Interview with Nadia Hijab, senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies: After unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza in September 2005, the Israeli Army re-invaded in June to search for a kidnapped Israeli soldier. Since then, about 400 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, half of them civilians and at least 75 children. Despite the withdrawal, Palestinians say they have been under continuous Israeli siege. Nov. 8, the Israelis shelled a home and killed 19 Gazan civilians in the town of Beit Hanoun, triggering worldwide outrage. The U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the attack, saying the measure was biased against Israel.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority government, led by Hamas has been spurned as a result of Israeli and western nations' demand that the party must recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence and honor previous agreements. Most international aid and financial transactions have been frozen, even from Arab states. But the suffering of the Palestinian people, along with continued attacks by Israel, has brought about dialogue between Hamas and Fatah, the party which formerly led the Palestinian government.
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