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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Yes, Israel accepted another cease fire rejected by Hamas

During the course of the Sabbath, Israel agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian cease fire which lasted from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on Saturday. Israel did so after rejecting a request from US Secretary of State John FN Kerry for a week-long cease fire. Kerry then left Egypt for Paris, where Israel is furious that Kerry has been meeting with Qatar and Turkey - which represent Hamas - without any Israeli or Egyptian representation.

An hour before the end of the cease fire, the UN asked Israel to extend it for another 24 hours. The government extended it for four hours to give it a chance to consider adding another 24. During those four hours, Hamas fired another 14 rockets into Israel. Israel agreed to the further 24 hours effective at midnight tonight. Five Israeli soldiers have been killed in the last 24 hours. This is from the first link.
Diplomatic officials said that despite the cease-fire, the IDF would act against any violation of the cease fire by the other side. In addition, during the lull in the fighting the IDF "will continue to neutralize the terror tunnels inside Gaza. Four terror tunnels were neutralized in Gaza on Saturday, despite the cease fire that was in place from 8:00 a.m."

The security cabinet will meet again on Sunday to discuss future steps.

The decision was made despite the continued rocket fire by Palestinians in Gaza. Sirens continued to sound in Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and the Gaza frontier communities late Saturday. One Israeli was seriously injured by a mortar that exploded in the Eshkol regional council late Saturday.

The forum of ministers met late Saturday night, even as Hamas rejected a continuation of the cease-fire and began again firing on Israel.

The wider question on the table was how to ensure that in any longer cease-fire agreement Israel would maintain its ability to continue destroying terror tunnels in Gaza, and that Hamas' rocket capabilities would be dismantled.

On Friday afternoon, just before Shabbat, the security cabinet unanimously rejected a US proposal that called for a week-long cease-fire which the ministers believed did not sufficiently ensure either continued Israeli activity against the tunnels or dismantling the rocket infrastructure, while giving Hamas significant concessions regarding lifting the blockade around Gaza. 

While US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a Cairo press conference Friday afternoon that the proposal was based on a previous Egyptian cease-fire agreement, Israeli officials said it included too many elements of a Qatari and Turkish proposal, which leaned more favorably toward Hamas.

On Saturday, Kerry flew to Paris to continue cease-fire talks with his Qatari and Turkish counterparts, as well as with the German, French, British and Italian foreign ministers.

At a press conference before leaving for Washington in the evening he said that while the Palestinians “need to live with dignity” and “with goods that can come in and out, “ at the same time “Israelis need to live free from rockets and from tunnels that threaten them, and every conversation we’ve had embraces a discussion about these competing interests that are real for both.”

The tunnels, Kerry said, “have to be dealt with. We understand that; we’re working at that. By the same token, the Palestinians can’t have a cease-fire in which they think the status quo is going to stay and they’re not going to have the ability to be able to begin to live and breathe more freely and move within the crossings and begin to have goods and services that come in from outside.”

During a Channel 2 interview, Communications Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) criticized Kerry's holding of the talks in Paris - including with the Qatari and Turkish foreign mnsters who are viewed in Jerusalem as essentially representing Hamas’ interests but without either Israeli or Egyptian representatives. 

“We’re a long way from a political solution,” he said. “We will not end this operation and leave Gaza until the tunnels are dealt with.” He added that while Israel was open to international efforts to rehabilitate Gaza when the current crisis ended, Israel would “not tolerate” the rockets and tunnels.
And from the second link:
Five IDF soldiers were killed in several incidents in the last 24 hours.
They are First Sergeant Amit Yeori hy”d, 20, of Jerusalem; Lt. Roy Peles , 21, of Tel Aviv, First Sgt. Avraham Grintzvaig, 21, of Petah Tikva, First Sgt. Gal Bason, 21, of Holon, and First Sgt. Guy Boyland, 21, of Genosar.
 May God Avenge their blood.

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At 3:06 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm having a sinking feeling that Bibi is losing his nerve again and this round of lawn mowing is over.

At 4:08 AM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Kerry is meeting with those 'diplomats' because he's drunk on the pomp and circumstance of his position. I would imagine Egypt's little dig - using a metal detector on him before he met with the Egyptian general really put his hackles up. I would love to have seen it and I'll bet there will be hell to pay for embarrassing Himself. That will be an Indelible Moment requiring hours of fantasy revenge to soothe his vulnerable Self.

Kerry is exceeded in his thin-skinned noblesse oblige only by his boss. Truly a matched set.

If you ever have the time to read Kerry's father's autobiography, it would give you a good inside look not only on pere et fils, but also on the strange mandarin atmosphere in Foggy Bottom. John Bolton said it would take a generation of dedicated civil servants to clear out those Augean stables but I tend to agree with Jefferson: we should have avoided setting up a Bureau of State in the first place. We're simply not characterologically capable of the finesse-ity required. Or we should just turn it over to the French.

Sad poor-little-rich-boy anecdote: when Kerry was in boarding school in Switzerland and Daddy was stationed somewhere or other in Europe, son was taken sick with some lingering and painful illness. Dad never came to see him. Not once.

Anyway, we can be sure that while JFK is running things at State, Israel will get the short end of the stick. That's why BHO chose him: their mutual dislike of Israel.

If he ever passes up a chance to shove it to Israel it will only be because he didn't see it. I've never heard JK's an anti-Semite but he comes from that milieu so it would surprise me to hear he wasn't.

We have been positively joyful to hear about the discovery of the tunnels. That is a hinge point, another reminder that the march of history sometimes changes tempo - this time into a waltz. That has changed the story from here on in... prayers of thanksgiving.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Sitting under warcrime rocket fire onto Israeli civilians. Again. And the next task for some investigative journalist is to find out...


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