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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘truce’

Mixed Reactions Among Leaders in Southern Israel to Ceasefire

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Details of the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are being revealed, and the agreement obtained by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are generating mixed reactions among the leaders of the South. The majority of the reactions are against the truce, and all voiced skepticism about its viability. Itamar Shimoni, Mayor of Ashkelon, harshly condemned the ceasefire, calling it a surrender to terror: “The residents of the South wanted a decisive victory, but it seems they will not receive it,” said Shimoni, “We wanted to see Hamas begging for its life, while in fact we are witnessing Israel running to the negotiations table every chance it has to do so.” Shimoni further believes that objectives set for Operation ‘Protective Edge’ were not achieved: “We did not lose 64 soldiers and six citizens for this ‘achievement’. We sat in bomb shelters for two months and incurred heavy financial losses, but not for this ‘achievement’. we expected much more. Hamas made demands while using force, and it seems they will get what they demanded. the conclusion is the terror pays.” Shimoi believes that the current ceasefire with Hamas will not last long: “We have already begun to prepare of the next round of violence, and it will be more deadly and violent than what we have experienced up until now.”

Tamir Idan, Head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, also believes that the current ceasefire is a surrender to terror. relating to the IDF’s refrain from responding to Hamas’ heavy fire on Israel hours before the ceasefire took effect, Idan stated: “The ceasefire is Israel’s agreement by silence that it is possible to fire relentlessly at Israel with no response just before the commencing of the ceasefire, and this is very grave. We demand that the State of Israel and the IDF stand by their vow to respond to every incident in a harsh and meaningful fashion.” Yair Farjun, Head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, believes the ceasefire has little credibility. “We cannot become indifferent and must remain vigilant, at least in the coming days. the government must stand fast and ensure that the terror organization does not achieve any meaningful objectives, while planning to bring down the Hamas regime if the fire is renewed.”

Alon Shuster, Head of the Sha’ar Ha’Negev Regional Council, is the only leader to voice support for the ceasefire. “The great pain caused by the bloody incidents in the past days emphasizes the need to stop the violence in our region. I support the ceasefire and the negotiations that are supposed to commence in its wake,” said Shuster. Despite his support for the ceasefire, Shuster too is skeptical about its practicability. “If the terror organizations renew their fire that will be the sign for Israel’s government to enter into a deep military campaign in the Gaza Strip that will uproot the Hamas regime. if the terror ceases its crimes and cooperates with a disarmament process, the rehabilitation of Gaza will be possible,” concluded Shuster.

Despite the ceasefire, the residents of the south are reportedly reluctant to return to their homes after fleeing them weeks ago. They have little faith that the truce will hold for long, basing their decision not to return on past experience. As the opening of the school year nears they will have make a final decision if to risk relying on the current truce.

Netanyahu’s Cease-Fire Agreement Leads the Country into Confusion

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu led the country into confusion Tuesday night by agreeing to a cease-fire that leaves Hamas armed and paved the way for Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose new peace partner is Hamas, to guard the terrorists.

Netanyahu was so sure that his Security Cabinet would balk at agreeing to the ceasefire that he did not even bother to consult with the ministers, approximately half of whom are upset with his decision.

The Prime Minister’s spin was that since the Cabinet has accepted previous cease-fires, there was no need to ask the ministers again.

He also has the  Brooklyn Bridge for sale.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch publicly stated they are opposed to Netanyahu’s decision, and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan would have been a doubtful supporter.

Israel lost the opportunity the past week to carry out a quick, penetrating and dangerous ground invasion of Hamas strongholds in Gaza cities. Orders for such a counter-terror motive were ready to be signed, but that is far as they got.

Whether it was the fear of the “day after” anarchy that would follow a ground incursion, the fear of a high number of Israel casualties, the fear of international criticism, the fear of interrupting President Barack Obama’s golf game or the fear of some bogeyman that does not exist, the government and the IDF opted for continuing aerial bombing raids that definitely hurt Hamas but left it strong enough to dictate certain terms of the  cease-fire.

Some security sources bragged to Israeli media how the IDF decimated Hamas and forced it into submission, but while Hamas did not get everything it wanted, Israel got nothing but a halt of rocket fire for the 12th time, or maybe it is the 13th time.

Hamas wildly celebrated the cease-fire, but no one in Israel, except for the small and inconsequential far left, was jumping for joy.

Few people expect the  cease-fire to last, but the problem is that it as long as it does, Israel may be forced into concessions that, like the Oslo Accords, become irreversible when the enemy figures it has conned for all it can get and then goes on to the next round of blackmail.

Israel will open the borders, but Hamas did not receive its demand for a deep-sea port and airport, issues that are up for negotiations in another month, along with the Israeli demand that Hamas dis-arm.

Can you picture Hamas agreeing to dis-arm in return for an airport and seaport unless the facilities will not be supervised so that it can bring in even more advanced weapons?

Israel’s stated goal in the war was to dis-arm Hamas. Netanyahu said there would be no cease-fire without that goal being achieved. He also insisted as late as today that there would be no negotiations under fire.

Those goals and promises clearly were empty.

It is true that Israeli negotiators were not in Cairo, but it is inconceivable that the Office of the Prime Minister simply sat back while Hamas and Egypt, with the help of Hamas’s patron Qatar, tied up the loose ends for a  cease-fire without consulting with Israel.

Moreover, the U.S. State Dept.’s ”man on the ground in the Middle East,” Frank Lowenstein, has been actively involved.

There is no way that the United States was participating in the secret talks without being in touch with Netanyahu, who pulled the wool over the country.

The Prime Minister might not have noticed, but opinion polls that his popularity sunk dramatically the past week, after broad support during the war.

Update: Netanyahu Agrees to Cease-Fire without Dis-Arming Hamas

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas has announced that Hamas has begin a cease-fire at 7 p.m., and Prime Minister Netanyahu told a somewhat upset Cabinet that he has agreed.

Massive rocket fire continued up until the beginning of the open-ended truce and even fifteen minutes afterwards.

Both Abbas, chairman of of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, and Ismail Haniyeh, his unofficial but de facto partner in Gaza, said Tuesday afternoon that Hamas was about to announce a long-term truce, but Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s supreme authority who rejected or quickly broke previous ceasefire, has been mum.

Israel’s defensive stance, or secret negotiations behind the human shield of southern Israelis, left it without much choice other than to agree to the cease-fire since Netanyahu, par for the course, did not stick to his word that there would be no cease-fire without disarming Hamas.

Hamas has claimed “victory,” and the massive rocket fire immediately before and after Abbas’ announcement was a Hamas ploy to show Arabs how it can pummel Israel at will and then force the Netanyahu government to accept a cease-fire.

The agreement does not mention anything about dis-arming Hamas except to leave it for “negotiations” in a month.

We’ve been in this movie before, and if this cease-fire ploy is a re-run of broken promises, it won’t last long.

If it does, time will tell if it is nonsense anyway.

History has proven that is the case, but if  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and of the other self-appointed saviors of the Middle East jump on the a truce as a catalyst for more peace talks, meaning surrender by Israel, the  cease-fire could hold long enough until Abbas and his true peace partner Hamas stop getting what he wants.

If it does,  it’s rocket time again.

 

Israel to Decide on Truce with Hamas This Morning

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Israel will decide this morning whether or not to accept the Egyptian’s long-term truce plan, according to Israel Army Radio (Galatz).

Last night, most of the Gazan factions said they would accept it.

According to the terms of the truce, Israel will allow the reopening of all the border crossings and expand the Gazan fishing zone.

Only afterwards will remaining issues be discussed such as the demilitarization of Gaza (unlikely to happen), and an airport and deep sea cargo port (for easier importing and unloading of larger weapon systems).

The White House is preparing an outline agreement of the ceasefire agreement to present to the UN Security Council when it is ready.

During previous long-term truce agreements with Hamas, Hamas used those periods to expand and improve their weapons and fighting capabilities.

If Hamas is not demilitarized, this truce period will simply be a waiting period before a larger, and more deadly war.

Israel Used Bunker-Buster Bombs in Raid on Mohammed Deif’s Home

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The Israeli Air Force tried to eliminate Hamas’s terrorist chief Mohammed Deif in a bunker-buster bombing raid on his home Tuesday night.

Hamas has confirmed that his wife and a daughter were killed. It is not known if he was at his home at the time and, if so, if he was killed or wounded. Hamas silence on his fate raises speculation that he may have been killed or seriously wounded.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar Wednesday morning compared Deif with Osama bin Laden, calling him an arch-murderer.

The attempt to kill Deif is a clear signal from Israel that it wants to target terrorist leaders, and it can be assumed that all of them are hiding underground or within areas with a high civilian population.

Israel has plenty of other wanted terrorists to eliminate. One of them is Ismail Haniyeh, who was de facto prime minister of Gaza until Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas partnered up with a unity government earlier this year.

Haniyeh is one of the original founders of Hamas and still leads the terrorist organization under the camouflage of a “technocrat” unity government that supposedly does not include Hamas.

But Hamas is more than a terrorist group. Like Hezbollah in Lebanon, it finances, with the help of Qatar and Iran, and operates schools welfare and social services. It is intertwined in the daily lives of Gazans, who are dependent on Hamas for necessities of life.

If Israel wants to go for broke, it can aim for Khaled Mashaal, the supreme leader of Hamas but whose base is in Qatar, his benefactor.

Sources in the Israel government said Tuesday it has evidence that Mashaal purposely torpedoed the last 24-hour extension of the cease-fire in order to stop Egypt from pushing its proposal for a longer-term truce that does not satisfy Hamas demands.

Israel radio reported that Qatar, which opposes Egyptian mediation efforts, gave Mashaal an ultimatum to resume rocket fire or face expulsion

US Holds Hamas Responsible for All Rocket Attacks on Israel

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The United States holds Hamas accountable for all rocket attacks on Israel, U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at the daily oppress briefing Tuesday.

Asked if the rockets that broke the cease-fire were launched from Gaza, she said, “It came from Gaza, and Hamas has responsibility for Gaza.”

Harf also that there has been no agreement on re-opening border crossings.

Hamas immediately denied responsibility for the first rockets that rained on Be’er Sheva late Tuesday afternoon, six hours before the latest 24-hour truce was set to expire.

At least eight rockets were fired on southern Israel during the afternoon and the evening.

Thousands of soldiers, including Reservists, still are deployed along the Gaza front although most tanks and armored personnel carriers were transported back to the Golan Heights immediately after the first cease-fire was announced two weeks ago.

Each transport of a tank costs around $3,000, and if the IDF has to bring them back to Gaza, the round-trip cost will reach millions of dollars.

If the tanks are needed, someone is going to have to a lot of explaining to answer why the military got so over-excited over the cease-fire and showed its cards to Hamas by pulling out heavy equipment long before there was any evidence that the cease-fire would hold.

Hamas has failed to honor dozens of cease-fires the past several years, with one exception being the five-day truce that expired shortly before midnight Monday and was extended for 24 hours, until it was broken Tuesday afternoon.

The Israeli government kept its word that there will be no negotiations with Hamas, though Egyptian mediation, even if there is one rocket attack, and it ordered negotiators to return home.

Hamas still is acting as if it has the upper hand and warned that it has made its final offer to Israel, through Egypt, for a longer-term cease-fire.

The gimmick is an old one for Hamas. It creates a situation whereby it knows Israel cannot negotiate, in this case because it under rocket attacks, and then makes an offer that cannot be discussed. The next step is to blame Israel.

No one is buying it.

 

 

Update: Israel Denies It Agreed to Large-Scale Concessions

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Israel denied Tuesday morning that it has agreed to large-scale concession to Hamas and stated that no final agreement has been reached.

Egypt announced shortly before midnight Monday that the five-day cease-fire is being extended for another 24 hours.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Qatar Monday to talk with Hamas’ top dog Khaled Mashaal at almost the same time Israeli security officials announced they busted a Hamas plot to carry out terrorist attacks from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem and then stage a coup to oust Abbas from power in Ramallah.

Palestinian Authority and Egyptian sources managed to convince media Monday night that a final agreement was in the works. Shortly before the five-day cease-fire was to expire, Hamas, as usual, denied that there was an agreement and blamed Israel for the failure to come to terms for a longer-term truce.

The 24-hour extension indicates that all sides are close to agreeing to the main points of a longer-term truce.

One thing that is for sure is that the truce will be dangerous for all sides, including Abbas but except for Hamas.

Abbas wants to exploit the unity government with Hamas to promote his aim of peacefully doing away with Israel piece by piece. His problem is that Hamas wants to get rid of Abbas, not through peace and not piece by piece.

Israel wants peace and quiet for its citizens and has surrendered its previous condition for peace that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists must surrender their weapons before any agreement can be made.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Monday night again threatened to deliver another heavy blow to Hamas if attacks on Israel resume.

They apparently figure that the heavy bombing of terrorist targets in Gaza during the war was enough to keep Gaza terrorists in their place, even if they hold onto their rockets, anti-tank missiles and other advanced weapons that include anti-aircraft missiles that can take down a commercial airline.

Israel reportedly has promised Hamas that the permitted fishing zone will be doubled to six nautical miles and that border crossings on land will be opened. Contrary to the libel of the “siege,” Israel has operated the Kerem Shalom crossing on a daily basis except when Hamas rocket fire endangered security personnel and truck drivers.

Egypt also has agreed to keep open the crossing at the Rafah border.

Israel was said to have  nodded its head in approval to allow Hamas to build and operate a deep-sea port and to resume delivery of “dual-purpose” materials, such as cement, which was used to build tunnels for terror. International supervisors would make sure the dual-purpose materials are earmarked for peaceful purposes, but once Hamas gets its hands on the cement, or fertilizer that can be used for explosives, it is nearly impossible to keep track.

Israel’s denial on Tuesday of the concessions was not official and was attributed to “sources,” leaving open the possibility that negotiators from Jerusalem indeed agreed to concessions but then changed their minds after Hamas balked. Alternatively, Israel simply may have been holding its cards close to the chest to see if Hamas is willing to stop its usual game of agreeing in private and then undermining the agreement by going public with more demands.

Enter Mahmud Abbas, whose security forces are supposed to be deployed in Gaza to maintain peace, if Hamas agrees.

Qatar gave Hamas $100 million for terrorist activities, such as building tunnels, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told the United Nations Monday.

Hamas is a threat to Abbas as well as it is to Egypt and Israel. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed on Monday that it busted a huge Hamas terrorist network that had been set up in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to stage terrorist attacks on Israelis and de-stabilize the Palestinian Authority to pave the way to oust Abbas and replace him with Hamas leader Mohammed Deif.

Abbas, in a gross understatement Tuesday, said that the plot is “serious.” He is learning, as Israel knows, that playing cards with Hamas is harmful to his life.

Everyone has a lot to lose with the truce agreement that is taking shape. Hamas would lose control of Gaza but regain a new lease on life. Egypt and Israel would lose the opportunity for the time being, to wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. Abbas would face the threat of a rejuvenated Hamas undermining his position of power.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/abbas-talked-with-peace-partner-mashaal-while-truce-talks-continue/2014/08/19/

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