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Uri Avnery on Gaza Crisis, His Time in a Zionist “Terrorist” Group & Becoming a Peace Activist

Fighting in Gaza has resumed after the expiration of a 72-hour truce expired. Israel said it launched airstrikes after Palestinians fired at least 18 rockets into southern Israel after the ceasefire ended. Palestinian officials say a 10-year-old boy was killed earlier today when an Israeli airstrike hit near a mosque in Gaza City. Six other people were wounded in the attack. A Hamas military wing spokesman earlier called on Palestinian negotiators holding indirect talks with Israeli negotiators in Cairo to refuse any ceasefire extension unless its long-term demands were met. We speak with longtime peace activist Uri Avnery, who has pushed for Israel to engage with Hamas. Avnery is a historic figure within the Israeli peace movement. He was born in Germany in 1923. His family fled the Nazis and moved to what was then Palestine. As a youth, he joined the Irgun Zionist paramilitary group, which he later quit to become a leading peace activist in Israel. In 1950, he founded the news magazine, HaOlam HaZeh. Fifteen years later, he was elected to the Knesset on a peace platform. In 1982, he made headlines when he crossed the lines during the Siege of Beirut to meet Yasser Arafat, head of the then-banned Palestine Liberation Organization. In 1993, he started the Gush Shalom peace movement. He will turn 91 next month and still writes a weekly column.

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