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Ask our correspondents your questions

Latest update : 2009-01-12

Following Israel's air strikes on the Gaza Strip, FRANCE 24 journalists reporting on the latest events in Israel and the Palestinian territories answer your questions about the conflict.

Ask our correspondents questions by clicking on the "React" button above. Watch special reports from the region in the right sidebar.

 

Question from Jordi, Catalonia:
Who is arming and financing the Hamas?

Radjaa Abou Dagga in Gaza:
Hamas has four sources of financing:
1 - Contributions from donors across the world who believe in the jihadist action of the Islamist movement against the Israeli “occupier”.
2 - Contributions from countries and organizations that openly support Hamas’s fight against Israel, such as Iran and Hezbollah. These two countries also help Hamas with logistics and equipment.
3 – Contributions from the Muslim Brotherhood organisation and its collaborators throughout the Arab world who see Hamas as an extension of their organisation.
4 – Hamas funds, investments and taxes on several activities.
Most arms for Palestinian Territories and Hamas transit through the Rafah tunnel between Egypt and Gaza.

 


 

Question from Malik in France:

Why are civilian Palestinians not allowed to leave Gaza for Egypt?

 

Answer from Ygal Saadou, in Rafah:

It’s a question that has caused much controversy among Egyptians. Many of them are angry at President Hosni Mubarak for having confined the Palestinians while they suffer and die under the embargo and Israeli bombs. His hostile stance towards Hamas just heightens the feeling that he is allied with Israel. An idea which revolts people here.

Either way, Hosni Mubarak repeated last week: “the Egyptian frontier is a red line.” For him “Israel occupies Palestine and as long as she does she needs to provide Palestinians with the necessary aid and to control what goes on there.” It seems that Egypt wants to avoid a massive inflow of Palestinians like they had last January and to have to be responsible for the Gazans.

 


 
Question from TG in France:
Does Hamas have any opponents inside the Gaza Strip ? I’m thinking about Fatah members in particular, many of whom were killed during the 2007 events, and who might want to take advantage of the situation.

Lucas Menget, correspondent on the northern border of the Gaza Strip:
According to information we have about what is happening inside the Gaza Strip, Hamas opponents inside the Gaza Strip are very weak. Fatah members fled the Strip in June 2007 and settled in the West Bank. Moreover, since the beginning of the Israeli offensive, Hamas has been tracking opponents inside the Gaza Strip.
 


 

Question from Zion, Levallois, France:
Why are French media in general pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas?

Gauthier Rybinski, FRANCE 24’s international editor:
I can only speak on behalf of FRANCE 24. We allocate strictly the same time to the expression of the different point of views in our covering of the current crisis in Gaza. You may have noticed that Israeli officials and analysts have been repeatedly interviewed on FRANCE 24 and we reported every rocket that has landed on southern Israel since the offensive began last week.

 


 

Question from Bridget Jones in in Dubai to Radja Abou Dagga in Gaza City:
I'm hearing contradictory reports about humanitarian relief being allowed in Gaza. Some claim that 100 truckloads are being allowed in every day, others say barely any food/medical supplies are reaching the victims. What is the actual story? Thanks.

Radjaa Abou Dagga:
The humanitarian aid delivered up until now to the Gaza strip is supplied by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The UNWRA has been delayed this month, especially in the delivery of basic foodstuffs such as flour, because of the security situation.

Egypt supplies medical equipment and supplies to Gaza's hospitals.

It should be noted that these supplies are far from being adequate and that animal fodder is also counted as humanitarian aid.

 


 

Question from Mahmoud in Gaza to Lucas Menget, reporting from southern Israel:
What has been the reaction of Israeli citizens — not their political leaders — who live in the “line of fire” on the border between Gaza and Israel, where Hamas continues to aim its rockets despite the massive Israeli operation? And what has been the reaction of those who live far from the Gaza Strip?

Lucas Menget:
The Israeli population overwhelmingly supports current operation in Gaza. Hamas has become the enemy of the population, no matter which side they support. All Israelis are afraid of the military capabilities of the Islamist militia that has seized power in the Gaza Strip.

The inhabitants of cities on the border are most hopeful that the Israeli army will defeat Hamas very quickly. Not only do they experience daily fire from Qassam and Grad rockets and live with permanent alarms, but they must also endure the economic and social hardships that afflict the rest of the territory.

Those who live far from the Gaza Strip were, until now, not very worried about the conflict but the increase in the range of Hamas rockets has awakened their concern. A psychological barrier was breached when Hamas bombs succeeded in travelling more than 40 kilometres.

 



Question from Outeh in Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Ygal Saadoun, reporting from Rafah, Egypt:
With Israeli Foreign Minister meeting with Egyptian premier Hosni Mubarak hours before the first strikes in Gaza, how is it possible that he wasn't aware of the Israeli intention? Will Egypt remain a helpless spectator and silently watch what's going on in its neighbouring country?

Ygal Saadoun:

During her visit to Cairo, Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni clearly stated Israel's intention to strike against Hamas but did not explain their plan of attack. The visit surprised many Egyptians even before the Israeli strikes started. Egypt's position against Hamas makes the coordination between Israelis and the Egyptians stronger. Cairo holds Hamas responsible for the failure of power-sharing talks between Hamas and Fatah to create an inter-Palestinian government.

Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak insisted on the return of the Palestinian authority in Gaza during a televised speech on Tuesday. The emotions are mixed among residents living along Egypt's border with Gaza. It's a mix of anger and shame against the Egyptian government. I met residents from Rafah who are preparing to receive Gazans into their homes in case the border opens, which is unlikely considering the Egyptian position. Protests are planned in Cairo after Friday prayers.



 

Date created : 2009-01-07

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