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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Cairo’

Arab Media, Israel’s Channel 2: Cease-Fire Deal Imminent

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Perhaps the “party” is over — but officials are not breaking out the colored balloons to celebrate just yet.

Hamas officials have gone to Qatar to consult with their handlers about the deal being discussed among the Palestinian Arab terror factions.

The draft of a detailed permanent cease-fire agreement was crafted in Cairo just before Israeli negotiators headed home for the Sabbath, according to Israel’s Channel 2 television and a report published in the Egyptian daily al-Shuruk newspaper, quoted by the Hebrew-language Ynet.

Meantime, both sides are maintaining a five-day cease-fire while indirect talks continue in Cairo, brokered by Egypt.

The bottom line is this:

Hamas, backed by Turkey and Qatar, is demanding that Israel lift the blockade imposed on the region after the terrorist group seized control over Gaza in 2007, and kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

It took more than five years and the release of more than 1,000 Arab terrorists in order to free Shalit, and Israel has seen two wars with Gaza since then — not including the present conflict.

According to the report, the centerpiece of the deal under discussion includes a total stop to construction of terrorist tunnels into Israel.

There will be no rocket, mortar and missile fire or any other terrorist attacks or activities against Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian Arab terror factions in Gaza.

In exchange, Israel has allegedly agreed to numerous concessions that will ease the blockade and assist with rebuilding the region.

To whit:

Israel will ease the blockade by opening the crossings with Gaza. People and goods will be permitted to enter Gaza in order to rebuild the region, and Gazans will be allowed to export goods to Judea and Samaria, pending the establishment of regulations to be determined by Israel and the Palestinian Authority unity government.

Funding for the reconstruction of Gaza will be coordinated between Israel and the PA unity government.

Israel will cease all military activity in the enclave by land, sea or air. No ground troops will enter Gaza.

Moreover, the buffer zones along the security fence in northern and eastern Gaza will be eliminated in graduated steps and PA unity government forces will be deployed, beginning January 1, 2015.

The fishing zone is to be extended a total of 22 kilometers (12 miles) — immediately to 6 miles and then eventually to a full 12 miles — in coordination between Israel and the PA unity government.

The PA unity government — in coordination with Israel and international aid groups — will provide the basic items needed to rebuild Gaza according to a pre-set schedule designed to help those whose homes were in the combat zone to make a new start.

Israel will assist the PA unity government in rebuilding infrastructure in the region, and will help provide basic necessities for Gazans who had to leave their homes.

Israel will provide medical aid to the wounded and expedite transfer of humanitarian aid and foodstuffs via the crossings. To that end, Egypt also requests that the international community join in to provide swift assistance at the humanitarian and monetary level for Gaza’s reconstruction in accordance with a pre-set schedule.

Both sides will conclude indirect negotiations in Cairo within a month after signing the agreement, upon stabilization of the cease-fire and return to normal life in Gaza. Exchange of prisoners and bodies are to be discussed in Cairo at that time.

The issue of construction of a seaport and/or airport in Gaza are to be considered in accordance with the Oslo Accords and prior agreements.

An Israeli source told Channel 2, “Israel insists that any understandings reached must clearly serve Israel’s security interests.”

Gazan’s Growing Angry at Hamas

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Gazans are beginning to voice their displeasure at Hamas for not stopping the war against Israel earlier, thus causing needless destruction and death in Gaza, according to a Makor Rishon report. But they are doing it carefully, so that Hamas doesn’t execute them too, as it did others who complained.

Gazans are upset that Hamas placed and fired rockets near their homes, causing their homes to be destroyed by the IDF, while those same rockets did minimal to no damage to Israel in return.

Hamaas could have accepted the cease fire when there were only 200 Gazans dead, one Gazan complained, but instead chose to continue to attack Israel, raising the number of dead to almost 2000.

Gazan sources are saying that Egypt plans to allow 5000 PA security forces into Gaza as part of the rehabilitation of Gaza and to handle the border crossings as well.

But some Gazans believe those same PA security forces may also be meant to help Gaza’s citizens resist and ultimately collapse Hamas.

The last time there were PA forces in Gaza was in 2007, when Hamas slaughtered the rival Fatah members, threw their bodies off rooftops, and just generally dismembered them as part of Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Qatar wants to transfer millions of dollars directly to Hamas.

Israel for its part won’t allow Qatari money to be delivered directly to Hamas, but rather it will go through a third party, be it a different Arab state such as Jordan or Egypt, or an international body.

One thing to watch with interest, is the possibly upcoming Palestinian Authority elections sometime within a year.

That’s where we’ll really see if the Gazans are actually upset with Hamas, or if it’s all talk.

Within the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, Hamas is rapidly growing in popularity.

Hamas Breaks Cease-Fire with Three Rocket Attacks

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Hamas attacked southern Israel with three rockets shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, ending the 72-hour cease-fire nearly three hours before its official end.

No one was injured.

Israel has not responded to the rocket fire, at least so far and may be waiting to see if Hamas is intent on launched round two of the war, or simply is letting Hamas play head games by not extending the cease-fire but and shooting three rockets just to prove it can do so.

The best scenario would be that Israel has spotted the rocket launching sites and will retaliate later this evening.

However, Hamas claims it did not fire the rockets, which makes the terrorist organization look even worse because if true, it proves, as it has often proven, that it does not control Gaza.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down one rocket over Ashkelon, and two other rockets exploded in open areas in the area of Sderot, located approximately one mile – as the missile flies – from the Gaza border, and in the area south of Ashkelon.

The Palestinian Authority postponed a scheduled 9:30 p.m. press conference as truce talks in Cairo appear to have been nothing more than hot air that is about to blow up. President Obama spoke with Prime minister Netanyahu about the cease-fire during the afternoon, according to White House spokesman Ben Rhodes.

The IDF has called up reservists and extended the emergency “Tzav 8” orders so thousands of soldiers, some of whom were called up as long as a month ago.

After the original ceasefire began, the IDF pulled troops out of Gaza but redeployed thousands of troops along the Gaza border, from the north to the south, so that they can go into action immediately if need be.

However, hundreds of tanks and armored personnel carriers returned to their bases near Eilat and in the Golan. But enough remain near Gaza so that the IDF can retaliate.

London Threatens Israel’s Arms Supply if Cease-fire Talks Fail

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

This time, if Jerusalem does not give in to the demands of Hamas, Britain will cancel 12 export licenses for components for radar systems, combat aircraft and tanks, British media report.

British Business Secretary Vince Cable explained in a statement late Tuesday, “We welcome the current cease-fire in Gaza and hope that it will lead to a peaceful resolution.

“However, the UK government has not been able to clarify if the export licence criteria are being met. In light of that uncertainty, we have taken the decision to suspend these existing export licences in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities.”

Cable, a Liberal Democratic minister, did not say whether the announcement came as the result of discussions with Conservatives who were pushing for an arms embargo regardless.

According to a report in the British-based Daily Mail newspaper, a review of the licenses to be revoked showed they were not for items being used by IDF forces currently in Gaza in any case, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) said.

But Israel is still apparently to be punished for the intractable behavior of Hamas.

“What is clear now is that we [the government coalition] have agreement that if the current cease-fire ends in Gaza, which we all hope it doesn’t, and there was a resumption of significant hostilities, then there would be an immediate suspension of those arms export licences to Israel that give cause for concern.”

What is not included in the embargo is the license granted for the export of cryptographic equipment, or for any components that form part of the Iron Dome system that protects Israeli civilians from the missile attacks fired by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

The military deals set to be affected are worth less than $17 million. Years ago, Israel realized that the UK is a fickle and unreliable arms supplier, so the IDF only buys minor parts from the UK that it can easily acquire elsewhere if needed.

What won’t be affected are Britain’s military purchases from Israel, including an Elbit drone system that the British army needs.

Meanwhile, it is not at all clear whether a cease-fire will be reached by the Wednesday deadline.

A source on the Palestinian Arab side told the A-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic-language daily newspaper there is still a wide gap on the issues of returning the remains of Israeli soldiers in exchange for a Gaza seaport and airport and creating a land bridge between the enclave and the regions of Judea and Samaria. “There is slow progress, but no big breakthrough,” the source told the paper.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Hamas announced in more blunt terms, “This is the last cease-fire.”

Hamas Turns Down Request for Information on KIA Bodies

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

IDF radio reported on Tuesday evening that Israel requested information from Hamas about the bodies of IDF soldiers, Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, who were killed in action in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. Hamas stole their dead bodies.

Israel also raised the subject of an exchange with Hamas, to return the bodies back to Israel for proper burial.

Hamas rejected the Israeli request, adding they won’t even supply information at this time.

A senior Hamas spokesman said, “Israel is used to getting things for free, and Israel needs to learn that we won’t work that way.”

In the Gilad Schalit deal, Hamas valued the life of 1 kidnapped IDF soldier as being equivalent to the lives of 1027 Arab terrorists.

Hamas obviously feels that 1 Israeli soldier is worth far more than 1027 Arab terrorists, which is why they believe Gilad Schalit was released for free.

We can’t argue with their valuations.

Government May Have to Decide if Money Buys Peace or War with Hamas

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

An idea on the negotiating table in Cairo that tax money collected by Israel for the Palestinian Authority would end up in the pockets of Hamas in exchange in exchange for a supposed truce was debunked Tuesday by key coalition government partner Naftali Bennett, who said the scheme is nothing short of extortion.

The Minister of the Economy and chairman of the Jewish Home Party, the third largest in the coalition, said the idea is one of “Pay us – we’ll shoot at your later; don’t pay us – we’ll shoot at you now.”

Israel previously has insisted that all money it transfers to the Palestinian Authority cannot reach Hamas, which is a fiction because the Palestinian Authority ends up paying for salaries of Hamas government “workers,” which includes “civil servants” with machine guns.

The government in the past also has used the tax money to pay off a huge debt owed to Israel Electric Corp.(IEC) by the electric company in the Palestinian Authority.

Most of the “news” on negotiations in Cairo between Hamas and Israel, mediated by Egypt in order to maintain the illusion that Israel and Hamas do not recognize each other, is based on the usual Hamas hyperbole and threats, and on more substantiated reports.

The guts of a proposed agreement reportedly would extend the 72-hour ceasefire due to expire on midnight Wednesday.

Israel would perform a very poor trick of magic by handing over the money to Hamas through a third party to fool itself that it is not paying Hamas directly.

That idea sent Bennett through the ceiling. “Extortion” and “dangerous” were only two of the unflattering adjectives he expressed. He warned that the money will be used by terrorists “who are digging under our feet… It’s a ‘calm for money to terrorists formula.’ You don’t pay Hamas, you defeat them.”

Bennett said he will fight the proposal if it comes to the Cabinet for a vote.

Israel reportedly is willing to ease the blockade without removing it completely, and Egypt would do the same at the border in the divided city of Rafah. Israel also is seriously considering extending the permitted fishing zone to six nautical miles and to allow, once again, construction materials to move into Gaza under supervision.

As with previous ceasefire agreements and concessions on the blockade, supervisory measures are questionable.

Hamas exploited Israel’s previous agreement to allow cement and other “dual-use” materials into Gaza and used them to build tunnels for terrorists, among other activities that were at the expense of building houses and schools. Even then, Hamas has used schools and homes, as well as mosques and hospitals, as rocket launching pads, so all “dual purpose” materials ultimately had only one purpose – terror.

Officially, “no progress” has been made in the talks. This is expected because Hamas always likes to keep everyone in suspense until the last minute, or even after the last minute.

For good measure, it has publicly threatened that any extended ceasefire would simply be a temporary measure until the next war. That can be dismissed as rhetoric in the short-term, but in the long-term, Hamas means what it says. Its existence depends on attacking Israel. If it does not, it risks losing its power to rival terrorist groups who would be happy to take over the task.

One of the most dangerous elements of a possible longer-term agreement for a truce is allowing security forces from the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, to supervise the “Philadlphi” smuggling route at and near Rafah.

Abbas and Hamas have accepted each other as peace partners in a new unity government, which has carefully placed “technocrats” in the government, a camouflage for the grip over Gaza by Hamas and its full-fledged army.

Israel-Gaza Cease Fire Talks Appear Deadlocked on Disarmament

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Cease fire talks in Cairo appear deadlocked on the issue of disarmament, according to sources close to the negotiations.

This is the same issue that created an inconclusive end to the Second Lebanon War with the Hezbollah terror organization in the summer of 2006. Despite an eventual resolution to the conflict, Hezbollah ultimately never disarmed, and has continued as a threat to Israel from the Lebanese side of the border.

“We are facing difficult negotiations,” Hamas spokesperson Moussa Abu Marzouk told the Palestinian Arab Ma’an news agency, based in Bethlehem, on Tuesday. “The first ‘pause’ passed without any significant achievements.

“This is the second and final cease fire,” he warned.

Israeli officials, meanwhile, predicted that another 72-hour cease fire would be needed to hammer out any type of real agreement with Hamas, according to a report broadcast on Voice of Israel public radio. That, in addition to the cease fire currently in place, due to end Wednesday at midnight.

The arsenal of Hamas rockets and missiles has yet to be de-fanged, and some 300,000 Israelis remain internally displaced due to the life-threatening situation in their residential areas as a result.

A second Palestinian Arab source in Cairo who is close to the talks told the Reuters news agency on Tuesday that it would take another 24 hours before anyone could say whether an agreement could be reached.

“So far we can’t say that any breakthroughs have been achieved,” he said. “Twenty-four hours and we shall see whether we have an agreement.”

The Palestinian Arab delegation is demanding that Israel open all border crossings, allow a seaport and an airport, extend Gaza’s coastal fishing rights to 22 kilometers, increase the number and variety of materials allowed into the region and permit funds to flow into Gaza, ostensibly to pay the salaries of Hamas officials.

Israel is insisting that Hamas and all allied terrorist entities disarm, and that the region be demilitarized.

The issue of the seaport and the airport, as well as the influx of funds and free flow of materials into the region, all impact on the issue of disarmament. Hamas and its allies have misused funds and materials flowing into the region for humanitarian and civil purposes to build terrorist tunnels and purchase and create weapons with which to attack Israel instead.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cease-fire-talks-appear-deadlocked-on-disarmament/2014/08/12/

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