View from Gaza

(What makes the situation in Gaza different this time?) 64 people were killed in one day, this is the biggest number since the beginning of the Palestinian Intifadah in 2000 and they feel this is just the start. (Are the rockets fired by Hamas still being fired?) Yes, it was a significant number of rockets according to Israel, around 25. so in total more than 40 that have been targeted at Israel. (Protesters in Gaza, do they want a weakened Hamas?) No, I was at the demonstration today and the majority support Hamas. The Palestinians say Hamas is the only group fighting the occupation. Many people in Gaza are against fighting rockets. I have met a senior Hamas official today and he said we seek for peace but Israel should know they can't ignore Hamas and Israel has to speak with Hamas and negotiate. He said Hamas is ready to recognize a Palestinian state with the '67 borders and East Jerusalem as its capitol. (Does anyone believe Hamas is really against violence?) Yes but Hamas says they're doing this as a retaliation for Israeli aggression. So it's the same cycle of violence. (Secretary Rice is arriving in the region tomorrow and has refused to negotiate with Hamas.) Rice has been with the Israelis and Palestinians many times lately but Palestinians feel Rice will not achieve anything for the Palestinians. They're losing hope that Rice will do something. (What do Palestinians see as the route to peace?) The situation is very hopeless here in Gaza. Gaza's been under siege for more than two years now. every day they are losing hope.