PM Netanyahu did not bring the ceasefire decision for a cabinet vote this evening, but decided on his own, apparently due to the probability that the cabinet would reject the cease fire agreement.
Posts Tagged ‘Cairo’
The prime minister’s office on Tuesday morning categorically denied any involvement in cease-fire talks in Cairo or anywhere else at this time.
There are no Israeli negotiators in Cairo, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev told JewishPress.com. Israel will not negotiate under fire.
“There is no one in Cairo. Negotiators are back in Israel, and have been since the fighting has started (again). The Cairo talks were suspended because they broke the cease-fire,” Regev stated.
“Israel will not negotiate under fire,” he said.
The statement comes in stark contradiction to numerous media reports Tuesday of a possible cease-fire agreement advanced by Egypt, and allegedly “found acceptable” by the Hamas terrorist organization.
Disinformation and misinformation is part and parcel of the tools of the trade in Arab terrorist warfare against Israel.
Egypt is, according to Arab media reports, simply “waiting for Israel’s reply,” implying that negotiators have been involved in the talks.
A report published in the Al Hayat newspaper quoted a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader as saying that Israel was “eager to reach an agreement,” and that senior Israeli officials had been involved in indirect talks.
Signs that Islamic State (ISIS – Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorists have arrived in Egypt seem to have appeared just a few kilometers from Israel and Gaza: four beheaded bodies were found Wednesday in the Sinai Peninsula.
Security personnel in Sinai and Cairo said residents in Sheikh Zuweid discovered the disfigured bodies two days after the victims were kidnapped by armed terrorists while traveling through town in a car.
All four victims were civilians but it is believed they may have been targeted due to possible loyalty to local police or the military, the sources said. Their identity was not revealed, and their murderers were suspected terrorists battling against the Cairo government.
Israelis may have to blame Qatar for the current round of rocket fire, if a report published in Arab media is true.
The pan-Arab daily newspaper Al Hayat reports that Qatar has threatened to kick out Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal if he agrees to any permanent cease-fire deal with Israel brokered by Egyptian mediators in Cairo.
Qatar heavily supports the Muslim Brotherhood, which founded the Hamas terrorist organization, and which backed Egptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s predecessor, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, whom he forced out of power.
According to a Ramallah-based Fatah official serving with the Palestinian Authority unity government, Hamas has demanded Qatar be allowed to join the cease-fire talks. Egypt refuses to allow this, as does Israel.
Mashaal has been based in Qatar and essentially has served at the pleasure of the regime since fleeing Damascus at the start of the civil war there that was ignited by the region-wide Arab Spring riots in March 2011.
The question now is whether Qatar’s ire over its alientation in Cairo will extend to the influence of areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority unity government in Judea and Samaria.
Officials and residents in Israel are outraged as Hamas again violates an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire extended for 24 hours to reach an agreement that would avoid more bloodshed.
Israeli representatives in Cairo for negotiations immediately broke off the talks upon hearing news of the violation and have left Egypt to return to Israel. “It is impossible for us to negotiate under fire,” officials said.
A barrage of three Grad missiles were fired at Israel, two at the Negev city of Be’er Sheva and one at the city of Netivot, hours before the cease-fire deadline. Residents of the city and surrounds were not warned of the attack, because the Code Red incoming rocket alert siren was not triggered by the launch and did not activate for some reason.
The missiles reportedly landed in open areas on the outskirts of the cities, and no physical injuries or property damage have been reported.
The attack came following complaints by Gaza-based Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri, who warned reporters that Israel was “dragging its feet” in refusing to meet the terror group’s demands in Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo.
“Israel bears the responsibility for stalled negotiations, and shows no willingness to reach an agreement,” Zuhri said, adding that Hamas was “prepared to deal with all developments.” The phrase was a reference to a warning to the terrorists by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and echoed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, announced the day before.
“Following renewed rocket attacks at Israel… amidst the ceasefire, the IDF is currently targeting terror sites across the Gaza Strip,” IDF Spokesperson Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement to media. “The IDF remains alert and maintains both defensive and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression. The IDF is determined to defend the civilians of the State of Israel. Yet again, terrorists breach the ceasefire and renew fire at Israeli civilians from Hamas ruled Gaza Strip. This continued aggression will be addressed accordingly by the IDF.
“We will continue striking terror infrastructure, pursuing terrorists, and eliminating terror capabilities in the Gaza Strip, in order to restore security for the State of Israel.”
Shai Hajaj, the head of the Negev Regional Council, expressed his personal disappointment with the decision by Gaza terrorists to end an eight-day cease-fire rather than work towards peace.
“The terrorist organizations led by Hamas do not respect agreements time after time,” Hajaj told the Tazpit News Agency.
“We will not accept fire on our communities and the government must care for the safety of its citizens. The school year is scheduled to begin in the coming days, and the buildings are not properly fortified. There are only a few bomb shelters, which cannot properly facilitate the student population, and they are too far away to reach in time,” he said.
Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 24 hour extension of the ceasefire.
Israel’s Channel 2 reported Monday evening that the cease-fire with Palestinian Arab terror factions in Gaza has been extended, although it is not yet clear for how long.
This morning the IDF predicted that rockets would be falling this evening.
Israeli Air Force jets were flying overhead in a southerly direction as Arab media sources also reported a “breakthrough” in the indirect cease-fire talks in Cairo, less than four hours before the current cease-fire was due to expire.
Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned earlier in the day that Israel “is ready for all scenarios and will respond with force if the rocket fire resumes.”
At a meeting in Ashdod with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Netanyahu said, “The eternal people are not afraid of a long road. The combination of endurance and strength will help us achieve the goal of this operation; peace and security for all of Israel’s citizens.”
Ya’alon added that Operation Protective Edge had not yet ended, warning, “As we have promised, we are not stopping [this operation] until we have achieved peace and security… Hamas will not drag us into a war of attrition,” he vowed. “If it tries, it will find itself facing one of its own.”
Arab sources in Gaza, meanwhile, reported an increase in ‘air traffic’ over the enclave. It is expected that an announcement regarding an extension of the cease-fire — or the lack of an agreement — will be made by 11 pm local time.