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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back to 'quiet will be met with quiet'?

It's not only Hamas that has rejected the Egyptian cease fire plan. Israel has now rejected it too.
Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem told Maariv Hashavua late Saturday that the decision to turn down the Egyptian offer was made after consultations between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon.

"The Israeli delegation in Cairo is comprised entirely of former security chiefs," a diplomatic source told Maariv Hashavua. "The instructions that they received from the prime minister upon their departure to Cairo were to adamantly insist on meeting Israel's security needs. Thus far, Israel has not agreed to any proposal. Understandings will be reached only if they clearly address the security interests of the State of Israel."

Officials in Jerusalem were pleased by the European Union foreign ministers who stated on Friday that all terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip needed to decommission their weapons, "a principle that even the Obama administration supports," said one source.

The current five-day cease-fire with Hamas ends Monday at midnight. Sources close to the prime minister said that Netanyahu sees the next 48 hours as the last chance to reach a long-term cease-fire arrangement with Hamas.

Israeli officials have told their Egyptian counterparts that if there is no significant progress in the next two days, then the Netanyahu government will revert back to a policy of "quiet will be met with quiet," though this time the response to any Palestinian rocket fire "will be fierce."

Senior Israeli officials said over the weekend that they did not rule out the possibility that the Palestinian factions in Gaza would abandon the Egyptian-mediated negotiations and undertake unilateral steps of their own in response to Israeli unilateral measures.
The problem is that all the proposals and rejections are just giving Hamas time to regroup. We had them on the ropes and we gave it up because Obama-Kerry insisted on a cease fire. If we have to fight them again, they will be at least somewhat recovered.

What could go wrong?

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