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August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Cease Fire’

US Holds Hamas Responsible for All Rocket Attacks on Israel

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The United States holds Hamas accountable for all rocket attacks on Israel, U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at the daily oppress briefing Tuesday.

Asked if the rockets that broke the cease-fire were launched from Gaza, she said, “It came from Gaza, and Hamas has responsibility for Gaza.”

Harf also that there has been no agreement on re-opening border crossings.

Hamas immediately denied responsibility for the first rockets that rained on Be’er Sheva late Tuesday afternoon, six hours before the latest 24-hour truce was set to expire.

At least eight rockets were fired on southern Israel during the afternoon and the evening.

Thousands of soldiers, including Reservists, still are deployed along the Gaza front although most tanks and armored personnel carriers were transported back to the Golan Heights immediately after the first cease-fire was announced two weeks ago.

Each transport of a tank costs around $3,000, and if the IDF has to bring them back to Gaza, the round-trip cost will reach millions of dollars.

If the tanks are needed, someone is going to have to a lot of explaining to answer why the military got so over-excited over the cease-fire and showed its cards to Hamas by pulling out heavy equipment long before there was any evidence that the cease-fire would hold.

Hamas has failed to honor dozens of cease-fires the past several years, with one exception being the five-day truce that expired shortly before midnight Monday and was extended for 24 hours, until it was broken Tuesday afternoon.

The Israeli government kept its word that there will be no negotiations with Hamas, though Egyptian mediation, even if there is one rocket attack, and it ordered negotiators to return home.

Hamas still is acting as if it has the upper hand and warned that it has made its final offer to Israel, through Egypt, for a longer-term cease-fire.

The gimmick is an old one for Hamas. It creates a situation whereby it knows Israel cannot negotiate, in this case because it under rocket attacks, and then makes an offer that cannot be discussed. The next step is to blame Israel.

No one is buying it.

 

 

Under Rocket Fire, PA Calls for UN to Force Israeli Withdrawal from Judea, Samaria

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

A top official in the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority government launched a diplomatic assault as the Hamas terror organization renewed its military assault against Israel late Tuesday afternoon from Gaza.

The head of the negotiating team for the former Palestinian Authority, Saeb Erekat, issued a statement Tuesday calling on the United Nations to force Israel to withdraw from all areas in the country won during the defensive 1967 Six Day War.

“Today we demand officially from the international community and the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that would set a time frame for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from territories occupied in 1967,” Erekat told journalists at a news briefing in Moscow.

The Ramallah-based PA government represented by Erekat has been reborn as the ‘Palestinian Authority unity government’ since its reconciliation earlier this year with theHamas terrorist organization.

For the 11th time since the start of Operation Protective Edge, Gaza terrorists violated an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire more than eight hours prior to the deadline for its scheduled termination at midnight Tuesday.

Hamas claimed it had no connection to the violation and said it had “no idea” who fired the rocket attacks, which continued one after the other.

Also on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department announced it had decided to declare the Mujahedeen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

The MSC, which is an umbrella organization comprised of Gaza-based global jihad terror organizations, is linked to the Islamic State — also known as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State in the Levant).

The group has claimed responsibility for the August 2013 missile attack on the resort city of Eilat, and for a March 2013 attack on Sderot.

IDF Striking Terror Targets in Gaza, Retaliation for Broken Cease-Fire

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

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.

Update: Israel Denies It Agreed to Large-Scale Concessions

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Israel denied Tuesday morning that it has agreed to large-scale concession to Hamas and stated that no final agreement has been reached.

Egypt announced shortly before midnight Monday that the five-day cease-fire is being extended for another 24 hours.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Qatar Monday to talk with Hamas’ top dog Khaled Mashaal at almost the same time Israeli security officials announced they busted a Hamas plot to carry out terrorist attacks from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem and then stage a coup to oust Abbas from power in Ramallah.

Palestinian Authority and Egyptian sources managed to convince media Monday night that a final agreement was in the works. Shortly before the five-day cease-fire was to expire, Hamas, as usual, denied that there was an agreement and blamed Israel for the failure to come to terms for a longer-term truce.

The 24-hour extension indicates that all sides are close to agreeing to the main points of a longer-term truce.

One thing that is for sure is that the truce will be dangerous for all sides, including Abbas but except for Hamas.

Abbas wants to exploit the unity government with Hamas to promote his aim of peacefully doing away with Israel piece by piece. His problem is that Hamas wants to get rid of Abbas, not through peace and not piece by piece.

Israel wants peace and quiet for its citizens and has surrendered its previous condition for peace that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists must surrender their weapons before any agreement can be made.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Monday night again threatened to deliver another heavy blow to Hamas if attacks on Israel resume.

They apparently figure that the heavy bombing of terrorist targets in Gaza during the war was enough to keep Gaza terrorists in their place, even if they hold onto their rockets, anti-tank missiles and other advanced weapons that include anti-aircraft missiles that can take down a commercial airline.

Israel reportedly has promised Hamas that the permitted fishing zone will be doubled to six nautical miles and that border crossings on land will be opened. Contrary to the libel of the “siege,” Israel has operated the Kerem Shalom crossing on a daily basis except when Hamas rocket fire endangered security personnel and truck drivers.

Egypt also has agreed to keep open the crossing at the Rafah border.

Israel was said to have  nodded its head in approval to allow Hamas to build and operate a deep-sea port and to resume delivery of “dual-purpose” materials, such as cement, which was used to build tunnels for terror. International supervisors would make sure the dual-purpose materials are earmarked for peaceful purposes, but once Hamas gets its hands on the cement, or fertilizer that can be used for explosives, it is nearly impossible to keep track.

Israel’s denial on Tuesday of the concessions was not official and was attributed to “sources,” leaving open the possibility that negotiators from Jerusalem indeed agreed to concessions but then changed their minds after Hamas balked. Alternatively, Israel simply may have been holding its cards close to the chest to see if Hamas is willing to stop its usual game of agreeing in private and then undermining the agreement by going public with more demands.

Enter Mahmud Abbas, whose security forces are supposed to be deployed in Gaza to maintain peace, if Hamas agrees.

Qatar gave Hamas $100 million for terrorist activities, such as building tunnels, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told the United Nations Monday.

Hamas is a threat to Abbas as well as it is to Egypt and Israel. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed on Monday that it busted a huge Hamas terrorist network that had been set up in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to stage terrorist attacks on Israelis and de-stabilize the Palestinian Authority to pave the way to oust Abbas and replace him with Hamas leader Mohammed Deif.

Abbas, in a gross understatement Tuesday, said that the plot is “serious.” He is learning, as Israel knows, that playing cards with Hamas is harmful to his life.

Everyone has a lot to lose with the truce agreement that is taking shape. Hamas would lose control of Gaza but regain a new lease on life. Egypt and Israel would lose the opportunity for the time being, to wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. Abbas would face the threat of a rejuvenated Hamas undermining his position of power.

Rumored Ceasefire Deal Excludes Dis-Arming Hamas

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Hamas will continue to cease all rocket attacks, and Egypt and Israel will open border crossings but dis-arming Hamas is not in the cards for now, according to various reports that Hamas has agreed to a partial truce, mostly on its terms. The Israeli Cabinet is discussing the proposal at this moment.

The official word from the Office of the Prime Minister is “no comment.”

Israel has contended that Hamas must be cleansed of its weapons, but the reported truce agreement simply puts the issue off for negotiations at some later date.

Various sources have reported that the Israeli negotiators initialed the proposal, leaving the Cabinet with little choice but to give rubber stamp approval.

With less than two hours to go before the current five-day extension of a temporary cease-fire ends, Hamas has held up its end of the bargain not to attack Israel even with one mortar shell or rocket.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas turns out to be the winner if the truce takes effect because his forces would be deployed in Gaza. Hamas also is a winner.

Abbas’s Fatah movement and the rival Hamas terrorist organization are bitter friends, but their unity government is a vehicle for Hamas to remain active in Gaza, in one form or another. The chances of Hamas allowing Fatah to replace its terrorist army and dismantling rockets are zero.

Hamas may have agreed to allow Abbas to return to Gaza, after having been thrown out in a bloody terror war more than eight years ago, because of the threat that European, American or United Nations officials would police the border and make it less likely than Hamas could hold on to its weapons and produce more while the world thinks it is clamoring for peace.

The truce, if approved, gives Hamas a new lease on life after having been abandoned by almost the entire world outside of Iran, Turkey and Qatar.

The Al-Quds newspaper reported that the proposal has 11 points, the most important of which for Hamas is the re-opening of border crossings from Israel and Egypt.

Israel also reportedly has agreed to shrink the buffer zone along the Gaza-Israeli border from 300 to 100 meters by November, after which Abbas’ forces would patrol the area.

If it works for a few weeks or even a few days, Abbas then can claim that the same mechanism will work in a future Palestinian Authority state and that his forces can protect Israel from terror. Then, John Kerry steps up to the mound and starts pitching his “peace process” again.

In case anyone has not noticed, Israeli security forces on Monday arrested smashed a huge Hamas terrorist network in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Dozens of terror cells planned large-scale attacks on Israel, including the Temple Mount, and planned to stage a coup to oust Abbas, whose forces soon are supposed protect Israel from Hamas in Gaza,

One of the biggest losers in the truce, if it is implemented, will be Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whose Likud party is going to be frothing at the mouth over the agreement.

It remains to be seen if there will be even a bigger loser in the future – the Israeli people.

History of Cease-Fires Shows Israel as the Big Loser

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

President Barack Obama’s direct contact with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to devise a long-term cease-fire plan follows a long history of American and U.N. ventures that have flopped, all of them at Israel’s expense.

Egypt has been the power broker in trying to maintain a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, and Obama is trying to put his foot in the Middle East door to reclaim American influence based by whittling down the popularity of Netanyahu.

His “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine” and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza,” Obama told Thomas Friedman of The New York Times last week. “And so if he doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement.”

It’s always the fault of the settlers. If it rains on the picnic, it is because of the settlers. If Obama’s popularity drops, it is because of the settlers who are an obstacle to his illusions.

The war against terror in Gaza has made Netanyahu even more popular. A Knesset Channel poll released this week shows that the Likud party that he heads would win almost 50 percent more seats than it now has in the Knesset if elections were held today. That translated into 28 mandates compared with 19.

Obama must be politically jealous of Netanyahu, considering the president’s dismal ratings.

Jealous or not, Obama has the habit of most previous presidents to pressure Israel, often by blocking or threatening to block military aid. That is what happened during the war, when Obama stopped the United States from shipping missiles to Israel, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Obama’s phone conversation with Netanyahu was reported as “combative,” nothing new for the two leaders who have distrusted each other during the president’s two terms of office.

The American government’s one-track mind for the “peace process” blocks out all reality, which is a lot different in the Middle East than in the United States. The Jewish Home party’s Housing Minister Ur Ariel said it in a matter of fact way on Thursday – “Americans don’t understand what is happening in the region.”

But that doesn’t stop Obama from throwing his weight around and bullying himself into Iraq, Syria and Egypt only to look like a fish out of water.

Like Carter, Clinton and even Reagan, Obama has the freedom to exploit Israel’s democracy and run roughshod over the government to “make peace” with cease-fires that make war.

That is what happened in 2012 to conclude the Pillar of Cloud campaign against Hamas terror, and that is what happened in 2009 to conclude the Operation Cast Lead campaign against terror.

That is what happened in 2006, when the United Nations and the United States brokered a cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanese War and promised the moon, whose location has not moved since. Hezbollah was supposed to be dis-armed under United Nations supervision, which is like Hamas agreeing to dis-arm under Mahmoud Abbas’ supervision.

“For proxies such as the Palestinian Sunni faction Hamas and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, the centuries old Islamic jurisprudence of Hudna (tactical truce) and Tahadiya (temporary calm) serve as a plausibly regrouping tactic that is continuously reshaped amid the changing face of modern warfare in the Middle East,” Israel Defense noted during the war.

Enter U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose “peace process” and ceasefires self-destruct.

He and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon orchestrated a humanitarian cease-fire last month. It lasted for 90 minutes. At least five other cease-fires failed.

Israel Defense reported, “Following the inability to transmute any ceasefire, Hudna or Tahadiya over the last decade into encompassing political progress, the tone is that ceasefires only exasperate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the medium-to long-term. Paradoxically, it is the achievement of these bitesize ceasefires as a short term benefit that has trampled on the utility of ceasefire.”

Gaza Cease-fire ? For Whom?

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

At 10:03 this morning (August 14, 2014) Gaza terrorists fired a Qassam rocket at the Eshkol Regional Council district.

The launch triggered a Code Red rocket alert siren that sent residents scrambling to shelters and safe rooms, disrupting work and play activities in the middle of a summer morning.

The rocket exploded in an open area of the district. There is no word yet on property damage. No one was physically injured.

But this attack occurred on the first of a five-day “cease-fire” allegedly agreed to by the Palestinian Arab factions in Cairo and intended to allow time to work out “final issues” between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Is the cease-fire only meant for Israel?

Last night (Wednesday, August 13) Hamas broke the previous 72-hour cease-fire that had been in place, launching three rocket attacks nearly three hours before the deadline had arrived.

One missile was intercepted over the coastal city of Ashkelon by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, indicating it was headed directly for a densely populated area.

Two other rockets exploded in open areas near the city of Sderot, located about a mile from Gaza — as the missile flies, so to speak — and just south of Ashkelon. Hamas claimed it had not fired the attacks, which if true means that either it has lost control over the other terror groups in Gaza, or gave silent approval (wink wink) so it could abdicate responsibility for the attacks.

Either scenario adds up to the same score. Israel has to effectively deal with the terrorist threat in Gaza.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gaza-cease-fire-for-whom/2014/08/14/

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