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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘negotiations’

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.

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.

FM Liberman to Meet with US Secy John Kerry in Paris

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday in Paris.

On the agenda, once again, will be the issue of the dead-on-arrival talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Sources close to both sides said Wednesday that relations with Iran are likely to be on the agenda as well, in addition to the matter of the crisis in Iraq.

In addition to the Iran’s continued drive to develop nuclear weapons capabilities, Russia has recently signed a deal to build eight new nuclear power plants in the Islamic Republic.

Iran has refused to slow down on the program, let alone cease its drive to develop nuclear technology, despite sanctions, talks and any other efforts by the international community to persuade Tehran to do so.

However, there is one issue that has begun to concern Iran a great deal – a fear it shares with its neighbors in the region, as well as the United States.

Iran is strengthening its defenses along its border with Iraq against the possibility it may have to fend off an advance from the guerrilla fighters of the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) terrorist organization.

The group, also known as the Islamic State of al-Shams or Syria (ISIS), has been making its way across Iraq and has seized a wide swathe of territory in both Iraq and Syria over the past months.

For the first time ISIS also captured a border crossing between Iraq and Jordan, in addition to two crossings into Syria.

The group also took control of four additional towns, continuing its advance into western Iraq and closer to the border with Jordan.

Likud, Labor MK s Unite to Submit Temple Mount Prayer Bill

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Two Knesset members from separate ends of the political spectrum plan to submit a bill allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Likud MK Miri Regev and Labor MK Hilik Bar say they will unite to advance the measure, but were mum on when. “There is no reason that Jews should not be allowed to pray in the holiest site in the world,” Regev said, according a report this weekend by Ynet.

The bill is intended to promote co-existence, added Bar. “I insisted the authority of the Muslim Waqf not be harmed, but Muslims must understand that we also have a right to pray there. I see in these holy sites the cradle of our existence. If someone on the left has complaints against Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, they will have a hard time claiming that other ethnic groups suffer discrimination,” he added.

Jews are not allowed to even move their lips when touring the site, considered the holiest place on earth in Judaism.

Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Many times Muslims in the area simply accuse Jews of “praying” and police immediately force the “suspect” into custody and off the grounds, fearing violent reactions by Arabs if they don’t.  By contrast, Muslim children run freely throughout the plaza area, even playing soccer around the site.

The fiercest verbal provocations by Arabs are generally met by stony silence by Israeli police when accompanying Jewish tour groups, and usually also by hurrying their charges away. Sometimes closure of the site to anyone other than Muslims follows as well — even if the site has just opened and it is the eve of a Jewish holiday.

The Al Aqsa mosque located on the Mount has become a hotspot for fiery sermons each Friday that whip worshipers into a frenzy of hatred against the State of Israel. The site has also been at the center of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The PA has insisted the Old City — including all Jewish holy sites — must be handed over to be part of a capital for its hoped-for independent state.

Arab rioters carefully store piles of rocks, bottles and other handy missiles in the mosque that they can hurl at Jews – or police — when “protesting” after prayers have ended. Such incidents occur often prior to Jewish holidays, and became the opening salvo to the second intifada in the year 2000. In response, police simply close the Mount to Muslim men under age 50 and limit entry to those bearing Israeli identity cards. Any Muslim woman can enter.

“I firmly believe that each event of Muslim unrest on the Mount should lead to its closure to Arabs,” Regev said. “The prime minister is not the only one to decide on the issue, and if the proposal does not pass I will turn to the High Court of Justice in a public petition until Jews are allowed to pray with tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin on the Temple Mount,” she said.

According to the language of the bill as it is currently written, “no demonstration of protest or incitement that disturbs the peace will be tolerated.” Violators will be fined,” Ynet reported.

Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) said after Passover the ministry was in the process of creating new regulations to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

Abbas Snubs Kerry, PA Ends Peace Option with Israel

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas finally took off the mask and formally refused Tuesday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz broke the news to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in an evening speech.

Earlier this week, the State Department confirmed that Kerry and Abbas were set to meet in London. Apparently the Secretary became desperate enough to come back to Israel for another attempt at reviving the dead-on-arrival “framework talks.”

He even offered to travel to the PA capital of Ramallah. But Abbas rejected the offer, leaving Kerry to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

“Abbas rejected Kerry’s framework and refused to meet him .. Kerry flew back the next morning without any meeting,” Steinitz told his audience.

“No one should tell us that we need peace in order to survive, exist and flourish,” he said. “We will survive. Israel will survive as a democratic Jewish state whether our neighbors will finally agree to accept it and make peace with us or not.”

He added that Abbas had always said he would never recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state – just as the Hamas terrorist organization that controls Gaza has as well. Last month Abbas signed a deal with Hamas to create a new Palestinian Authority unity government.

Inasmuch as Hamas is formally committed to Israel’s destruction and is backed and funded by Iran, the move effectively ends any option for peace with the PA at this time.

IDF forces have beefed up their lines along the roads in Judea and Samaria, particularly along Highway 60, where the number of road terror attacks on Israeli motorists has increased dramatically over the past year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abbas-snubs-kerry-pa-ends-peace-option-with-israel/2014/05/14/

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