Netanyahu and cabinet give the finger to Obama - Kerry cease fire effortsordered the IDF to keep hitting Hamas. And on Thursday morning, the IDF called up an additional 16,000 reservists, making it possible that the IDF plans on broadening and deepening the offensive. This is from the first link.
Amid mounting diplomatic pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire, the security cabinet on Wednesday instructed the IDF to continue to “forcefully hit Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza,” and to conclude its mission to destroy the tunnels leading from the Strip into Israel, diplomatic sources said.
The army’s actions in locating and destroying these terror tunnels have brought about significant strategic achievements in an area in which Hamas has invested much effort over the years, the sources said.
On Wednesday afternoon, the IDF’s Southern Command chief, Sami Turgeman, said “many hundreds” of Hamas operatives had been killed, and that the IDF had destroyed hundreds of weapons storage facilities, and significantly compromised Hamas’s terror infrastructure.
He said the IDF was “days away” from completing the military goal of destroying all of the tunnels, though the process is complex. Four tunnels have been destroyed in the past 24 hours, he added.
Turgeman said the IDF expanded its operation Tuesday night, targeting new sites in the north and center of the coastal enclave.
And from the second link.With the amount of concrete Hamas poured into the tunnel project, two hospitals, twenty schools, twenty healthcare centers, and 100 kindergartens could have been built, he said.
The IDF called up 16,000 reserves on Wednesday night, and the soldiers have been deployed to positions on Thursday. A total of 86,000 reservists have been called up since the start of the war.What no one outside of Israel seems to get is that the only way to successfully disarm Hamas is by force. The leadership is all in hiding, and has no motivation to give up. They have left the foot soldiers with no choice but to fight to the finish. They could care less about the civilians. The only way the IDF won't have to go back in the next 12-18 months is to finish the job now.
The IDF is examining a number of peers found in Gaza to see if they are connected to new tunnels, or to underground passages that the army already knows about.
The IDF destroyed several tunnels in the past 24 hours, a senior IDF source said Thursday morning.
The air force is continuing to strike Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, based on newly arrived intelligence, some of which comes from ground forces inside Gaza. It destroyed 110 targets in the past 24 hours, the army source said, and 4,200 targets since the start of hostilities.
On Wednesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke by phone with his American counterpart Chuck Hagel, who called for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza that would lead to a permanent end in fighting along with the disarmament of Hamas.
Hagel's call came amid US concern over the rising number of deaths on both sides of the conflict, said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
In the meantime, Hagel's relatively light treatment of Israel (as compared with Kerry and Obama) is a bit surprising. I vehemently opposed his nomination to be Secretary of Defense as did many others in the pro-Israel community. Seeing this was a bit of a surprise.
Separately, the Pentagon said it had allowed Israel to stock up on grenades and mortar rounds from a US munitions store located in Israel as part of bilateral emergency preparedness arrangement.I think the answer is that for the very reason I and many others opposed his nomination - his closeness to the Arab world - Hagel gets the Muslim Brotherhood better than either Obama or Kerry. Obama and Kerry are enamored with the Brotherhood and with Iran. Hagel is a military man and understands the dangers in having the Brotherhood take over all the Sunni countries and Iran dominate the Shiites. Hagel gets what Obama and Kerry don't - that the next war with Hamas would cost even more civilian deaths, and given how far we'd gone, it would be foolish to pass up the opportunity to finish the job.
What could go wrong?