right
to exist, renounces violence and accepts the previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. While the Hamas charter
calls for the destruction of Israel and the extermination of the Jews there is little hope. There is no evidence that
Hamas wants peace or coexistence with Israel. There cannot be negotiation until Hamas publicly and officially
recognises Israel in all regards.




                                                     CHAMBER

				
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