Hamas plans to return to war on Friday, while US President Barack Obama says it’s time to “open Gaza.”
During cease fire talks in Cairo, Hamas terrorists told mediators in Cairo they will resume their battle against Israel on Friday promptly at 8 am local time.
U.S. President Barack Obama explained to reporters at a briefing Wednesday in Washington, meanwhile, that although he had “no sympathy for Hamas,” he had “great sympathy for ordinary people struggling within Gaza.”
“Long term, there has to be a recognition that Gaza cannot sustain itself permanently closed off from the world,” Obama said.
In that, the American president appears to be joining Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in calling for Israel to lift its counter terror blockade on the region. The blockade was implemented in an effort to prevent Gaza terrorists from importing the very items with which they waged war against Israel this time. Despite Iran’s vows to send Gaza “all the weapons it needs to annihilate Israel,” Erdogan has consistently scored Israel for not lifting the blockade.
Nevertheless, overland crossings between Israel and Gaza have in fact been open daily for years, until recently — and even throughout the war, the Erez Crossing was operating for passage of humanitarian supplies, international aid workers, medical patients and journalists.
While advocating for “an opening of Gaza so that they do not feel walled off,” the president offered no answers for the millions of Israelis who will be forced to race for bomb shelters at the whims of Gaza terrorist rocket launchers.
“The U.S. goal right now would be to make sure that the cease fire holds, that Gaza can begin the process of rebuilding,” he said – appearing to patently ignore the flat refusal by Hamas to extend the cease fire past Friday.
Israelis, he added, need to “feel confident that they’re not going to have a repeat of the kind of rocket launchers that we’ve seen over the last several weeks.”
But this Tuesday a 10-minute barrage that went on up to the last second before the start of the current cease fire, a 26-missile attack was fired at more than two dozen towns and cities in southern and central Israel. Neighborhoods were hit in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Ashdod, Ashkelon, the Gaza Belt, Kiryat Gat, Be’er Sheva and Gush Dan, among others. Even an Arab village near Bethlehem was hit. So how are Israelis supposed to “feel confident” with that display from Gaza? Obama didn’t say.Hana Levi Julian