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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘war’

History of Cease-Fires Shows Israel as the Big Loser

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

President Barack Obama’s direct contact with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to devise a long-term cease-fire plan follows a long history of American and U.N. ventures that have flopped, all of them at Israel’s expense.

Egypt has been the power broker in trying to maintain a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, and Obama is trying to put his foot in the Middle East door to reclaim American influence based by whittling down the popularity of Netanyahu.

His “poll numbers are a lot higher than mine” and “were greatly boosted by the war in Gaza,” Obama told Thomas Friedman of The New York Times last week. “And so if he doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement.”

It’s always the fault of the settlers. If it rains on the picnic, it is because of the settlers. If Obama’s popularity drops, it is because of the settlers who are an obstacle to his illusions.

The war against terror in Gaza has made Netanyahu even more popular. A Knesset Channel poll released this week shows that the Likud party that he heads would win almost 50 percent more seats than it now has in the Knesset if elections were held today. That translated into 28 mandates compared with 19.

Obama must be politically jealous of Netanyahu, considering the president’s dismal ratings.

Jealous or not, Obama has the habit of most previous presidents to pressure Israel, often by blocking or threatening to block military aid. That is what happened during the war, when Obama stopped the United States from shipping missiles to Israel, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Obama’s phone conversation with Netanyahu was reported as “combative,” nothing new for the two leaders who have distrusted each other during the president’s two terms of office.

The American government’s one-track mind for the “peace process” blocks out all reality, which is a lot different in the Middle East than in the United States. The Jewish Home party’s Housing Minister Ur Ariel said it in a matter of fact way on Thursday – “Americans don’t understand what is happening in the region.”

But that doesn’t stop Obama from throwing his weight around and bullying himself into Iraq, Syria and Egypt only to look like a fish out of water.

Like Carter, Clinton and even Reagan, Obama has the freedom to exploit Israel’s democracy and run roughshod over the government to “make peace” with cease-fires that make war.

That is what happened in 2012 to conclude the Pillar of Cloud campaign against Hamas terror, and that is what happened in 2009 to conclude the Operation Cast Lead campaign against terror.

That is what happened in 2006, when the United Nations and the United States brokered a cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanese War and promised the moon, whose location has not moved since. Hezbollah was supposed to be dis-armed under United Nations supervision, which is like Hamas agreeing to dis-arm under Mahmoud Abbas’ supervision.

“For proxies such as the Palestinian Sunni faction Hamas and the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, the centuries old Islamic jurisprudence of Hudna (tactical truce) and Tahadiya (temporary calm) serve as a plausibly regrouping tactic that is continuously reshaped amid the changing face of modern warfare in the Middle East,” Israel Defense noted during the war.

Enter U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose “peace process” and ceasefires self-destruct.

He and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon orchestrated a humanitarian cease-fire last month. It lasted for 90 minutes. At least five other cease-fires failed.

Israel Defense reported, “Following the inability to transmute any ceasefire, Hudna or Tahadiya over the last decade into encompassing political progress, the tone is that ceasefires only exasperate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the medium-to long-term. Paradoxically, it is the achievement of these bitesize ceasefires as a short term benefit that has trampled on the utility of ceasefire.”

Hamas Breaks Cease-Fire with Three Rocket Attacks

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Hamas attacked southern Israel with three rockets shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, ending the 72-hour cease-fire nearly three hours before its official end.

No one was injured.

Israel has not responded to the rocket fire, at least so far and may be waiting to see if Hamas is intent on launched round two of the war, or simply is letting Hamas play head games by not extending the cease-fire but and shooting three rockets just to prove it can do so.

The best scenario would be that Israel has spotted the rocket launching sites and will retaliate later this evening.

However, Hamas claims it did not fire the rockets, which makes the terrorist organization look even worse because if true, it proves, as it has often proven, that it does not control Gaza.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down one rocket over Ashkelon, and two other rockets exploded in open areas in the area of Sderot, located approximately one mile – as the missile flies – from the Gaza border, and in the area south of Ashkelon.

The Palestinian Authority postponed a scheduled 9:30 p.m. press conference as truce talks in Cairo appear to have been nothing more than hot air that is about to blow up. President Obama spoke with Prime minister Netanyahu about the cease-fire during the afternoon, according to White House spokesman Ben Rhodes.

The IDF has called up reservists and extended the emergency “Tzav 8” orders so thousands of soldiers, some of whom were called up as long as a month ago.

After the original ceasefire began, the IDF pulled troops out of Gaza but redeployed thousands of troops along the Gaza border, from the north to the south, so that they can go into action immediately if need be.

However, hundreds of tanks and armored personnel carriers returned to their bases near Eilat and in the Golan. But enough remain near Gaza so that the IDF can retaliate.

IDF Pulled Out Tanks and Soldiers before Ceasefire Ended

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The IDF gave Hamas to green light to resume rocket fire towards the end of the 72-hour ceasefire by sending home tens of thousands of soldiers and transporting hundreds of tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) to training bases in the north.

Convoys of trucks carrying tanks to the north were seen as early as Wednesday, and the Jewish Press has learned from several sources in the army that orders had been prepared as early as Tuesday to release thousands of Reservists on Thursday, even there were no assurances that the ceasefire would be extended. It wasn’t.

The IDF also sent back to advanced basic training camps combat soldiers who had been called to Gaza at the beginning of the war.

The large-scale redeployment was accompanied by premature boasts by IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz that residents of Israel could go back to their homes without any fear of rocket attacks.

By Friday, Ashkelon and the Western Negev again were under rocket fire, making Gantz, who had become one of other most popular figures in Israel during the war, look like a fool in the eyes of people who have repeatedly and accurately, accused the “government of Tel Aviv” of a policy of abandoning them.

Israel had two stated goals by calling up approximately 75,000 Reservists and transporting tanks and other equipment to the Gaza front  from bases in the north and from near Eilat.

The IDF successfully bombed all of the terror tunnels known to exist. Massive aerial bombing of rocket launching sites, along with artillery fire from tanks and from the Navy, sharply reduced the number of missiles launched at Israel.

There was little to be gained from keeping troops in Gaza because many of the remaining underground missile launchers are being operated electronically from Qatar.

Striking Hamas’ de facto headquarters in Gaza is virtually impossible because their leaders are operating underground, beneath the Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The only to destroy the headquarters is to drop a bunker buster bomb on the hospital.

Moving troops deeper into Gaza would have cost the lives of many soldiers with questionable gains, but the rapid redeployment to the north was both an unofficial and premature declaration of victory and an announcement that Israel was not prepared to escalate the war.

As far back as last Saturday, media reported that Israel was pulling out troops. Netanyahu quickly reassured the nation that the ground operation had not ended and the war would continue until tunnels were destroyed. The military said troops were simply being re-deployed along the Gaza border, but that was true only to a limited extent and for a short period of time.

Negotiations for a ceasefire were taking place at the same minute Netanyahu was saying that the war would continue until its goals were accomplished.

Hamas tried and still is trying to exploit ceasefire talks to negotiate under fire. Dozens of rockets on Israel on Friday and on the Sabbath were met with sporadic aerial bombings, far less than the intense air raids than before the ceasefire.

The rapid retaliation made it clear to Hamas that it will have to compromise on its demands, but the massive withdrawal of tanks to the north and sending home or redeploying soldiers far from Gaza left the government in a far weaker position diplomatically.

Removing the threat of the IDF being able to immediately re-enter Gaza has given Hamas a big advantage because it has given Hamas an incentive to drag out the war. The longer it does so, the more it can count on President Barack Obama to try to undermine the strength of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Foreign Journalists Testify to Hamas’ Threats for Honest War Coverage

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Journalists from across the globe who flooded Israel and Gaza to cover the war have testified to the Israeli government that they often suffered violence and that their equipment was damaged by Hamas because they had documented criminal activity by Hamas, such as the launching of rockets from the heart of civilian areas.

The Government Press Office (GPO) has dealt with 705 foreign journalists from over 42 countries who came to cover the war, dubbed by The Jewish Press as the IDF’s Protective Edge campaign against Hamas’ Operation Death Wish.

The number of foreign journalists reporting on the war was more than double the 303 reporters who came to Israel in November 2012 to cover Operation Pillar of Defense.

The GPO said Wednesday it has accumulated testimony by foreign journalists regarding harassment by Hamas activists regarding the carrying out of their assignments. Journalists said that during their coverage of the fighting they received threats and, in several cases, were the victims of violence that included destruction of their equipment

At the onset of the operation, the GPO opened a media and information center in Ashkelon and held weekly tours, briefings and press conferences with Cabinet ministers and government and military officials. Journalists noted that their meeting with Col. (ret.) Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, who briefed them on the challenges of urban and guerrilla warfare, assisted them in understanding the complexity of the current violence.

Reporters also visited and spoke with wounded IDF soldiers at Sheba Medical center at Tel HaShomer as well as with Gaza Arabs who were being treated in Israel.

They toured the IDF field hospital at Erez Crossing, which received and treated approximately 50 wounded Arabs. The number would have been much higher, but Hamas prevented hundreds from arriving and being helped by Jews.

During the tour, the journalists witnessed the violation of the ceasefire by Hamas and heard t explosions in the area. They also observed the scope of the humanitarian assistance, which included medicine, medical equipment, food, clothing and fuel. In the past month, approximately 1,500 trucks with humanitarian aid entered Gaza, belying the libel that Gaza is under Israeli siege.

Despite the international condemnation from governments around the world, newspaper coverage was less anti-Israel than usual, with the obvious exception of The New York Times.

Another major factor in the change in coverage was the work by the staff of the office of the IDF Spokesman. The army learned its lessons from Operation Cast Lead and Pillar of Cloud and filmed dozens of Hamas war crimes violations and provided footage of the IDF warning civilians in Gaza to stay away from areas from which Hamas was shooting rockets and which were to be bombed.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett, both fluent English speakers and communicators in the media, flooded American television programs with precise answers on false allegations by Hamas and international leaders that tried to paint Israel as the villain for defending against rocket attacks and terrorists infiltrations.

Hamas Abduction Attack Mirrors Hezbollah Training

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Hamas has become Hezbollah. The Islamist terrorist group has learned well from its Iranian proxy benefactor, a fact Israel’s military leadership must adapt to quickly if they are to win this war.

For war it is.

At 9:30 am Friday, less than two hours after the start of a 72 hour humanitarian truce agreed to by both sides – arranged by the United Nations and the United States – Hamas violated the cease fire.

That is not news, because Hamas has violated every cease fire since the war began.

But this time, Hamas terrorists opened fire on IDF troops in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah and then succeeded in kidnapping one of the soldiers during the attack.

It was a classic Hezbollah move, similar to that carried out by the Lebanese terrorist group in the cross-border raid that launched the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Two IDF reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, were abducted and murdered in that attack, but it took two more years to learn about their deaths.

Two years, a German negotiator, a prisoner swap, thousands of hours of agony and talks and a nation torn apart. During that entire time, no one knew the status or condition of either one until the day their bodies crossed the border back into Israel, in two metal coffins.

The price was the release of one of the most savage terrorist child-killers Israel had ever imprisoned, Samir Kuntar, in addition to four other live terrorists and the remains of 199 dead Lebanese and Palestinian Arab terrorists.

A third IDF soldier, Gilad Shalit, had also been abducted — by Hamas — and spirited away to Gaza just a few days earlier. But that terror group eventually made it known that he was alive, at least. For Shalit, the price was even higher; more than 1,000 Palestinian Arab terrorists, including hundreds with ‘blood on their hands,’ were freed in exchange for his return to his family.

Hamas has learned a lot from Hezbollah since 2006. The Lebanese terror group has served as the conduit for generous patronage from Iran in the form of funding, equipment, weapons and special training.

From Hezbollah, Hamas learned how to create its underground bunkers and terror tunnel network, which now honeycombs the entire Gaza region. It’s a little bit like the New York subway system, except that it benefits only terrorists.

Mostly, it facilitates various forms of attacks on Israel, especially abductions of soldiers.

U.N. special envoy Robert Serry told reporters early Friday afternoon in a statement that two IDF soldiers and a number of Palestinian Arabs were killed during the attack by Hamas, which he referred to as a “serious incident.”

Serry added in his briefing, “The United Nations is not in a position to independently confirm these reports,” but added that if true, “this would constitute a serious violation of the humanitarian cease fire in place … by Gazan militant factions, which should be condemned in the strongest terms.”

Updates on IDF Actions in Gaza (Last Update 3:31pm)

Friday, August 1st, 2014

3:31pm IDF Spox notifications:

Hamas terrorists killed two IDF soldiers during the suspected kidnapping of 2nd Lt. Goldin this morning.

We suspect that a group of Hamas terrorists, including a suicide attacker, kidnapped 2nd. Lt. Goldin at 9:30AM & dragged him into a tunnel.

If our suspicions about today’s events are accurate, Hamas took advantage of the latest ceasefire in order to kidnap an IDF soldier.

 

3:15pm Released for Publication – 2 soldiers were killed this morning in battles with Hamas. Their families have been informed.

3:00pm The name of the kidnapped soldier has been released for publication by the IDF:

Hadar ben Hedva Leah

2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin (23), Givati, From Kfar Saba

2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin

2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin

2:21pm The IDF is continuing to stream forces to the area of the alleged kidnapping and has surrounded the entire area.

The IDF is continuing in full force to ascertain the safety of the soldier and his return….on both the operational and intelligence areas.

This is Why Hamas is Fighting Israel…

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Why is Hamas Fighting Israel?

I have been racking my brains trying to understand what Hamas wants out of this war.

There is simply nothing they haven’t done to force Israel into it, and there isn’t anything they haven’t done to force it to continue, and to force it to continue inside Gaza.

They’ve gone so far as to destroy their own country and infrastructure simply to fight this war.

For what possible reason?

I thought at first it was about Palestinian elections. A good showing in a fight with Israel, would bring them victory over Fatah at the polls.

But they could have stopped a while ago, and they would have achieved that.

I thought perhaps they thought they deluded themselves into thinking they could actually destroy Israel. But they’ve certainly realized by now, as life continues on mostly normal in Israel, and mostly destroyed in Gaza, that they can’t destroy Israel.

So what’s left?

Instructions from Iran? To what? Self-destruct?

Recognition by the US? They clearly have that.

But I realized there’s only one common thread throughout this entire war.

It’s not the rockets and missiles.

That’s just the side show.

It’s not the tunnels themselves, as those are just facilitators.

It’s kidnappings.

Everything, and I mean everything Hamas has done has been about kidnapping soldiers and Jews.

They’ve funded Hamas in Hebron for the sole purpose of kidnapping Jews.

In every battle they’ve tried to kidnap dead IDF soldier’s bodies.

They keep bragging that they kidnapped soldiers, even when they haven’t.

Every tunnel has been about trying to kidnap soldiers or civilians.

It may be the after-effect and lessons they learned from the Gilad Shalit fiasco. Or it just may be their Islamo-sick psyche.

But they are willing to destroy themselves down to the last man and the last house, as long as they can grab a soldier or Jew.

That’s all that this war has been about. That’s why it hasn’t ended yet. Hamas needs a kidnapped soldier.

Postscript: 1:50pm For the past week, all I’ve been thinking about is what does Hamas want from us in this wae. It came to me this morning, that its only about kidnapping and nothing more. And if the reports coming out now are true, they may have succeeded. The question is, what will our Prime Minister do now, and I can only hope he chooses absolute victory over Hamas and Gaza.

All our prayers now are with our soldiers.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/this-is-why-hamas-is-fighting-israel/2014/08/01/

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