Did anyone say “Ceasefire”? What a joke.
From the Times of Israel live blog (the tail end of yesterday’s, really). The items are in reverse chronological order.
The remains of a Katyusha rocket were found in the Negev, Ynet News reports. Police sappers are examining the site, and believe it was fired from Sinai on Wednesday.
Iran strongly rejects comments by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, in which he blamed Tehran for the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, as showing that the minister has a poor understanding of the Middle East.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says that Fabius’s statements in no way lift responsibility from the Zionist regime and its supporters for the war crimes they have committed against the Palestinian people.
On Wednesday, Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said Iran had given Hamas technological assistance to produce long-range rockets.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he is satisfied with the Gaza ceasefire.
Ynet reports a rocket that caused air-raid sirens to go off in Hof Ashkelon a few minutes ago landed inside the Gaza Strip.
With a bit of luck the terrorists will die from stupidity.
A red alert siren has gone off in Netiv Ha’asara and Yad Mordechai.
Sirens are warning of an incoming rocket at Netiv Ha’asara, a community adjacent to the Gaza Strip — 13 hours after the official of the ceasefire.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will respond forcefully to “any violation of the ceasefire” that was signed yesterday with Hamas.
So why the HELL hasn’t he ordered return fire from our air force or artillery? He’s all talk, no walk. It’s a dangerous path to take because we will find it very hard to believe a single thing he promises in the future.
In a conversation Thursday with the mayor of Sderot, a southern town regularly targeted by rockets from Gaza, Netanyahu said the eight-day military operation concluded Wednesday achieved its goals.
“The goal was not to conquer Gaza but to deal Hamas a deadly blow, and that is what we did,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement released by his office.
Hamas declares November 22 a national day of celebration to mark the “victory” of Palestinian groups in Operation Pillar of Defense.
The day is to be marked with visits to those injured in the fighting, visits to the families of those being held in Israeli prisons, and national unity.
IDF and Shin Bet security services arrest 55 Hamas parliament members and rioters overnight.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz orders the arrests after a sharp increase in terror activities in the West Bank during the past few days. Among numerous incidents were two shooting attacks and several large riots.
An army source says that among those arrested were members of the Hamas government and senior activists from both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
The reserve officer critically injured on Wednesday in a rocket attack on the Eshkol region undergoes overnight surgery. The officer suffered serious head injuries from the rocket attack and remains in a critical condition.
For the first time in over a week, resident of the south were able to sleep a full night without being woken by sirens or red alerts.
No rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since late Wednesday night, a sign that the ceasefire with Hamas is holding and that other terror groups in the Strip are respecting the truce.
According to the agreement, 24 hours must pass before Israel starts implementing its side of the agreement, including opening the Gaza borders, making the next several hours critical.
As for this item in the middle of the cease-ceasefire above, excuse me while I fisk it:
Defense Minister Ehud Barak acknowledges that Israel may be forced to engage with Hamas again, even in the near future, but dismisses claims that Israel should have captured the Gaza Strip in order to remove Hamas from power.
No one is demanding we capture the Gaza Strip. But we could have done much more to disable Hamas before agreeing to a ceasefire.
But, he says in an interview with Israel Radio, removing Hamas from power and occupying the Strip will create a situation where “we’ll be forced to stay [in the Strip] for years.”
“You can topple the Hamas regime, but the problem is, you don’t know how to get out of” ruling Gaza, he says.
So the solution is to give up and let Hamas stay? What kind of strategy is that? I have no solutions, but it’s not my job. It’s the job of our government, their advisers and strategists to figure out a solution, not just to raise our hands in despair. If that is the case, what was the point of going to war now?
Barak insists that the IDF has come out on top in this round of hostilities — despite Hamas claims to the contrary — saying that “what they were hit with is no small thing… While our chief of staff will be addressing the press soon, their chief of staff is in the ground.”
But what about the residents of the south? How did they come out? How’s their economy doing? Their mental health? Their morale?
Hamas, he continued, “only succeeded in hitting Israeli targets with a single ton of explosives, while targets in Gaza were hit with a thousand tons.”
I repeat my above questions.
“We have a powerful, effective military, and we succeed in hitting Hamas hard,” Barak says.
But not hard enough. We stopped too soon. Stop bragging Mr. Barak, it ill-becomes you.