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July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
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Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

Even Haaretz Thinks Kerry’s Ceasefire Is One-Sided against Israel

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

A leak of of  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal reveals that it ignored the need to destroy terrorist tunnels and disarm Hamas while granting the terrorist organization, outlawed by the United States, millions of dollars to entrench itself in Gaza.

The “framework,” as Kerry called it, was so clumsily put together that the left-wing Haaretz newspaper, a long-time champion of peace with Hamas, reported that Kerry’s “conduct in recent days over the Gaza ceasefire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.”

After Hamas thoroughly rejected a ceasefire proposal by Egypt last week, Kerry knew he could not get support from Hamas without going through its allies, Qatar and Turkey. He staged a press conference with their foreign ministers, ignored Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, among others, and presented a proposal to the Israel Cabinet that was unanimously rejected Friday night.

Kerry made things even worse when he insisted that the Cabinet did not “reject” the proposal because, in his words, “There was no formal proposal submitted to Israel. Let’s make that absolutely crystal clear. Prime Minister Netanyahu called me a few minutes before this to tell me that that [rejection] was an error, and he’s putting out a statement to that effect … It’s fair to say that Israel had some opposition to some concepts, but that doesn’t mean a proposal by any means.”

Okay. It is not a proposal. It is a framework, one of Kerry’s favorite words dating back to his Peace Process Follies, where Palestinian Authority ultimatums became “negotiations” and the American “ultimatum” also was a “framework.”

The Jewish Press asked the Prime Minister’s spokesman if Netanyahu issued a “clarification,” as Kerry said he would. The spokesman, known for his accessibility and prompt response, has not answered after three hours of phone calls and text messages.

Until proven otherwise, it is more than conceivable that the Office of the Prime Minister has nothing to say. There is no sense in embarrassing Kerry since he does a good job at that all by himself.

The ”framework,” in the word of Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, “placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.”

Kerry held a press conference on Saturday, slobbering praise on the Qatari and Turkish foreign ministers. In the first two words in the excerpt of the YouTube below, Kerry uttered two words that fewer and fewer believe anymore. He said, “I understand.”

He understands Israel’s needs and understands this and understands that but does not understand anything more than he says at the moment.

According to his own spokeswoman Marie Harf Friday, the Secretary of Talk “made 13 phone calls as of today. He ended up making a total of 25 yesterday – very busy – talking mainly about his attempts to help broker a ceasefire in Gaza.”

What’s good for the phone company is good for the United States.

For all his talk, he delivered a draft that, again in the words of Haaretz’s Ravid, “was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.”

Israel Extends Unilateral Humanitarian Ceasefire while Hamas Shoots

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

The Israel Security Cabinet decided late Saturday night to accept a request of the United Nations and extend the unilateral humanitarian ceasefire despite Hamas’ rocket afire and mortar shelling of Israelis.

The ceasefire by Israel will not affect IDF search and destroy missions against tunnels built by Hamas terrorists to use both to attack Israel and as escape paths.

Soldiers reported that aerial photos do not show large-scale retreats by Hamas terrorists after soldiers take over houses used for launching rockets, indicating that many of the terrorists have fled through underground tunnels.

Hamas resumed attacks on Israel after the end of a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire at 8 p.m. Saturday. Hamas refused to extend the ceasefire, but Israel continued it for four hours until the Cabinet extended it for another 24 hours until midnight Sunday.

Mortar shelling of Gaza Belt communities left one person seriously wounded Saturday night. The Iron Done system intercepted a missile north of Ashkelon, and siren wounded as far north as the Rehovot, in the southern part of metropolitan Tel Aviv.

Hamas attacked Israel with at least one rocket and seven mortar shells on Gaza Belt communities within one hour after Israel announced it was extending the 12-hour humanization ceasefire.

Hamas rejected the ceasefire, stating “No agreement to extending the calm for an additional four hours.”

The the government on Friday rejected conditions of a ceasefire proposed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that would hinder the IDF’s activities to protect Israel.

Ministers reportedly are furious at Kerry for suggesting a ceasefire that would leave Hamas in the driver’s seat.

The IDF reported seven more deaths of Israel soldiers in the past 24 hours, bringing to 42 the number of Israeli troops who have fallen in the Protective Edge war on terror.

US Secy of State John Kerry in Israel, ‘Still Work to be Done’

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Wednesday in Israel as part of his ongoing efforts to arrange a cease fire between Israel and Hamas terrorists.

Kerry had little to say to reporters, however, and was quite terse in his statement upon his arrival for a meeting in Jerusalem with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“We have certainly made some steps forward,” he said. “There is still work to be done.”

UN’s Ban on the Moon with ‘Stop Fighting, Start Talking’ Message

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon flew from Egypt to Israel on Tuesday to babble the mantra that ”Israel has a right to defend itself” but instead should stop fighting and talk peace with Hamas, with the obvious consequence of a much worse war.

Ban did Israel the big favor of wagging the finger at Hamas for the war.

“We condemn strongly the rocket attacks, and these must stop immediately,” he said in a strong statement that will have the same impact as similar condemnations against violence in the Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Libya, the Central African Republic, and against women around the world.

His solution to the war between Hamas and Israel is very simple and straight forward. Ban, who arrived in Israel as part of his effort and that of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry,to broker a ceasefire, said at a press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the UN position was clear: “Stop fighting, start talking, and take on the root causes of the conflict so we are not back in the same situation in another six months or a year.”

And what is Ban’s understanding of the “root cause?” According to him, it is “mutual recognition, occupation, despair and denial of dignity.”

Of course, he “fully shares” the view that Israel has the right to defend itself. Is there a member of the United Nations that does not have that right and needs to be reminded of it?

“Yes, Israel, defend yourself, but”, he adds, “make sure you ‘exercise maximum restraint.’”

The war could have been over in one day if Israel had blitzed Gaza like any normal country does to enemies in war. A couple of thousand or so of Gaza civilians would have been killed, approximately 133,000 less than the number killed In Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the United States dropped Atomic bombs on the cities.

The would-be Gaza death toll, even if it were 4,000, still would be about 300,000 less than those killed in the bombing of cities in Nazi Germany in World War II, when approximately 7.5 million people were left homeless. In the Korean War, the U.S. killed 374,000 civilians.

Israel chose restraint, sacrificed the lives of 27 IDF soldiers, and still counting, but Ban is sure that Israel has “such a tremendous capacity for generosity and good” that it could reduce civilian casualties in Gaza if it and Hamas simply would stop shooting and start talking.

The man forgets that several previous “ceasefires” have resulted in more civilian casualties – in Israel, where nearly one million people have been under rocket attacks for a decade. That number now has grown to 4 million, give or take a few, but that only makes it more imperative to talk about the “two-state solution,” according to Ban because it is a “fundamental truth [that] you share one future.”

Hamas has the declared policy of destroying Israel and Ban says Hamas and Israel share “one future”?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Secretary-General of Hamas, “They don’t want a two state solution. They don’t want any solution.”

But Ban insists, “Military actions will not increase Israel’s stability in the longer term.”

It is lack of military action that has increased Israel’s instability, whether it be against Hezbollah in 2006 or Palestinian Authority terrorists since Yasser Arafat, born in Egypt, made a career out of terror and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Before leaving Egypt, Ban said, “The Palestinian people deserve freedom, a future, peace and justice.” Truer words were never spoken, and if he would return to the moon and let Israel get on with the job, that might happen.

Wanted: Ally for Israel in Cairo Talks

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Israel needs an ally as it faces an array of representatives who hope to bring about a premature cease fire with Hamas terrorists intent on wiping out the Jewish State.

Hamas has no qualms about using any form of human or other innnocent creature as a shield for its weapons in attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers. Nor has its ability to launch a constant barrage of short and medium-range rocket and missile fire been significantly impaired thus far — a lethal threat to the millions of Israeli men, women and children who are spending more time in their bomb shelters than outside of them this summer.

Nevertheless, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Monday in Cairo with the announced intent to help world leaders re-establish the November 2012 truce between Israel and Hamas terrorists.

Noah Pollack’s Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) explained the issue: “Israel does not need a mediator. Israel needs an ally. Pressuring Israel to agree to a cease fire that rescues Hamas from defeat and leaves it in possession of its missiles, tunnels, and terror infrastructure is foolish and wrong. If President [Barack] Obama and Secretary [John} Kerry want to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East, they should support Israel and its campaign to end the terror threat from Gaza.”

But instead, shortly after heading into a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Kerry announced the U.S. will send $47 million in ‘humanitarian aid’ to Gaza, of which $15 million is earmarked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) there.

UNRWA, incidentally, which purports to be scrupulously neutral in its dealings in Gaza, “discovered” 20 missiles at one of its schools in the town of Rafah, located on the border of Gaza and Egypt a few days ago during a routine inspection by international staff. The missiles were quietly handed over to the Hamas terrorist organization.

Kerry’s aides added a statement warning that it would be “difficult” to achieve an immediate and lasting cease fire – but that he hopes to make progress in the next few days to reach a temporary pause.

Israel agreed to two humanitarian cease fires since the start of Operation Protective Edge, including one requested by the International Committee for the Red Cross on behalf of Hamas itself. Hamas violated them both, firing mortar shells and rockets at Israeli civilians during the “pause” each time. Israel held its fire nevertheless; but should it now?

What kind of ally aids an enemy to reach a cease fire in which it can attack a friend?

Meanwhile, Hamas is insisting that Qatar and Turkey be allowed at the table to represent its interests in talks with Egypt, which is mediating the negotiations.

Qatar – a generous fiscal patron of Hamas — recently purchased $11 billion in military weapons and hardware from the Obama administration. In whose hands will those weapons eventually land?

In the first week of June, Qatar pledged $60 million to help pay the salaries of Gaza workers in the Palestinian Authority unity government. The money was to be transferred to the PUG offices in Ramallah in three monthly payments of $20 million each, according to Qatari government spokesperson Ihab Bseiso. The Qatari government has sent funds to Hamas before, even via charitable organizations in the United States. The Al Jazeera television network has also been described in a February 2006 State Department cable leaked by Wiki Leaks as a “big friend of Hamas.” Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal maintains an office in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Turkey is also no friend of Israel at this point and appears to be coordinating its moves with Qatar, and possibly with Iran as well, with whom it has strong ties.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, himself a sympathizer with radical Islamists, is closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and a longtime supporter of Hamas in Gaza. He has brought Turkey much closer to Tehran and successfully sabotaged diplomatic ties with Israel in the years he has served as prime minister, but now faces a fight to stay in his job. Turkey goes to the polls on August 10 to elect a president who will lead the nation alone, instead of the current dual ‘prime minister-president’ system. Erdogan needs a reason to ‘wow’ his constituents and firm up his AKP electoral base, comprised of Islamist voters. There are two competitors for the presidency; one a secularist, the other a moderate Muslim.

US Secy Kerry in Cairo to Push Israel for Ceasefire w/ Hamas

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State arrived Monday in Cairo, where he hit the ground running to begin efforts to press for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

But for the first time in the history of the past several mini-wars with Gaza, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has the backing of nearly the entire country for Operation Protective Shield. In fact, most Israelis are determined to see the operation continue until it is clear that Israel has secured an unambiguous victory and that the rocket fire is completely silenced for a long time, if not “for good.”

Seven IDF soldiers died in battle just this morning (Monday) after two terrorist cells emerged from tunnels whose entrances opened into an area between the Erez and Nir Am kibbutzim along the Gaza border. They were spotted by Israeli air force pilots and ground forces, but pilots held their fire because the terrorists were dressed as IDF soldiers, right down to their shoes — presenting a new and extremely dangerous new security breach. A later search of their bodies discovered they were carrying injectable tranquilizers and handcuffs with which to subdue kidnap victims captured during their intended infiltration that day. Israel’s ground forces engaged the terrorists instead, killing all ten. But four IDF soldiers paid the ultimate price in the firefight, when the terrorists fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the patrol jeep in which they were riding.

Hamas terrorists have demonstrated a level of professionalism and posession of highly sophisticated equipment and lethal ordnance not previously stocked in their arsenals of the past. Moreover, the number and complexity of terrorist tunnels, not to mention the sheer reach of their infrastucture, which has been discovered deep into Israeli territory, makes it clear there is much work to do to dismantle the deadly Hamas threat to Israel’s existence.

A few days ago, a cache of 20 missiles was discovered in a vacant school owned and run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza. The agency, which has underscored its ‘neutral’ status numerous times, posted a statement of regret on its website and saying it had removed the missiles.

What the statement was careful to avoid saying was the fact that UNRWA handed the missiles over to the Hamas terrorist government in Gaza. The U.N. agency is now itself very possibly guilty of two war crimes: storing missiles on behalf of a terror organization in its own civilian building used to educate children in a neutral, international zone, one funded with taxpayer dollars worldwide; and handing over the missiles that it “found” to the terrorists who are known to place them among civilians in the first place.

When questioned about the incident, Kerry’s spokesperson adroitly sidestepped the issue and avoided providing any details to reporters, even though the United States generously funds UNRWA. The United Nations spokesperson did the same thing.

Meanwhile, Kerry is expected to meet with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi between Monday night and Wednesday.

Kerry is also expected to carry on talks with Israeli officials, as he will with those from Qatar and Turkey – both of whom have slipped into the process as mediators for Hamas despite objections from Israel, who agreed only to Egypt. Turkey, which has been a vociferous critic of Israel and a major supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, abandoned its ambassadorial ties with Israel several years ago and has threatened to several lower-level ties as well.

President Barack Obama expressed deep concern over civilian casualties in Gaza during a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday. He later said bluntly that despite the fact that Israel ‘had a right to defend itself from rocket fire emanating from Gaza, it was time for a cease fire to be put into place to end the conflict.

US Support Wavering? Obama Has ‘Serious Concern’ Over Gaza Casualties

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Israel’s ‘strongest supporter’ is already wavering. Doubts about the wisdom of continuing Operation Protective Edge are being expressed from the White House as soon as the IDF struck a decisive blow in a Gaza neighborhood where Hamas terrorists stored some of their most deadly missiles. The ordnance was, of course, stashed under civilian buildings — a mosque, a hospital, a children’s playround, and more.

For three days the IDF dropped flyers, called homes and sent SMS text messages warning residents to leave the area so they would not be harmed when the attack began. Hamas pressured its people not to. Some had the sense to flee the area, and others chose to remain as human shields. The brutal, bloody firefight in Seijaiya cost a lot of lives on both sides and panicked leaders around the world — including officials in the White House.

In his second call to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu since Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama expressed “serious concern about the growing number of casualties” in Gaza.

Israel’s prime minister was also notified during the call that Obama was sending Secretary of State John Kerry back to the region. Kerry was boarding a plane to head for Cairo, where he would pressure Israel and Hamas to negotiate another cease fire.

According to a statement issued by the White House, the move was aimed at helping ‘protect civilians in both Gaza and Israel.’ United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, has called on Israel to “exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians” without specifying exactly how the IDF should accomplish that task. He also called on Hamas to end its rocket fire from Gaza.

The IDF drops flyers warning civilians in every target neighborhood prior to an attack, calls homes and sends SMS text messages asking residents to leave the area hours and sometimes days before carrying out operations – all of which puts its own forces in danger and of course alerts the enemy to its plans. Not one armed force of any other nation in the world does the same.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-support-wavering-obama-has-serious-concern-over-gaza-casualties/2014/07/21/

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