Egypt and western leaders are preparing the groundwork for peace talks as Israel reportedly agreed to extend the 72-hour truce with Hamas on Wednesday, the ninth anniversary of the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif in Gaza.
The current ceasefire is supposed to end 8 a.m. Friday.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad have rejected extending the halt in attacks on Israel and showed its muscle, at least in its tongue, but it warned it will renew missile attacks.
The war against Hamas was a follow-up to the so-called Disengagement plan executed today, on the Hebrew calendar, with the ballyhooed promises that removing Jews and the IDF from Gaza would make Hamas safe for Israel.
Nine years and 15,000 rocket and mortar shell attacks later, Israel lost 67 soldiers and civilians and again was cast as the villain for “disproportionate” retaliation against Hamas.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told foreign journalists Wednesday that Israel is maintaining the ceasefire and will not sit idly if it is violated, but the advantage is now in the hands of Hamas, unless it really is so stupid to go back to war on Friday.
Hamas has held the truce and continues to do so, knowing full well that it now has everything to gain as international leaders converge in Egypt, calculate the damage in Gaza, place the blame on Israel for defending itself “disproportionately” and turning Hamas into a legitimate entity that will be peace-loving if only Israel would allow Gaza to open an airport under the supposed supervision of the United Nations and if Israel simply would release more terrorists from jail.
That is a sensible demand by Hamas since once the terrorist organization used United Nations’ UNRWA organization, which has institutionalized desire for millions of Arabs through its “refugee camps” to store rockets. It also has been filmed using U.N. ambulances to transport its fighters, complete with machine guns. The IDF has provided aerial photography of Hamas firing rockets next to UNRWA facilities, including schools.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that “peace talks” should be a direct continuation or the truce.
“Israel has expressed its readiness to extend the truce under its current terms,” and anonymous Israeli official was quoted as saying by the London Independent. Egyptian media also reported the extension.
The ceasefire gives international leaders room in the media to make their pitch for imposing a Western-style peace on Hamas, which does not recognize any existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and which categorically calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.
But that is just idle talk, as far as peacemakers are concerned,
“We must spare no effort to turn the current calm into a durable ceasefire that addresses the underlying issues of the conflict,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Ban the General Assembly.
His Middle East peace envoy Robert Serry, a long-time supporter of Hamas told the meeting of the General Assembly from Cairo “It would be cynical and irresponsible if, yet again, the outcome of the talks would lead us to the previous status quo.”
Ban brought out the heartstrings, and said, “The massive death and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world. The senseless cycle of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in Israel, must end.”
UNRWA chipped in by flying U.N. flags at half-mast across the Palestinian Authority in memory of 11 United Nations staffers killed in the war.
Lost in the verbal volume was the recollection that Gaza once upon a time enjoyed a flourishing economy under the “occupation” until Yasser Arafat’s terrorists, murdering Jews under the euphemism of the Palestine Liberation Organization, helped lead the intifada that began in Gaza.