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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, with a distorted truth

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, the Israeli Defence Forces spokesman  lied during television interview.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner IDF Spokesman

Yesterday, 1st August 2014, I wrote, under the title of “Israel has a very warped understanding of a ceasefire", a Blog post criticising Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, the Israeli Defence Forces spokesman for essentially lying when being interviewed on the breakdown of the ceasefire in Gaza. This criticism generated some response, not least in the Huffington Post where one poster using the name Bjorn (Bjorn_Ag), wrote

Unless you are aware of the terms of the agreement how can you define the destruction of the tunnels as 'aggression'? Do you know the terms of the agreement? To suggest that one side would be allowed to continue with aggression whilst the other be expected to remain subservient, suggests that you don't. The alternative of course is that Ham as failed to read the agreement properly before signing it.

How strange that Bjorn (Bjorn_Ag) should not refer to the text of the agreement, which is freely available on line, before joining the debate.
The following text is my reply posted this morning.

For the benefit of Bjorn (Bjorn_Ag)  this post shows the full text of the cease fire agreement, and is freely available on line. You will note that the relevant text states that " During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place." it does not say anything about carrying on with the destruction of tunnels, rocket sites or anything else.
The belief by Israel that they could carry on with their destruction work, came about when Lerner, Netanyahu and many other Israel sympathisers, seized upon a remark to a reporter made by Secretary John Kerry during his trip to Asia when he said that dismantling tunnels could continue in the areas already under Israeli control.
As usual, the Israeli's took this as American approval for their intentions to continue aggression, regardless of what the agreement states.
When Lerner, or anybody else, says that the agreement allows for the destruction of tunnels to continue, they are lying as are the media and television news broadcasts and the American government that perpetuate the myth in order to demonise Palestinians.

I have nothing to add to my Blog of yesterday, except to repeat that during the televised interview with Aljazeera, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, the Israeli Defence Forces spokesman, in an attempt to convince the viewer that the Palestinians were responsible for the collapse of the ceasefire was lying to deflect blame away from the Israeli forces.

The text of the ceasefire agreement
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and United States Secretary of State John Kerry announce that the United Nations Representative in Jerusalem, Special Coordinator Robert Serry, has received assurances that all parties have agreed to an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

This humanitarian ceasefire will commence at 8 am local time on Friday, August 1, 2014. It will last for a period of 72 hours unless extended.

During this time the forces on the ground will remain in place.

We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire.

This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence. During this period, civilians in Gaza will receive urgently needed humanitarian relief, and the opportunity to carry out vital functions, including burying the dead, taking care of the injured, and restocking food supplies. Overdue repairs on essential water and energy infrastructure could also continue during this period.

Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately be going to Cairo for negotiations with the Government of Egypt, at the invitation of Egypt, aimed at reaching a durable ceasefire. The parties will be able to raise all issues of concern in these negotiations.

We thank key regional stakeholders for their vital support of this process, and count on a continued collaborative international effort to assist Egypt and the parties reach a durable ceasefire as soon as possible.