Operation Protective Edge day 20 – Ceasefire see-saw

Hamas ceasefire

We cease, they fire

Israel has swung back and forth between 3 ceasefires today. First there was the ceasefire that was agreed yesterday to last from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m tonight.

However that ceasefire was rejected early this morning (late last night?) by Hamas because it would have involved recognizing Israel. How pathetic and juvenile can you get? However, Israel did accept a 24 hour extension of the UN-requested  humanitarian ceasefire.

There wasn’t much point to Israel’s extension of the ceasefire unless it meant “we cease, they fire” since Hamas renewed its rocket fire in the morning: (right on my hometown again. At least we’re popular somewhere!):

A rocket falls near Petah Tikvah. No one is hurt and no damage is reported.

Police sappers are on the scene.

Rocket lands in Petach Tikva

Rocket lands in Petach Tikva (picture taken by a friend of my daughter)

Residents are reminded not to approach fallen rockets, as some warheads are still live after the rocket falls.

Israel is observing a UN-requested 24-hour ceasefire. Hamas has rejected the ceasefire and continued rocket fire over Israel throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning.

At that stage Israel abandoned the non-existent ceasefire and resumed its activities against Gaza. At 12.30 Hamas quietly asked for another humanitarian ceasefire, to which Israel refused unless Hamas asked publicly:

Israeli officials say Hamas is quietly asking for a return of the humanitarian ceasefire.

Israel resumed strikes on Hamas targets Sunday morning after Hamas refused to abide by a UN-requested ceasefire and launched several volleys of rockets at Israeli towns.

Within two hours of Israel’s resumption of strikes, Hamas officials are now asking the UN’s peace envoy Robert Serry to arrange a renewal of the ceasefire.

If true, the report indicates Hamas has given up its previous demand that no ceasefire would go into effect unless Israel withdrew is ground troops from Gaza and stopped the destruction of Hamas’s tunnels.

Such a ceasefire extension won’t take effect until Hamas makes the request publicly, Israeli officials say.

That request finally came at 2 pm when Hamas asked for another 24 hour truce. But their own ceasefire lasted barely 20 minutes when the rockets began to fall again.

Israel never gave an official answer to the truce request, the official position being a wait-and-see approach. By the time the intensified rocket fire renewed it was obvious that the whole thing was a non-starter.  Israeli sources pointed out that Hamas had rejected 3 truce offers in one day.

It seems that the situation as of tonight is that Israel has not officially agreed to a truce but will hold its fire if it is not fired upon. This unofficial ceasefire will last for 3 days.

Meanwhile Hamas used the ceasefire as a cover to execute 25 Gazans accused of “treachery”:

Hamas militants killed at least 25 Gazan civilians suspected of collaborating with Israel, World Net Daily reported, citing sources close to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad groups.

The sources told WND that most of the extra-judicial killings of suspected collaborators took place during a brief “humanitarian” cease-fire last Thursday. Hamas blamed the killings on Israel saying they took place four days earlier, in Shuja’iya, on Gaza’s northern border with Israel.

The murdered Gazans were accused of leading Israeli troops to smuggling tunnels and providing intelligence on Hamas’ infrastructure inside Gazan cities, according to the sources.

According to WND, the sources also said “the civilian suspects murdered by Hamas were publicly celebrated by Hamas as martyrs killed by the Jewish state.”

Keep those facts in mind when you are next confronted with the Gaza casualty figures.

In other news – those “harmless firecracker rockets” have damaged 1,000 buildings and 750 cars in Israel – and this is with the protection of the Iron Dome. Can you imagine what devastation would have been wrought without this anti-missile system?

Police at the scene of the stopped car bomb at the checkpoint outside Beitar Illit

Apart from the Gaza war, violence has been increasing in the West Bank. Today a not-so-minor miracle occurred when a car bomb was stopped at a checkpoint outside Beitar Illit:

Border Police officers stopped what they suspect was a potential terror attack Sunday, when they arrested a man at a West Bank junction they said was carrying an explosive device in his car.
The Border Police said mid-day on Sunday that the man pulled up at a checkpoint near Beitar Ilit in the West Bank and almost instantly the officers found something suspicious about the man. They asked the man, who apparently was wearing a wig, large sunglasses, and acting “in a strange manner” to stop the car, but he refused.
At this point, one of the officers reached inside to grab the keys from the ignition, at which point the man stepped on the gas and started driving off, while the officer was still hanging halfway out the window, according to the Border Police.
The officer, however, managed to pull his service handgun and cock it, and ordered the man to stop, at which point he managed to pull the man out of the car and they rolled to the side of the road.
The man was arrested and handed over to the Shin Bet General Security Service for questioning. Inside his car officers found pipe bombs, gas canisters, explosives, and a detonator, according to a statement put out by the IDF after the incident. The officer who arrested the man said the back seats of the car had been removed and the entire area was full of gas canisters rigged with electric wires.
The incident caused massive gridlock as police shut down traffic in both directions from the junction in order to send in sappers to handle the explosives.
At the moment it’s unclear where the man was taking the explosives, though one working assumption is that they were meant to be used for a terror attack in Jerusalem.

The sappers were still defusing the bomb after 8 pm tonight!

In other regional news, oh joy, Turkey is planning to send yet another “aid flotilla” to Gaza. It will serve them right if it ends up in the same way as the Mavi Marmara.

In a much more dangerous development, Hamas is said to be involved in an arms deal with North Korea:

Hamas and North Korea are involved in a secret arms deal to smuggle rockets and communications equipment into the Strip, British newspaper The Telegraph reports.

The report, based on Western security sources, claims that the Gazan terror group is working through a Lebanese intermediary to bring more fighting equipment to the Strip, in order to replenish stocks after three weeks of fighting with Israel.

The deal with Pyongyang is said to be worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

According to the Telegraph, Israeli officials believe North Korea consulted with Hamas to aid the group in building a network of tunnels into Israeli territory intended for terror attacks, tunnels that Israel is now scrambling to uncover and destroy.

The subterranean passages are reminiscent of tunnels built by North Korea in the 1970s into South Korea.

Now we begin to understand how Hamas had the ability to build such complicated and sophisticated tunnels. This is a hugely dangerous relationship for Israel.

Returning to ceasefire talk, US President Obama had the temerity to call PM Binyamin Netanyahu and demand an unconditional ceasefire. What is noticeable is he makes only passing mention of Israeli security needs. (Emphases are added):

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.

While the conversation focused on the immediate concerns of the United States, the president also discussed the broader implications of Israel’s operation in Gaza, Protective Edge, now over two weeks old and burdened with a mounting death toll, both within the Israel Defense Forces and the civilian population of Gaza.

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.

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.

Obama reiterated his belief that Israel has a right to defend itself, and condemned Hamas’ construction of tunnels and continuation of rocket fire into civilian areas.

“Ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza,” Obama expressed.

At least he made a glancing reference to the necessity of disarming Hamas, but his request, demand in fact, for an unconditional ceasefire makes a mockery of that condition.

MK Danny Danon irreverently echoed many Israelis’ feelings when he remarked:

We need a ceasefire from the attacks coming from Obama and the government in Washington. Just as the US fought with determination against the Taliban, we must continue hitting Hamas and destroying the infrastructure of terror.”

He also added: “We need to withstand the pressure on us and worry about the interests of the State of Israel.”

Times of Israel editor David Horovitz returns to John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal of Saturday, and calls it simply “John Kerry’s Betrayal”:

When The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff first reported the content of John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal on Friday afternoon, I wondered if something had gotten lost in translation. It seemed inconceivable that the American secretary of state would have drafted an initiative that, as a priority, did not require the dismantling of Hamas’s rocket arsenal and network of tunnels dug under the Israeli border. Yet the reported text did not address these issues at all, nor call for the demilitarization of Gaza.

t seemed inconceivable that the secretary’s initiative would specify the need to address Hamas’s demands for a lifting of the siege of Gaza, as though Hamas were a legitimate injured party acting in the interests of the people of Gaza — rather than the terror group that violently seized control of the Strip in 2007, diverted Gaza’s resources to its war effort against Israel, and could be relied upon to exploit any lifting of the “siege” in order to import yet more devastating weaponry with which to kill Israelis.

Israel and the US are meant to be allies; the US is meant to be committed to the protection of Israel in this most ruthless of neighborhoods; together, the US and Israel are meant to be trying to marginalize the murderous Islamic extremism that threatens the free world. Yet here was the top US diplomat appearing to accommodate a vicious terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction, with a formula that would leave Hamas better equipped to achieve that goal.

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.

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.

Whether through ineptitude, malice, or both, Kerry’s intervention was not a case of America’s top diplomat coming to our region to help ensure, through astute negotiation, the protection of a key ally. This was a betrayal.

I don’t find any of this surprising although it is still shocking to be confronted by so blatant a betrayal.  Despite the axiom “never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence” I have my strong doubts that this is relevant to John Kerry or Barack Obama.

Someone who definitely has our back is our own Prime Minister who has been staunchly defending Israel in the international media. Here he is on CNN today:

May we have a quiet night and may tomorrow bring better news.

May Hashem protect our soldiers and watch over all of us.

הנה לא ינום ולא ישן שומר ישראל

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8 Responses to Operation Protective Edge day 20 – Ceasefire see-saw

  1. Reality says:

    Damn Obama & Double damn John Kerry. They should be told by our govt that we have no interest in them brokering any deal whatsoever as they have betrayed their trust. We could turn to Canada for their help or perhaps Britain(although here too I’d be cautious). I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again , lets leave the UN. Why hasn’t Netanyahu mentioned on t.v interviews ,or to US officials that we are acting much more humanely than they even today are acting themselves & too cite examples? It would give them & viewers pause for thought. Each request for a ceasefire or each recitation about Israels right to defend itself has a “but…” at the end. Why is USA still fighting in Afganistan or anyother place? Why did Britain go into Falklands?It wasn’t exactly building terror tunnels or threatening to bomb Britains?The US marshalls are lined along the Mexican border stopping any “infiltration”(their word not mine). If thats allowed how come Israel is being called upon to stop? Pure Antisemitism. A good Jew is a dead Jew. It rankles Obama et al that Israel exists.
    Our country elected Netanyahu to lead us & to provide us with safety. We (thank G-d) did NOT elect Obama , therefore Netanyahus first obligation is to his people & country & no obligation to any US administartion that betrays it. They have proved indelibly that are not our friends.

    • anneinpt says:

      I agree with everything you said except for “why didn’t Bibi explain that we’re acting more humanely”. He did and he does, any time he gets the opportunity. The fact that the world won’t listen is not his fault.

  2. Mauretto says:

    As far as I am concerned, no peace until Hamas changes its charter and drops the destruction of Israel. Nothing short of that.

    • anneinpt says:

      Agreed! That’s what all Israelis feel at the moment. And I’m confident our government feels the same too. I just hope they can withstand the international pressure, and I would love it if they had the balls to tell the American Administration where to jump.

      • Irene Matthews says:

        I agree with you Anne, but you know how well THAT would go over in the media. About as well as the talk of “impeachment” goes over here. The “race card” would be played out with riots in the streets of every city in the US. Many days I feel like the “regime” has us in a choke hold and there’s no escape. The only hope I have is in the spirit of all reasonable people to live in peace and prosperity. But that hope too dwindles in the face of our open southern border. They are importing votes on a grand scale. We need to clean out the cesspool that is Washington DC. Both our countries will be better off if we can manage that in November.

  3. Aridog says:

    I am essentially cross posting my comment elsewhere (TCKT blog) on the subject of John Kerry, with minor changes:

    On the current subject of Sec of State Kerry in Israel and his absurd, actually obscene, proposals for a cease fire….let me remind you youngsters out there…that same man is the one who organized a thing called the “Winter Soldier Investigation” (began it where I live in fact) and declared that it was United States military policy to kill women and children and asserted that those in the field did so intentionally and with abandon. This all from a man who never once spent one day as an infantryman or any other on the ground combat arms related manner.

    Lying and deception is his stock in trade. He was a traitor to his own country, and those men who served her, [including me] and no Israeli should be surprised he would do the same to them. You want to make a “statement”…revoke whatever visa he uses to enter Israel….all the while he is there he is plotting against you from within, so let him do so in Gaza rather than Tel Aviv.

    While I dislike Obama and think he is a very poor leader…I hate John F Kerry. He planned to get a “PT Boat” style assignment (JFK style) patrolling the RVN coastal areas in a PBF…but about the time his application for that duty was approved he found himself on the RVN interior rivers and deltas, due to then new CNO Zumwalt’s changes made, and much closer to the ground action, right alongside the smaller PBR craft. He promptly got himself three purple hearts for scratches that required not one night of overnight care, and those awards enabled him to apply to leave SE Asian theater and return to the USA. At the same time I can name at least two men who were shot up severely, spent from 30 to 90 days in an Evac hospital, and then voluntarily requested return to their original duty infantry units and served out their full tours. Once back in the USA it was not long when he applied for an early discharge in order to run for Congress….and he sucked up enough to get the early out at 180+ days remaining when the US policy at that time was eligibility for such early separations was less than 150 days. He didn’t make it to Congress the first time, but he never gave up until he did. He has no shame now and never has had any. His entire “Winter Solider” campaign was to gain publicity for himself because he knew the public was turning against the war more and more daily….he made it his personal bully pulpit, He really didn’t give a shit, and even his supporters acknowledge they believe he shot down a wounded man who was running away. You’ve probably read or heard that Kerry threw his medals over a wall and away. That is a LIE….he through someone else’s ribbons (not medals) away, or some he bought at a local Army/Navy surplus store. His own medals hung in his Senatorial office until he moved to State. He is a liar on everything, large or small…he cannot help it, it is pathological for him.

    There are many fine foreign service officers in the US State Department…one posts at TCKT blog in fact…who would be eminently better than Kerry….Kerry is a malignancy, like Hillary was, and State may not recover…but I’m hopeful because I don’t know that much about State, so for me ignorance is bliss.

    Kerry has no morals and no honor. Why he has the job he has now is a crime, literally.

    • anneinpt says:

      Wow, VERY interesting stuff about Kerry, Aridog. Thank you for that information, though it puts him in an even worse light, if such a thing is possible. What a piece of work.

      I like your idea of putting him in Gaza. But of course he’s too clever for that. He’ll come to Israel, do his damage, and leave. I do feel sorry for you Americans. In the end you’re the ones who have to live with him. At least we get the option of ignoring him, which I’m glad to say our leaders have done.

  4. Pingback: Perfidious Albion – Britain will halt arms sales to Israel if ceasefire breaks down | Anne's Opinions

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