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October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘truce’

Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has financed Hamas terror and which fought Egyptian cease-fire proposals, followed by one day a “victory” speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza. Mashaal’s silence while Haniyeh accepted the cease-fire is a clear sign of a fierce power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and between Mashaal and Qatar, which holds the purse strings.

Mashaal also claimed victory, with lies that Hamas missiles hit the Ben Gurion Airport, which is not true, and that more than 5 million Israelis hid in bomb shelters, a gross exaggeration. However, there is no doubt that Hamas succeeded in scaring the daylight out of millions of Israelis, interrupting a few flights and generally turning half of Israel into sitting ducks.

And this won’t be the last time, regardless of a cease-fire, he warned.

“Whatever happened [in Gaza] is not the end to this story, and this is not the last operation to free Palestine. It was an important stop on the way to victory,” Mashaal declared.

His speech threw every obstacle possible on the road to negotiations with Israel. The talks are supposed to begin in a month, leaving open the possibility, or probability, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is carrying on secret negotiations that will be formalized in 30 days.

The Prime Minister suffered another blow to any trust that Israelis may have for him with a report on Thursday that he met secretly with Jordanian King Abdullah, and perhaps Abbas, prior to the cease-fire, circumstantial evidence that Israel negotiated under fire, contrary to Netanyahu’s promise.

If Mashaal gets his way, there won’t be any talks because one of the new powers in Gaza is slated to be Abbas, whose security forces would patrol Gaza borders, according to the Egyptian proposal. That would provide Cairo with another tactic to get rid of Hamas.

Mashaal nailed Abbas to the wall in his speech, accusing him of throwing cold water on the resumption of the intifada during the war by allowing his security forces to limit protests.

“The next operation needs to use all of the Palestinian capabilities, not just part of them,” Mashaal said. “The resistance is holy and weapons are holy. There is no such thing as a country without weapons.”

A country or not, Gaza still has at least 2,000 rockets as well as anti-tank rockets and presumably anti-aircraft missiles. It still has rocket factories, one of which was filmed in production by Hamas during one of the failed cease-fires during the war.

Netanyahu had demanded that any halt in violence would be accompanied by disarming Hamas, but this week’s cease-fire only left the issue to be put on the negotiating table, along with Hamas’s demands for a deep-sea port and an airport.

Mashaal’s speech was full of hate and crude accusations that Israel inflicted a “Holocaust” on Gaza by “destroying schools and hospitals,” which all but the most extreme anti-Israel media now know were used by Hamas as rocket launching and terrorist command centers.

“We are against what Hitler did to the Jews, and Israel committed a second Holocaust in Gaza. Israel is an embarrassment to Jews and to the entire world,” according to Mashaal.

His rhetoric was aimed at Abbas as well as Israel. If and when negotiations begin, Egypt and the United States will be on the side of Abbas, who despite his unity government with Hamas has proved politically smart by a patient and single-minded tactic of using international support to slowly but surely win concession after concession from Israel until there is nothing left to negotiate.

Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a miserable sales pitch to the Israeli people Wednesday night in a weak effort to turn around public opinion that is unhappy, if not disgusted, with his agreeing to the cease-fire announced by Hamas and its new war partner, Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

The Prime Minister, followed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantzת repeated over and over Israel’s achievements in the war

Netanyahu claimed that Israel achieved the goals it set from the beginning, mainly to restore quiet to Israel and to destroy terror tunnels.

He also rewrote his promise earlier this month that there will no cease-fire without disarming Hamas. Magically, that now has become a “long-term” goal.

He buried that promise among the insistence that “Hamas did not get one demand” that it made before the cease-fire.

Netanyahu listed Hamas’ demands as a deep-sea port, an airport, freeing terrorists who were released in the delay of the return of Gilad Shalit and then were re-arrested for returning to terror, mediation of Turkey and Qatar in cease-fire talks.

And what happened to his position that Israel would not negotiate under fire?

Technically, Netanyahu kept its word. Israel negotiators were recalled from Cairo every time Hamas broke a cease-fire and resume rocket fire on Israel.

But negotiations do not require face-to face discussions. Does Netanyahu want everyone to believe that Israel was not updated on the Egyptian-brokered plan and Hamas’s reactions?

Does he really want everyone to believe that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority announced the cease-fire without knowing that Israel would accept it?

And if indeed that is what happened and the cease-fire simply fell on Israel out of the blue, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s acceptance only shows how destructively passive he was, failing to seize the last days of the war to make demands.

More likely, the United States was involved. U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday that Kerry and his point man in the Middle East, Frank Lowenstein, were in constant contact with Netanyahu.

She said the United States was not an active participant in the talks but was part of the action, in one way or the other.

Netanyahu hammered away at all of the achievements that are well-known – the destruction of terror tunnels, the relentless attacks on hundreds of Hamas command centers, rocket launchers and weapons factories and storerooms.

Approximately 1,000 terrorists were killed in the war.

Israel’s successes in the war cannot be pooh-poohed. Hamas indeed was dealt a crippling blow. Hamas knows very well that the days are over when it can lob mortar shells and launching rockets at the Gaza Belt without a fierce retaliation.

However, the Israeli public, including the influential center and center-left in Tel Aviv, no longer trusts agreements with Arabs and does not trust the Israeli government, no matter who is charge, to walk out of diplomatic negotiations without opened up the chicken barn for the foxes.

“Hamas is isolated politically, and we received legitimacy in the international community,” Netanyahu insisted. He said that Israel won solid backing in the international community, and that is true – today. And maybe tomorrow.

By next week, it will have evaporated into thin air, and once again there will be international demands that Israel make peace by diplomatic suicide.

One of the most disturbing statements at the press conference was made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who boasted that it will take Hamas 10 years to re-build.

So what do we have? A 10-year respite before the next war?

Netanyahu noted that Israel has allegedly enjoyed peace and quiet in the north since the cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-tries-to-eliminate-hamas-chief-terrorist-mohammed-deif/2014/08/20/

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