The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
JERUSALEM – Commanders of Israel Defense Forces units across the Gaza Strip were racing against the clock Tuesday to discover and destroy Hamas’s sophisticated underground tunnel infrastructures and eliminate Hamas’s scattered rocket squads.
In Jerusalem, meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu was reportedly determined to delay for at least a few days a cease-fire being formulated by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
According to an Israel Hayom newspaper poll conducted earlier this week, 77 percent of the Israeli public is against a cease-fire at this time, and 71 percent of those surveyed favored expanding military operations in Gaza.
The fast-moving events on the ground in and around Gaza – as of Tuesday afternoon 28 IDF soldiers had been killed and hundreds more wounded (with one missing in action) while the toll among Palestinians was given as more than 600 dead – have spurred Israel to try to complete the objectives of Operation Protective Edge before international pressure for a cease-fire becomes impossible to resist.
As of late Tuesday, Israeli military sources reported the IDF had located nearly 50 tunnel openings leading to about 20 central tunnels spread out in a sophisticated maze across northern and central Gaza, with a substantial number of routes leading directly into a number of kibbutzim along the border.
As elite Golani, Egoz and Paratrooper units found the tunnels and started to systematically destroy them, Hamas’s military wing dispatched commando units dressed in IDF uniforms into undiscovered tunnel openings to infiltrate kibbutzim.
Several Israeli soldiers, including an IDF lieutenant general, were killed on Monday when they came across what they thought was a small unit of camouflaged Israeli soldiers at the entrance to Kibbutz Nir Am. In fact, the unit consisted of Hamas commandos who had emerged from a nearby tunnel.
The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds. On Monday, Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, warned against any major Qatari involvement on behalf of Hamas in cease-fire negotiations. He also vowed to curtail the movement of Al Jazeera’s correspondents in Israel. Al Jazeera, which is owned and operated by the family of Qatar’s emir, was expelled from Egypt when the Egyptian military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government. Hamas leader Khaled Meshal is based in Doha, Qatar’s capital.
Netanyahu told England’s Sky News Arabic Channel, “They [Hamas] have taken billions of dollars [from Qatar]. Instead of building kindergartens with it, they’re building tunnels, concrete tunnels, to blow up our kindergartens…. They’re hiding rockets in hospitals. They’re hiding arms in hospitals and they’re shooting from hospitals. So they just don’t care.”
The dangers posed by the tunnels and incessant rocket attacks stimulated lively debates on Israeli TV news programs. Government officials, former IDF commanders, and intelligence experts came under severe criticism from average citizens and TV anchors for admitting they were aware of the tunnel and rocket threats for years but for various reasons were unable to deal with them.
According to Israeli government sources, Netanyahu will refuse to agree to any long-term cease-fire unless pressure is exerted on Hamas by Egypt, the United Nations and the U.S. to implement a disarmament program and to allow a re-entry of U.S.- supervised Palestinian Authority forces into Gaza.
Meanwhile, in the midst of missile alerts and a missile strike in a town that parallels the nearby runways at Ben Gurion Airport, 228 North American immigrants landed in Israel Tuesday morning as part of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s summer aliyah program.
Upon arriving at New York’s Kennedy Airport on Monday, each immigrant received a special booklet prepared by Israel’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption regarding security measures, such as what to do when a Code Red siren sounds, warning of incoming rockets.
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Bensouda suggested it was in “the best interest” of Hamas and Israel to provide the needed information.
The primary road block is the position that Bayit Yehudi party head Naftali Bennett will receive.
Marzel not sorry Yachad party’s loss cost Bayit Yehudi seats in Knesset. Bennett accuses Netanyahu of thinking he is a sucker.
in a new report, Amnesty International charges “Gaza armed groups’ with war crimes in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
If there are no surprises, Netanyahu is expected to form a coalition, after some tough negotiations, with the Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu, UTJ and Shas.
One wonders how many Prime Ministers Herzog envisions sitting in that one chair at the same time.
Netanyahu is expected to have 61 recommendations in his favor.
There’s much disappointment within Yesh Atid as they head into the oppositions.
Final voter counts are in, if Yachad doesn’t petition the courts over voter fraud…
“The truth is it’s surprising to us as well, but it turns out each one of us voted their hearts.”
The anti-Bibi campaign’s quiet change in tax status both came too late and constitutes an admission of wrongdoing.
If the media hadn’t been so eager to oust Netanyahu, voter apathy could have made that happen.
Netanyahu said he wants to have a government formed within the next 2 to 3 weeks.
The overwhelming electoral victory by the Likud was nothing less than a revolution, and an absolutely clear mandate from the people.
As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.
The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.
“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.
Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”
If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/special-features/israel-at-war-operation-protective-edge/israel-cease-fire-now-would-undermine-gaza-operation/2014/07/23/
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