Daily Israel Report

Israel Radio Legal Commentator: PA Has Declared War on Israel

The Hamas interior minister's order to "shoot at Israeli forces" is a declaration of war on Israel - or at least a nullification of the Oslo Accords. So says left-wing legal commentator Moshe Negbi.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 7/7/2006, 10:00 AM / Last Update: 7/7/2006, 12:54 PM

The Hamas Authority minister, Said Siyam, ordered his security forces last night to fight back against the Israeli invasion.

Moshe Negbi, who is generally known for his extreme left-wing views, said that this may be considered as a declaration of war against Israel. Speaking on Israel Radio this afternoon, Negbi agreed that PA Chairman Abu Mazen (Fatah), and even Hamas prime minister Abu Haniyeh, had distanced themselves from the order, "but this is not enough. They must fully rescind the order in order for it to be nullified."

The interior ministry spokesman, Abu Hilal, announced last night that PA policemen and security forces had been ordered to open fire against IDF soldiers in Gaza. This was the first time PA officials had openly ordered official PA forces to shoot at IDF soldiers.

At the very least, Negbi said, the declaration - which was later denied by the PA - can be viewed as having nullified the Oslo Agreements of 1993.

Minister Eitan Cabel (Labor), who was interviewed on Israel Radio following Negbi, attempted to skirt the issue. Asked if he agreed that Hamas had declared war or nullified Oslo, Cabel said, "Look, Oslo and the other agreements are not on the agenda right now. We're dealing only with Gilad Shalit and stopping Kassams..."

Israel's invasion itself, it should be noted, is not a declaration of war. Israeli officials repeat time and again that the operation is aimed only against terrorists. The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 was similarly not accompanied by a declaration of war.