Breaking: Cease Fire?
#BREAKING : Israeli TV says 'all parties' agree to #Gaza ceasefire, though timing not yet decided http://t.co/8c7kVdCBR6 #Israel
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) July 29, 2014
Deja vu all over again....
#BREAKING : Israeli TV says 'all parties' agree to #Gaza ceasefire, though timing not yet decided http://t.co/8c7kVdCBR6 #Israel
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) July 29, 2014
As much of world watches Gaza war in horror, members of Congress fall over each other to support Israel: http://t.co/DepO2etLQS
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 29, 2014
Many U.S. lawmakers strongly back Israel in Gaza war (revises wording in this @AP tweet: http://t.co/RZs5dh0m2L ): http://t.co/OvBKx75U6Z
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 29, 2014
Labels: anti-Israel media bias
Whoa. Israel hits a building in Gaza contains Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu Ajansı v @06JAnk http://t.co/1SVqwpEibG
— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) July 29, 2014
"After extensive calls and consultations with the brothers in Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian leadership announces on behalf of everyone the willingness for a ceasefire and humanitarian truce for 24 hours," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
"We call on all Arab and international parties to support this ... and hold Israel fully responsible for the consequences of refusing it," he said, reading out a statement.
He added that "there is also a suggestion from the United Nations to extend this truce for 72 hours and we are dealing positively with this suggestion."The Israeli media fell all over itself to take the 'offer' seriously.
Israeli Channel 2's veteran Arab affairs analyst Ehud Yaari said that Abed Rabbo is "a serious person" and that an announcement of this nature probably has substance behind it.There was just one small catch....
There has been no cessation of the fire from Gaza into Israel and from Israel into Gaza so far, however. The IDF has been targeting the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza for the first time and telling residents of the eastern side of Khan Younis to evacuate their homes.It turns out there was a good reason for that.
However, Hamas spokespersons have denied these reports and said they do not agree with this announcement and that a cease-fire cannot exist when Israeli forces are inside Gaza.Let's just forget the cease fire talk (we've had three and Hamas violated every one - including yesterday's) and finish the job. We never know when we will have another opportunity like this.
Israel did not immediately respond to the remarks.
"Gaza's sole power plant has stopped working due to Israeli shelling last night, which damaged the steam generator and later hit the fuel tanks which set them on fire," Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil told AFP.
An AFP reporter saw huge fires raging near the plant Tuesday morning, noting that fire department vehicles were still unable to reach the area.
The damage of the power plant exacerbated the heavy damage to civilian infrastructure in Gaza already inflicted during the 22 days of the Israeli offensive aimed at stamping out terrorist rocket fire and destroying attack tunnels.
Besides the power plant, Gaza also purchases electricity from Israel, but many of the supply lines have been badly damaged by the recent fighting, Sheikh Khalil said.
"Five out of 10 of the Israeli electricity lines into the Gaza Strip were also damaged because of Israeli shelling, and maintenance still cannot reach the areas and fix them," he explained.
Israel blamed Hamas fire for damaging some of the supply lines. Two weeks ago, Israel said that a Hamas rocket hit the power line that supplies electricity to Khan Younis and Deir el-Balah. It's not clear when Israel Electric Company workers will be able to repair the system, but they are apparently in no rush to do so. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked the IEC not to risk the lives of its employees in trying to restore power to the affected sector in Gaza, an operation that could take hours.
One suggestion for action against Gaza that has come up numerous times in Israel – including from MKs – is cutting off electricity to Gaza, which Israel is still supplying.The article also says that power to Gaza has been reduced by 90% and yet somehow they still have electricity 12 hours per day. Boo. Hoo.
Palestinian witnesses said Israeli tank fire hit the fuel depot of the Gaza Strip's only power plant on Tuesday, cutting electricity to Gaza City and many other parts of the Palestinian enclave of 1.8 million people.Maybe they should have thought of that before they started shooting rockets and digging tunnels.
A thick column of black smoke rose from the facility, which supplies the territory with two-thirds of its energy needs, and the fuel containers were in flames.
"The power plant is finished," said its director, Mohammed al-Sharif.
He said the local fire brigade was not equipped to extinguish the blaze.
An Israeli military spokeswoman had no immediate comment and said she was checking the report.
The plant had already been hit last week and was working at a reduced capacity of about 20 percent, allowing only a few hours of electricity a day for Gaza's residents.
Three weeks ago, Andriy Parubiy, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, compared eastern Ukraine’s situation to what Israel faces and warned that terrorists would likely adopt similar tactics in other countries if the West didn’t take a firm stance against them.
“We, of course, studied the experience of both Croatia and Israel, but here a lot of new features are added,” Parubiy said. “And, if Russia sees that this experience is successful, this experience can very easily be used in any Baltic countries, and even in Belarus and Kazakhstan.”
Yesterday, Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel Henadii Nadolenko made both the comparison and the warning even more explicit in an op-ed in Haaretz. Unambiguously titled “Ukraine and Israel: Together in fighting terrorism,” it declared, “We, the representatives of Ukraine, have, together with the people of the State of Israel, personally felt the totality of the threat posed to civilians by the criminal activities of the terrorists.”
After enumerating the losses both countries have suffered, Nadolenko continued, “I am convinced that the huge loss of civilian and military life might have been avoided had the activities of terrorist organizations had been condemned by the international community.” Then, citing the recent downing of a civilian airliner over eastern Ukraine, he drove the point home:
I would like to emphasize once again that the crime, which killed 298 innocent civilians from around the world, is another confirmation of the fact that today’s terrorism is not constrained by borders…
In this regard, once again I would like to appeal to the thinking and caring people of the world to demonstrate their support for these peoples, who came upon a fight with an evil that threatens the security of everyone, regardless of nationality or place of residence.
I feel sorry for the Ukrainians. They cannot fight Russia on their own, and the odds of them getting any help from the West so long as the Hussein Obama administration is in power are not good. They have to hold out for at least another two and a half years (longer if Obama is replaced by Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren).I believe that the countries that are faced with terrorism and who try to fight this evil should support each other, and should join their efforts in order to draw the world’s attention to our cause. We must begin to receive real help and support from international organizations in order to combat this threat.
Interviewed by CNN's Candy Crowley, Mr. Rhodes offered the now-standard administration line that Israel has a right to defend itself but needs to do more to avoid civilian casualties. Ms. Crowley interjected that, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jewish state was already doing everything it could to avoid such casualties.
In the Wall Street Journal (same link as above), Bret Stephens rips Rhodes some new body parts over that statement."I think you can always do more," Mr. Rhodes replied. "The U.S. military does that in Afghanistan."
How inapt is this comparison? The list of Afghan civilians accidentally killed by U.S. or NATO strikes is not short. Little of the fighting in Afghanistan took place in the dense urban environments that make the current warfare in Gaza so difficult. The last time the U.S. fought a Gaza-style battle—in Fallujah in 2004—some 800 civilians perished and at least 9,000 homes were destroyed. This is not an indictment of U.S. conduct in Fallujah but an acknowledgment of the grim reality of city combat.
Oh, and by the way, American towns and cities were not being rocketed from above or tunneled under from below as the Fallujah campaign was under way.So why did Rhodes make the comparison? Stephens has an explanation for that too.
Or maybe he was just another victim of what I call the Palestine Effect: The abrupt and often total collapse of logical reasoning, skeptical intelligence and ordinary moral judgment whenever the subject of Palestinian suffering arises.In other words, you have to be dumb to support the 'Palestinians.'
But let's assume for argument's sake that the numbers are accurate. Does this mean the Palestinians are the chief victims, and Israelis the main victimizers, in the conflict? By this dull logic we might want to rethink the moral equities of World War II, in which over one million German civilians perished at Allied hands compared with just 67,000 British and 12,000 American civilians.
The real utility of the body count is that it offers reporters and commentators who cite it the chance to ascribe implicit blame to Israel while evading questions about ultimate responsibility for the killing. Questions such as: Why is Hamas hiding rockets in U.N.-run schools, as acknowledged by the U.N. itself? What does it mean that Hamas has turned Gaza's central hospital into "a de facto headquarters," as reported by the Washington Post? And why does Hamas keep rejecting, or violating, cease-fires agreed to by Israel?
A reasonable person might conclude from this that Hamas, which started the war, wants it to continue, and that it relies on Israel's moral scruples not to destroy civilian sites that it cynically uses for military purposes. But then there is the Palestine Effect. By this reasoning, Hamas only initiated the fighting because Israel refused to countenance the creation of a Palestinian coalition that included Hamas, and because Israel further objected to helping pay the salaries of Hamas's civil servants in Gaza.
Let's get this one straight. Israel is culpable because (a) it won't accept a Palestinian government that includes a terrorist organization sworn to the Jewish state's destruction; (b) it won't help that organization out of its financial jam; and (c) it won't ease a quasi-blockade—jointly imposed with Egypt—on a territory whose central economic activity appears to be building rocket factories and pouring imported concrete into terrorist tunnels.Yes, these are the people that the Obama administration and the Leftist American media love.
.#EpicFails as shirts supporting #Palestinians in #gaza turn out to be "made in #Israel"... pic.twitter.com/jGRaV7SAXf
— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) July 28, 2014
Israeli aircraft hit the home of Hamas's top leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, inside the Shati region of Gaza on Monday night, his son said.
"The Israeli enemy struck our house twice," Abed Salam Haniyeh said in a statement quoted by AFP.
The Reuters news agency quoted Gaza’s interior ministry as having said that the airstrike caused damage but no casualties.
An IDF spokeswoman had no information on the report but was checking for details.Maybe Haniyeh should just get a real job. I hear there's an Emir in the Gulf looking for a driver.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Fusion TV’s Jorge Ramos that part of the reason Hamas hides rockets in schools and civilian areas is “Gaza is small.”
“I’m not a military planner but Hamas puts its missiles, its rockets in civilian areas, part of it is Gaza is pretty small and its densely populated,” she said as neglecting the question of whether or not Hamas should have rockets in area to begin with.Where does Liechtenstein put its missiles and rockets? Andorra? Luxembourg?
Please daven for Rachamim Ben Aliza Chana an Israeli soldier who jumped on top of a live grenade to save his friends. He is in very bad condition and needs all our prayers.Some of you may recall a similar incident during the Battle of Bint Jbeil in the Second Lebanon War.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the United States must look to Qatar, an ally of the terrorist group Hamas, for advice in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
As CNSNews.com reported last week, Qatar is a strong supporter and funder of Hamas. Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal operates from Qatar, and has so far rejected ceasefire proposals put forward by Egypt and promoted by Secretary of State John Kerry.
“War is a deadly thing,” Pelosi said on Sunday, speaking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“And I have many Palestinians who live in my district, and I am hearing them regularly about how their families are affected who live in the region. It’s a terrible thing. But let me just say that any missile that comes from someplace has a return address. And if Israel is responding to that address, then that’s a shame that the Palestinians are …rumored to be using children and families as shields for their missiles.”
Pelosi said the first thing to do is to “avoid conflict” that “Hamas initiated.”
“[T]his has to be something where we try to have the two-state solution, that we have to support…(Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud) Abbas and his role as a leader there. We have to support Iron Dome to protect the Israelis from the missiles. We have to support the Palestinians and what they need. And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization, maybe they could use their influence to –
Crowley interrupted her at that point, and they turned to another topic….This moron was once third in line to be President of the United States? She makes Biden look intelligent.
"A short while ago, phonecalls were made and text messages were sent out to the civilian population of Shejaiya, Zeitun and eastern Jabaliya calling them to evacuate immediately towards central Gaza City," a statement from the IDF said, referring to three areas to the north, south and east of Gaza City.
Such phonecalls are usually a prelude to an IDF attack on a region, and are meant to reduce civilian casualties.
Shortly afterward, the IDF began striking areas of Gaza that had not been attacked before, including Zeitun and Jabaliya.
Israel had appeared to be winding down its attack operations in Gaza Monday and contenting itself with blowing up the remaining tunnels from Gaza into Israel. However, a serious incident in which at least four Israelis were killed by a Hamas mortar changed all that.
At least four, possibly five, people were killed when the mortar shell scored a direct hit on a home in the Eshkol region Monday afternoon. Four other people were seriously injured. The injured were taken to hospitals in Beersheva and Ashkelon, Voice of Israel public radio said.
In another serious incident, five Hamas terrorists were eliminated near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. They appear to have infiltrated via an attack tunnel.
The house was hit in a major round of rocket firing Monday afternoon, as the last vestiges of what was supposed to be a 24-hour truce evaporated. By 6 p.m., Hamas had fired nearly two dozen rockets at Israel, most of them in the late afternoon. Iron Dome missiles shot down two rockets, one over Ashkelon and one over Sderot. At 7:30, rockets were fired at the Hadera and Binyamina region, not far south from Haifa.I give any 'official' Gazan source about as much credibility as Baghdad Bob, but....
גורם רפואה רשמי ברצועה: בתקיפת צהל בגבליה שבצפון הרצועה - 3 הרוגים ו-40 פצועים
— Gal Berger (@galberger) July 28, 2014
While American officials continue to fume at the Israeli media for its harsh criticism of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to reach a ceasefire last week, apparently it had some effect. During a speech, Kerry says that “any process to resolve the crisis in Gaza… must lead to the disarmament of Hamas.” In a ceasefire proposal Kerry had submitted to Israel on Friday, no disarmament of Hamas was mentioned.
Israeli ministers had unanimously rejected the draft, arguing that it undermined the Egyptian ceasefire proposal that Israel had previously accepted and Hamas had rejected, and reflected the input of Turkey and Qatar to the clear benefit of Hamas, sources told TOI earlier Monday.
The wording marked an upgrading of Hamas’s standing, to an entity on an equivalent level with Israel, the sources said. And it provided specific gains for Hamas while including only amorphous language regarding Israel’s security needs, they said.
However, Kerry’s proposal did reflect “a position that both demilitarization and the reconstruction of Gaza are important agenda items that follow negotiations that follow a ceasefire,” a senior US official insists Sunday night.
Palestinian gunmen slipped into Israel from the Gaza Strip on Monday and penetrated Kibbutz Nahal Oz near the border before being repelled by the army, adding that five terrorists had been killed.Netanyahu is due to speak in about 10 minutes. I will live blog it.
Hamas Islamists said in a statement their "fighters" had killed 10 Israeli soldiers in the incident before returning home safely.
Residents of the kibbutz and nearby communities were asked to remain in their homes earlier on Monday evening due to the suspected security incident.
“America harmed its allies in Israel, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority by ignoring their demands and coming to the table with a plan that was not approved or even semi-approved by any of them," said Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Yisrael Beytenu). "Maybe it’s because they have a problem with the regime in Egypt and they thought that by going through Turkey and Qatar, they’d be seen as an honest broker. But instead, they lost the allies that they had and didn’t get any new ones. Kerry lost credibility in the eyes of everyone, and the president ended up undermining him.”Wow. I cannot remember the United States coming under attack by an ally like this. And I cannot remember the United States attacking an ally like this either. The attacks on Kerry are well-deserved.
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely said Israel must reject Obama’s cease-fire proposal, which she said only serves the interests of Hamas. She said the government of Israel must change the rules of the game in the Gaza Strip and defeat Hamas.
Her Likud colleague Danny Danon called upon Obama and his government to "cease firing at Israel."
"We need to withstand the exorbitant pressure that is put on us and deal with the interests of Israel," he said. "Would America cease fire on al-Qaida when it is being attacked? John Kerry is disconnected from reality and ignores the security concerns of Israel.”
MK Eli Yishai (Shas) said “The security of the citizens of Israel must come before our relations with the United States." He said that although Israel owed much to America, "that obligation cannot come at the expense of Israel’s future.”
The criticism of America's handling of the cease-fire proposal also came from the Left side of the political map.
“America has displayed a shameful lack of elementary understanding of how the Middle East works," said Hatnua faction chairman Meir Sheetrit, who ran for president last month. "No matter what America says, it is forbidden to end the war as long as there is a threat of tunnels and rockets. I hope our friends in the US and Europe won’t get in the way by insisting on an immediate ceasefire. The free world must support Israel, not weaken it, and I hope our friends in the US give us their backing.”
MK Nachman Shai (Labor) said Obama’s demand to stop the fighting prevents Israel from maximizing its military and public diplomacy achievements. He said he doubted America's ability to demilitarize Gaza and prevent future war there.
But there were also voices on the Left praising the US and attacking Netanyahu and his government.
Obama administration officials are fuming over Israeli criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest bid to secure a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
In unusually harsh language, officials say the criticism of Kerry could put the relationship between the US and Israel in jeopardy. They also say the personal attacks on Kerry cross a line and are particularly disappointing at a time of active conflict.Well, Kerry's behavior towards America's supposed number one ally in the Middle East at time when we (and not the US) are in active conflict was particularly disappointing too.
Ten people in total suffered from the attack. Emergency teams evacuated at lease nine people to Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba. Four of those injured were airlifted to the hospital.
The projectile fired from the Gaza Strip landed among a crowd of people.
None of those killed or hurt in the projectile attack were Eshkol residents, said a spokeswoman for the regional council.
Shortly after the mortar shell attack, the Code Red siren sounded in the area.
The head of the Eshkol Regional Council Haim Yellin urged civilians against visiting soldiers in the area.This does not sound good.... Sounds like it was a bunch of people bringing packages to soldiers.... Time to start praying again.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday slammed a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the statement addresses the needs of a murderous terrorist organization, but not those of Israel.What do you expect him to do when the polls say that 86.5% of Israelis don't want to stop?
The statement, he said, does not address Israel's demands for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, a principle already established by previous interim agreements with the Palestinians.
“The statement did not deal with the harm done to Israeli civilians, nor to the fact that Hamas turned Gaza civilians into human shields,” he said. Netanyahu, who met Ban in Jerusalem last week, also complained that the statement made no mention of the fact that Hamas used UN facilities to attack Israeli civilians.
Israel accepted a UN request for a humanitarian cease-fire three times, he said, while Hamas violated each one.
“They are continuing to fire even now at Israel citizens,” he said. “Israel will continue to deal with the terror tunnels, which is only the first step in demilitarization.”
Instead of having its money used by Hamas to build terror tunnels to attack Israel, Netanayhu recommended that the international community “should work to demilitarize Gaza.”
Reports by journos and human rights groups that Al Shifa hospital in #Gaza has been shelled.
— Dalia Hatuqa (@DaliaHatuqa) July 28, 2014
Palestinians report 3 killed in drone strike on Gaza clinic http://t.co/IguAgcC867And from the link:
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) July 28, 2014
5:24 P.M. Palestinians report four were killed in an IDF attack on a civilian vehicle near the Shati Camp, west of Gaza City. In addition, three were reported killed and several wounded by a drone strike in the Shifa Hospital's external clinics in Gaza. According to eyewitnesses, an unmanned aircraft fired a rocket at the clinic. The Palestinians noted that the hospital compound is used as a shelter by thousands of Palestinians who fled their homes due to the fighting. (Jack Khoury)That 'civilian vehicle' may have been carrying the Hamas commander. Waiting for a car swarm....
Palestinian media reported that 10 people were killed and several injured, including children, in an explosion near Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Monday afternoon.Hmmm....
The IDF confirmed that the hospital had been struck by a failed Gazan rocket, not by an IAF drone strike, as Hamas had claimed.
Thousands of Palestinians have taken refuge at Shifa Hospital, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.
The IDF did not comment on reports of an Israeli air strike that hit a public garden in the Beach refugee camp that, according to Palestinian medics, killed five of the 10 people.
I don't think any country would find it acceptable to have missiles raining down on the heads of their citizens.Here's a hint:
The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. And so I can assure you that if -- I don't even care if I was a politician. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.
In terms of negotiations with Hamas, it is very hard to negotiate with a group that is not representative of a nation state, does not recognize your right to exist, has consistently used terror as a weapon, and is deeply influenced by other countries. I think that Hamas leadership will have to make a decision at some point as to whether it is a serious political party seeking to represent the aspirations of the Palestinian people. And, as a consequence, willing to recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce violence as a tool to achieve its aims. Or whether it wants to continue to operate as a terrorist organization. Until that point, it's hard for Israel, I think, to negotiate with a country that -- or with a group that doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist at a country -- OK.
Headlines illustrate national mood. "Hamas violating cease fire and soldiers are left exposed." pic.twitter.com/wgsEjeuoN5
— Daniel Gordis (@DanielGordis) July 28, 2014
It'll be fascinating to read, years from now, what Obama threatened Netanyahu with to compel this one-sided ceasefire
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) July 28, 2014
It has nearly been ten years. Since August 2005, Gazans have been in control of their own destiny. Some might say otherwise, yet Gazans have their own government and they are their own people: If their neighbours, Egypt and Israel, close their borders to Gaza, one must look to a Gaza run by a terrorist organization cum government that teaches and propagates hate, death and destruction to understand why.
Since then, stories of resources being used, such as concrete supposed to be used for infrastructure for civil use instead used for purposes of terrors, or stories of repression of the people there by its own government, or stories of how under Hamas rule people no income or ways to support themselves … I’m reminded of Bill Clinton’s remark “It’s the economy, stupid” … but instead of showing openness to the world, or managing, or caring ... Gaza has instead shown that it is not interested in peace, in building a stable economy, in a secure future.
The Gazan government has had ample opportunity over these past years, nearly a decade, to alter its ways, change its mantra of death to the Jews, and become respectable caretakers of the people in their charge.
They have not.
Surely they could have done more. Should have done more.
We can forgive them for at first being overjoyed with the departure of the Israeli forces, and them as a terrorist organization unable to initially take up the challenge of good governance.
We can forgive them for not immediately changing their charter. In Canada and elsewhere, national charters protect the people. In Gaza, the first article calls for the death of Israel and the Jew. (Let me quote just a bit: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it." I would like to believe all of us in our organization can see how atrocious such a statement is, and that we would believe in things like the right of people to not be obliterated …)
They said, they being the Hamas government newly in power, they needed time. They have had nearly a decade. What is the holdup … oh, wait, the hate and desire to obliterate.
So, let us fast forward past a decade’s worth of battles, wars, incursions, etc.
How much aide has Israel given Gaza? How much has the world given Gaza?
Giving aid is worthwhile, a noble cause. But, has it gone to the people that need it? Ten years …
So, now, this month, what do we see:
Israel is more threatened than even because its neighbour, instead of caring about the welfare and well-being of its citizens, cares about the cause of killing, of carrying the banner of martyrdom, and of watching its fellow people die.
And yet, these are the same people who are embraced and loved by the international community, with marches on Parliament Hill in Canada’s capital, and in cities throughout the world, holding banners and chanting about the destruction of the state of Israel and of death to the Jews.
Meanwhile, Gaza uses UN locations to launch or house weapons … yet the international community cries out, a day after the UN itself admitted this and said that this practise puts at risk those in these facilities given that these places then are not safe havens but rather places of war to be targeted ..
Meanwhile, Gaza is giving children grenades … and asking their citizens to be sheep to the slaughter.
Gazan officials tell their people to be killed while they hide in bomb shelters.
Cowards? No, this is worse than cowardice. It is vile and ugly and they should be put to shame.Read the whole thing. No, it's never been about a 'Palestinian state.' It's always been about destroying Israel. It was started by the Arab countries immediately after Israel's War of Independence. Many of the Arab countries have given up on destroying Israel, even if they won't say so. But they're still not willing to face the consequences of their actions. They're not willing to help resolve the monster they created. And the monster still wants to destroy us all.
IHH chairman Bulent Yildrim was quoted by The Middle East Monitor as telling Gulf Online last week that the activists would set sail as soon as they receive the necessary permit from the authorities in Ankara and that the Turkish military would provide protection to the ship.Sorry but I'm nowhere near as optimistic as Rhode. I don't know whether Obama still talks to Erdogan or not, but the bottom line is that the United States has been serving Turkish interests in the 'cease fire' negotiations. As far as I'm concerned that's all that counts.
Diplomatic officials said Jerusalem was following the reports carefully, but stressed that it was not clear whether the flotilla would ultimately set sail.
So far there has only been a declaration of intent, with no firm date set, one official said.
Harold Rhode, a senior fellow at the New-York-based Gatestone Institute and a former adviser at the in the office of the American defense secretary on Islamic affairs, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview on Sunday that the real issue in the ongoing conflict is that Turkey and Qatar are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas in their goals.
“[Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has been associated with the Muslim Brotherhood long before he was prime minister,” Rhode said.
It should now be clear to all that Erdogan “is now out of the bag,” Rhode said, adding that US President Barack Obama does not speak to the Turkish leader anymore despite previously describing him as one of his closest friends among the world’s leaders.
“Erdogan is doing whatever he can to help Hamas,” he said, asserting that it will only hurt the Palestinian people in the end.
A few more days are needed in order to dispose of the remaining tunnels, [a senior IDF officer] said.
The IDF blew up two more tunnels in the course of the last 24 hours. “The longer we stay on the ground [inside Gaza], the more we learn about the extent of the tunnels and the route they were built in.”
IDF forces attacked 40 terror targets in Gaza in the last day, and the tunnels remained their main focus. “This is our central goal and that is why we are concentrating more and more forces in Gaza to complete the assignment.”There is no official 'cease fire' yet, and the IDF is still in Gaza but limiting itself to blowing up tunnels and responding to Hamas' fire.
The Netanyahu government has had no shortage of run-ins with Kerry in the mere 18 months he has held office. The prime minister publicly pleaded with him in November not to sign the interim deal with Iran on its rogue nuclear program, and there has been constant friction between the two governments over thwarting Iran’s bid for the bomb. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in January ridiculed Kerry’s security proposals for a West Bank withdrawal, calling the secretary “messianic” and obsessive” in his quest for an accord with the Palestinians that simply wasn’t there. The collapse of the talks in March-April was accompanied by allegations from Jerusalem that Kerry had botched the process, telling Israel one thing and the Palestinian Authority another, including misrepresenting Israel’s position on Palestinian prisoner releases.
But none of those episodes, though deeply troubling and relating to issues central to Israel’s well-being, provoked the kind of outraged disbelief at Kerry’s performance that has been emanating from the Israeli leadership in the past 48 hours. Leaked comments from unnamed senior government sources to Army Radio, Channel 2 and other Hebrew outlets have described the secretary as amateurish, incompetent, incapable of understanding the material he is dealing with — in short, a blithering fool.
But actually, it’s worse than that. What emerges from Kerry’s self-initiated ceasefire mission — Israel had already accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal; and nobody asked him to come out on a trip he prefaced with sneering remarks about Israel’s attempted “pinpoint” strikes on Hamas terror targets — is that Jerusalem now regards him as duplicitous and dangerous.
Contrary to his public claim at his press conference in Cairo that his ceasefire proposal was “built on” the Egyptian initiative, it manifestly is nothing of the kind. As indicated by the unconfirmed text reported by Issacharoff, by other subsequent reports of its content, and by the cabinet’s outraged rejection, it is a proposal that, to quote an unnamed official cited by Channel 2, “tunneled under the Egyptian initiative,” a document, to quote from another of those leaked comments, that reads like it was drawn up for or even by Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal.
And Kerry didn’t let up after unleashing his dreadful proposal. Following Friday’s fiasco, he jetted off to Paris and, quite extraordinarily, convened further consultations dominated by countries that overtly wish to do Israel harm. He met with his counterparts from Turkey, whose Hamas-backing leadership has lately accused Israel of attempting genocide in Gaza and compared Netanyahu to Hitler, and with Qatar, Hamas’s funder in chief, directly accused by president Shimon Peres last week of financing Hamas’s rockets and tunnels. Staggeringly, he did not bring Israel, Egypt, or the PA to his Paris sessions.
“This is their ideology, what they believe in, their resistance,” he added. “They will not demilitarize Gaza voluntarily. The only one who can demilitarize them is the IDF.”Yadlin also dismissed the US claim that if we destroy Hamas we will get something worse.
Yadlin, who is currently the head of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, said that Israel needed to apply “much more military pressure” on Hamas' military wing, which he acknowledge has been “beaten,” but not hard enough.
Neither Hamas' leaders, nor its “main terrorist fighters,” have been killed, Yadlin said in a conference call organized by The Israel Project.
The only way to achieve a durable ceasefire and a political arrangement in the long run “is either by weakening or even destroying Hamas,” he said.
Yadlin said that the paradigm that the devil you know is better than the one you don't, and that at least with Hamas in control of Gaza there was an “address,” was applicable up until two months ago.Yadlin also said that Israel has known about the tunnels since the Shalit kidnapping in 2006, but could not act against them preemptively because the 'international community' would not have let us. He also said that there are greater threats to Israel in the region.
But since then, he said, Hamas has proven to be “not an address, but a military threat. I don't see any alternative that will be worse than Hamas. I call to waken and destroy Hamas as much as we can.”
The UN Security Council agreed on a statement on Sunday urging Israel, Palestinians and Hamas to implement a humanitarian truce beyond the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr and engage in efforts to achieve a durable cease-fire.This is from the second link:
The statement expresses strong support for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance" in Gaza, where Israel's military offensive has entered its 21st day.
All 15 council members had agreed on the statement, diplomats said, and it would be formally adopted at a midnight meeting on Sunday.
The Security Council statement, drafted by Jordan, "urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian cease-fire into the Eid period and beyond" and "calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected cease-fire, based on the Egyptian initiative."
The council commended the efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who spent last week in the Middle East trying to help broker an end to the fighting.
An immediate and unconditional ceasefire ending Israel's assault on Hamas is a "clear strategic imperative" to Israel, US President Barack Obama told Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Sunday.
Obama told Netanyahu he wants a ceasefire "that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority," the White House said, in a readout of the call to reporters.You mean the 'Palestinian Authority' that now includes Hamas? When are we going to deal with that? On the golf course?
For a permanent ceasefire to be agreed upon, Hamas is requiring an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza, formed to prevent Hamas from obtaining weapons to attack the Jewish state. Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni has told US Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel categorically rejects this condition, and indeed, Netanyahu's cabinet has unanimously voted against the measure as part of an end to the current crisis.And nearly all Israeli Jews agree with the government....
Palestinian representative to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, expressed disappointment with the statement, saying it fell short of a formal resolution demanding that Israel withdraw its forces from the Gaza Strip.
"They should have adopted a resolution a long time ago to condemn this aggression and to call for this aggression to be stopped immediately," said Mansour following the meeting.
"We are disappointed in that sense," he said, adding that the Palestinians would continue pressing the Security Council to move toward a formal binding resolution.What could go wrong?