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August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Cabinet Meeting Cancelled as Ministers Kept in the Dark

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

The planned Israeli cabinet meeting to discuss the negotiations with Hamas has been cancelled to the dismay of many of the cabinet ministers.

The ministers are concerned that they are being kept in the dark about the ongoing negotiations with Hamas, in order to prevent them from being able to influence the outcome.

Their biggest fear is that they will presented with a done deal, and will then be expected to rubber stamp it, no matter how bad the deal is for Israel.

Since the deal is being brokered by Egypt, the cabinet may be told that rejecting the deal will be an affront to Egypt and negatively impact the diplomatic relationship between Jerusalem and Cairo.

Even Minister Tzipi Livni is reportedly upset, as the issue of the Gazan port is apparently seriously on the table, and Livni wanted to save the port for a final status agreement, to reward PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and not Hamas.

Hamas Huffs and Israel Bluffs towards New Ceasefire

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Rumors of another 72-hour ceasefire are flying along rockets from Gaza on southern Israel Sunday afternoon while Israel maintains it will not hold negotiations under fire.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists, who are separated only by which group can scream louder that the Zionists must be destroyed, attacked Israel from the Gaza border to Ashkelon more than 30 times Sunday morning.

Israel retaliated with a limited number of targeted aerial strikes. Hamas claimed, as usual, that an innocent child –this time a teenager – C was killed.

Israeli negotiators left the so-called ceasefire talks, which Hamas has tried to turn into negotiations for its demands, because of the continued rocket fire that broke the last 72-hour truce Friday morning.

The Arab negotiators threatened on Sunday they would leave Egypt if the Israelis don’t return. The Netanyahu government has not commented and has not offered a clue if negotiators are ready to fly back to Cairo.

Everyone is threatening everyone, but Israel is unlikely to refuse a ceasefire and lose Brownie points on the diplomatic front.

Despite protestations from both sides, talks for a ceasefire are going on behind the scenes. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is part of the action he never loses an opportunity to play with fire. He has talked again with officials from Qatar, which feeds Hamas money and hosts a computer system programmed by which pressing “enter” will set off an underground rocket launcher in Gaza.

One sign of a new ceasefire by Sunday evening was a fresh barrage of rocket attacks on Gaza Belt communities and as far north as Ashkelon. There was minimal property damage and no injuries.

The attacks will give Hamas an opportunity to say that it has scared Israel into a ceasefire and subsequent negotiations. If the rocket fire magically ends one minute before a ceasefire, then Israel can claim as if it stood its ground and refused to talk about a ceasefire before Hamas ran out of breath.

If Hamas really were serious about digging for an extended round of attacks and counter-attacks, it would have fired a missile towards Tel Aviv. It still might launch just to impress itself

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is feeling pressure from a large segment of the population and even from center-left Knesset Members not to go back to another round of allowing Hamas to harass Gaza Belt communities and to retaliate for the rocket explosions as if they were on Tel Aviv.

The problem is that the world already is used to Israel playing the wimp when the rockets are aimed at rural areas and usually explode in open areas. Once in a while there are near-misses of a rocket hitting a classroom of children.

Israel is gaining some international sympathy as even the BBC and The New York Times are beginning to own up to the truth that the number of civilian casualties in Gaza is far less than Hamas claims.

But the momentum is in Hamas’ favor. By all accounts, Gaza has been devastated, and the pictures of the destruction that foreign media publish day after day have incited hundreds of thousands of anti-Zionists around the world to protest. In South Africa, an unprecedented anti-Israel rally drew approximately 50,000 demonstrators.

Western media and many political leaders know that Israel is in the right “but” – meaning, “Hamas is at fault, so let’s sit down and talk about making peace with Hamas.”

This is a dramatic change in reasoning with the same unreasonable conclusion, a change from the mantra that “Israel is at fault, so let’s sit down and talk about making peace with Hamas.”

Israel Govt: ‘Operation Continues Until Quiet and Security Restored’

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Palestinian Arab factions are growing impatient waiting in Cairo but Israel says truce talks are over until the rocket fire stops.

After a weekend in which Gaza terrorists fire more than 100 rockets at Israel, representatives of the Palestinian Arab factions in Cairo say they will leave on Sunday, because Israel refuses to negotiate under fire.

At 12:44 pm Sunday afternoon, a Code Red alert was flashed to residents of the Kerem Shalom community and surrounds, giving them 15 seconds to find shelter. It was the seventh such attack since midnight.

“Operation Protective Edge continues,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated as he opened Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting at the offices of the defense ministry in Tel Aviv.

“We have not, at any point, said that it ended, and it will continue until it has achieved its goals. This will take time,” he said. “Israel will not conduct negotiations under fire and will work to change the reality to return security to its citizens.”

Because Hamas flatly refused to extend the cease fire, and Gaza terrorists began shelling southern Israeli communities four hours before the truce officially was set to end Friday morning, the Israeli delegation left Cairo. Representatives of the various Palestinian Arab factions – and those of Hamas as well, apparently – remained in Cairo, believing Egypt could persuade the Israelis to return.

But Jerusalem and Israel’s citizens have had enough of the incessant rocket attacks raining down upon civilian families, and no one is willing any longer to live their lives under fire. By Sunday morning, those factions were “threatening” to leave Cairo if the Israelis “don’t return to the table in the next 24 hours.”

The threat has moved no one in Israel, especially since Gaza terrorists had already fired six rocket attacks at Israeli civilians early Sunday morning.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said bluntly that he expected little, if anything, to result from such talks. “From the beginning I said that our goal should be to defeat Hamas… their minimal demands are beyond Israel’s maximal position. This situation cannot continue. If my recommendations had been accepted we would not be in this situation.”

Liberman’s view was supported by Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who agreed that Israel needs to “destroy Hamas’s military power in Gaza. It was true in the past, and it is true now, in order to allow residents of the south to return home.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon vowed to silence the rocket fire – as he has in the past – addressing the growing outrage from southern residents who were told just three days ago that it was now “safe to go home.”

“If Hamas thinks it will exhaust us, it is wrong,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said. “We will not negotiate under fire. We entered talks in Cairo in good faith, and Hamas decided to renew its rocket fire on Israel.” The IDF responded with air strikes that destroyed a number of terrorist targets in Gaza.

“We will not compromise until rocket fire and terror completely stop,” Ya’alon promised. “We see the greater political and military picture, and we will not end the operation until quiet and security are returned to Israel’s citizens.”

Hamas: Continuing Negotiation – As Rockets Fire at Israel

Friday, August 8th, 2014

A Hamas spokesperson (who hasn’t yet been executed by his bosses) said that Hamas is continuing to negotiate in Cairo with Israel,according to a report on Nana10.

The spokesperson said that Hamas has not agreed to extend the cease fire for another 72 hours as Egypt requested, but they will continue to talk.

Other members of the Gaza contingent have expressed pessimism on whether the talks will continue or not.

Hamas has not yet claimed responsibility for this morning’s barrage of rockets.

There is no news yet of any Israeli military response, at all, to the rockets launched at Israel this morning.

Update: 9:57am Israel attacks northern Gaza (finally) – Walla from Arab sources.

Senior Hamas Terrorist Executed for Espionage

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Arab sources reported on Thursday, that former Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha was executed by Hamas for spying on them, for Egypt.

Hamas and Israel Threaten Each Other Hours before End of Ceasefire

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Hamas is conditioning an extension of ceasefire on instant concessions by Israel, which threatens that if the terrorists attack at the end of the ceasefire Friday morning, the IDF will return in full force.

The scenario is familiar. The closer a deadline nears, the more Hamas threatens. Now it refuses to extend the 72-hour ceasefire unless Israel allows it to develop a deep sea port.

It is hard to keep up with Hamas’ demands,. First it was an airport, opening all of the land crossings and the release of terrorists from Israeli jails.

Officials from the Egyptian government and from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah met in Cairo and reportedly were progressing towards an extension of the ceasefire, due to end at 8 a.m. Friday, but the scene got a bit messy when Islamic Jihad and Hamas bigwigs arrived on the scene.

A Palestinian Authority official threatened to pack his bags and go back home.

Hamas, as usual, talked tough.

“We support the resistance, we support the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, we support more firing at Tel Aviv and we support the tunnels,” said its spokesman Mushir Al-Masri.

“The war is not over yet,” he continued. “We tell the settlers – don’t go back to your homes if Netanyahu doesn’t agree to the resistance’s demands.” The IDF on Thursday encouraged residents of southern Israel to return to their homes, promising that the army is taking every step to keep them safe.

Israel’s demands have been that Hamas be disarmed, which is as likely as the sun rising in the west tomorrow.

The Netanyahu government has been clear that if Hamas resumes rocket fire, the IDF will help Hamas fulfill its Operation Death Wish.

“We are preparing,” said a military official.” As an army we must take into account the possibility that at 8 am they will begin firing. We are ready for this.”

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, a reformed leftist who is one of the most hawkish Likud ministers, told the BBC, “Should Hamas resume rocket attacks on Israel’s cities, we will have no option except to take temporary control over Gaza in order to demilitarize the Gaza Strip from rockets and missiles.”

So what does Hamas offer Israel in return for sending terrorists back to Hamas and opening air space, land crossings and the sea for Hamas into import all the medicine, commodities, goods humanitarian aid and especially all the rockets and anti-air craft missiles that it wants?

Israel will get a promise that Hamas will not fire rockets on Israel – until it does.

A promise of a ceasefire, which based on previous truces, will last anywhere from zero seconds to a couple of months.

It is dangerous to predict anything in the Middle East,  but it is a fair guess that come 8 a.m. Friday, there will be no ceasefire and there will be no mammoth rocket barrage on Tel Aviv.

Hamas probably will launch a couple of mortar shells or Kassam rockets. If they don’t misfire and land in a UNRWA school, they will set off the Code Red early warning sirens in the Gaza Belt and explode in open areas, or maybe blow up a greenhouse. It will be just enough to place check mark next to the column, “We attacked Israel.”

If  the IDF responds and does anything more than hit an open area or a greenhouse in Gaza, it will be accused of a disproportionate response.

Israel Would Have Freed Prisoners for Demilitarized Gaza, Asks Germany for Help

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Israel would have released Hamas prisoners in exchange for a demilitarized Gaza, sources say, but the terror group did not agree. Moreover, Hamas said it plans to resume fighting promptly at 8 am Friday, when the 72-hour cease fire runs out.

So Israel is now asking Germany and the EU to help with administration over Gaza to prevent future security problems.

Egyptian sources who spoke to the Hebrew-language Yediot Aharanot newspaper say that during cease fire talks in Cairo, Israeli negotiators agreed to release Hamas prisoners in exchange for demilitarizing Gaza.

The Israelis also considered the possibility of building a small airport and seaport in Gaza, but did not make a final decision on the issue. The sources said Israel refused to back down from the issue of demilitarizing Gaza, however, though the Jewish State was willing to also lift the blockade and expand the fishing zone.

In fact, Israel was willing to be flexible on nearly all the demands put forth by the Palestinian Arab factions – but not on the issue of disarming Gaza, the sources said.

Israel is now calling on the European Union to step in and take an active role in dealing with the thorny issue of how to monitor the security issues from Gaza.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told the German newspaper Bild in an interview published Thursday that inspectors from the EU and Germany should be sent to “monitor the Palestinians’ trade with neighboring countries… The EU already did that once at a crossing in Rafah in southern Gaza,” Liberman reminded.

The foreign minister added that Israel does not want to have to deal with administering Gaza after withdrawing its troops and communities from the region in 2005, but said a reasonable solution for Gaza residents must be found. He called on Germany to take a leading role in finding a viable resolution to the problem.

Until Hamas seized control over Gaza in 2007, the “EUBAM” program was started by the EU following Israel’s 2005 Disengagement from Gaza. EUBAM assigned 70 European observers as monitors over movement of human, material and vehicular traffic at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Meanwhile, the entire discussion may be academic for the time being: Hamas rejected the extension of the current 72-hour cease fire beyond Friday at 8 am.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-would-have-freed-prisoners-for-demilitarized-gaza-asks-germany-for-help/2014/08/07/

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