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

Posts Tagged ‘negotiations’

US President Obama Has ‘Sympathy for Gazans’

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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.

Israel Repairs Gaza Damage While Talks Continue

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

While representatives of various Palestinian Arab factions “talk” with Israeli negotiators — albeit indirectly — about how to extend a 72-hour cease fire into something more permanent, Israel is already starting to rehabilitate Gaza.

Employees of the Israel Electric Company began repairing the power grid for Gaza residents on Tuesday night.

Workers from the Be’er Sheva district – the same people repeatedly forced to race for shelter from rocket fire launched from Gaza – were ordered to repair the grids damaged by those same rockets fired by Hamas terrorists in the first place.

IDF soldiers have been assigned to guard the IEC technicians working on the lines. IEC provides 120 megwatts of electricity to Gaza on 10 high voltage lines, nine of which were damaged by the rocket fire.

The IEC employees are working on the lines from the Israeli side only, although a number of damaged lines are also located within Gaza.

“All of the IEC work is being carried out in coordination with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT),” according to IEC deputy spokesperson Iris Ben-Shahal.

Egypt Proposes Cease Fire Extension to 120 Hours

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Egypt has proposed that Israel and representatives of the various Palestinian Arab factions extend the current 72-hour cease fire to 120 hours.

The proposal, suggested to each side in indirect talks, was announced Wednesday on Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV.

There is no word on whether the Egyptian proposal was accepted by either side.

Palestinian Reps Raced to Cairo

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Representatives of various Palestinian Arab factions were racing to Cairo over the past several days in an effort to formulate some form of coherent extended cease fire proposal to submit to Israel over Gaza.

But that draft they came up with by Tuesday morning was anything but realistic.

The delegation, which included members of Fatah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other groups, called for an immediate IDF pullout from Gaza. That was accomplished, actually, by 8 am despite a serious attempt by Hamas to sabotage even that good will effort by Israel.

Also demanded were shipments of construction materials into Gaza – the same materials with which Hamas built the tunnels the IDF meticulously destroyed, one by one.

In addition, the delegation is demanding the release of all prisoners taken since the abduction and murder by Hamas terrorists of the three Israeli teens in Gush Eztion in June – including dozens of those who were released in the prisoner swap for kidnapped former IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and who returned to terror.

Not likely.

The delegation is also demanding an end to the buffer zone along the Israeli border, lifting of the blockade of the territory, an airport in southern Gaza and a new seaport – all of which would mean the free import of the same weapons and ammunition with which Hamas could carry out its intended annihilation of the Jewish State, and which caused this war in the first place.

Also on the list is free passage to Judea and Samaria, and a 22-kilometer fishing zone along the Gaza coastline.

In addition, the delegation is calling for an international conference by donor nations to fund reconstruction of Gaza. It is demanding that its reconciled Palestinian Authority Unity Government oversee the rebuilding in cooperation and with the assistance of the United Nations.

Israel Agrees to Another Humanitarian Cease Fire

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Israelis are waiting and holding their breath Monday as their military is ordered to hold its fire for seven hours in another humanitarian cease fire brokered by Egypt on Day 28 of Operation Protective Edge.

But Hamas has said bluntly it will not hold its fire during the seven-hour humanitarian cease fire period and intends to keep firing. A spokesperson announced on local Al Aqsa TV the temporary truce is intended to “divert world attention from the massacres committed by the Occupation.”

Moreover, civilians in Rafah have been warned by their Hamas terrorist rulers not to approach the border crossing with Egypt even though Cairo has opened the crossing to enable Gazans to leave. Perhaps Hamas hopes to ensure it will continue to have its human shields available for ‘photo ops.’

Israeli officials have made clear that IDF soldiers are attacked during the cease fire, they will return fire.

Set to begin at 10 am and last until 5 pm local time, the cease fire is intended to allow the entry of humanitarian aid and to allow displaced Gazans to return to their homes.

Its parameters are clearly delineated; it will not apply in the areas of the southern Gaza border town of Rafah where the IDF is still operating as it searches for more terror tunnels, according to a statement by the Defense Ministry.

Meanwhile, delegations from Palestinian Arab groups reportedly met Sunday in Cairo to discuss the possibility of a more extended cease fire, but the effort seems a bit pointless given the attitude — and the disorganization that appears to be taking place within Hamas.

Israel has made it plain that Jerusalem has no further interest in negotiations with the terrorist organization in any case, which has demonstrated its unreliability and its lack of honor — a key point in Arab culture — following the attack that violated the 72-hour cease fire forced on Israel by the United Nations and the United States, and underwritten by Qatar.

“There is a feeling among those who put in a lot of effort that Hamas is not serious,” said a government official in Jerusalem. “It is difficult to see them as having any real role in a cease fire.” Instead, Israel will act in its own interests, “redeploy and continue to defend itself,” the source said.

More than 1,800 Gazans have died in the conflict, most due to the insistence of Hamas that civilians stand as human shields in their attacks on Israel. Hundreds, however, have been terrorists targeted by the IDF, Israel said.

On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers have fallen in combat and rocket attacks have killed three civilians despite a nationwide system of bomb shelters and aerial anti-missile defense.

Israel began withdrawing troops from Gaza over the weekend even as 119 rockets and missiles were fired at civilians in the Jewish State; 108 actually reached Israeli territory. Eight were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. For its part, the IDF struck 63 terrorist targets within Gaza.

Among those were terrorists who shelled an IDF position in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah and then hopped a motorcycle to flee, right next to a boys’ school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). An IAF aircraft fired a missile at the terrorists, eliminating the threat, but the price was high: 10 died and among them were civilians, including several children, and 30 wounded. The world ignored the circumstances and condemned Israel, of course.

Early in the morning on Monday, masked Palestinian Arabs rioted Monday morning on the Temple Mount, hurling rocks and explosives at security officials as the site opened to tourists. A mob surged towards the entrance of the Mughrabi Gate, blocking it to prevent police from sealing it off.

Tourism Minister Uzi Landau Warns ‘Don’t Negotiate With Hamas!’

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beytenu) compared the Hamas terror organization to Al Qaeda on Thursday morning and said it was not a legitimate entity with which to hold talks.

Speaking with reporters after a special cabinet meeting was held at the Kirya IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, Landau said there should be no negotiations with Hamas.

“The relationship between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization can be compared to that between Al Qaeda and the United States. One does not negotiate with a terrorist organization. Do not negotiate with Hamas,” he advised.

There has been pressure from the United States for Israel to participate in talks aimed at reaching a ‘cease fire’ agreement with Hamas, who is being represented by Qatar and Turkey in negotiations brokered by Egypt in Cairo.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/wanted-ally-for-israel-in-cairo-talks/2014/07/22/

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