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Middle East

Israeli air strikes kill two after Hamas call for peace

media An Israeli tank is transferred as Israeli Arab taxi drivers pray while … Reuters

An Israeli air strike killed two Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday, less than 24 hours after Hamas and other political parties called for calm if Israel followed suit. Hamas called for peace after one week of clashes with Israel killed eight Palestinians.

Israel's bellicose stance remains the same even though Palestinian public opinion, which includes Hamas, has shifted, according to Mustapha Barghouti, an independent in the Palestinan legislature.

He told RFI that the Israeli attack that killed two on Sunday and Israeli's constant provocation could cancel the big achievements the Palestinians have reached - namely, the non-violent approach to peace with Israel, which was called for last Saturday.

What continues to undermine any sort of peace initiatives on the ground is the hypocritical nature of international governments. Barghouti says that Israel is allowed to strike Palestinians with impunity.

That impunity includes lucrative defense contracts to the European Union and other countries such as India and China. Israel military weapons and technology exports totaled 4.8 million euros for 2009.

"This double standard is used when commenting on what's happening politically in the region," Barghouti said.

"While many regimes are rightly critical for their oppressive approach against their people, and punishment is taken against them, incluidng even conducting a war on them, like what is happening in Libya,nothing is done in relation to Israel."

With this in mind, boycotting Israeli goods is not not even an option - but that the economic privileges Israel receives should be halted immediately.

Meanwhile, Barghouti and other political parties on the ground are advising Hamas not to retaliate.

He says the best way forward would be a clearer international community position that stresses that anyone who continues to violate the norms of humanitarian and international law will be condemned.

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