In case you didn’t hear about the latest in the Israel-Hamas war, Algemeiner can fill you in…
The Israeli government believed the word of the Secretary of State of the United States that, via his Turkish and Qatari friends, he had obtained acceptable terms for a ceasefire with Hamas. Mr. Kerry’s flunkies even bragged about the success of his Turko-Qatari connections, chiding those who looked askance at his bromance with friends and sponsors of Hamas.
Kerry’s cease-fire was supposed to be for 72 hours and lead to an end to the war.
Except it didn’t quite last 72 hours.
A Hamas attack on IDF soldiers in southern Gaza, which occurred an hour and a half after the start of a humanitarian truce, ended with the suspected kidnapping of a soldier, the IDF said Friday.
Second Lt. Hadar Goldin, a 23-year-old Givati officer from Kfar Saba, was named as the IDF soldier presumed to be abducted by Hamas. His family has been notified.
Two other soldiers were killed during the incident.Their families have been notified.
The IDF named Major Benaya Sarel, 26, an officer in the Givati Brigade from Kiryat Arba, and St.-Sgt. Liel Gidoni, 20, also serving in Givati from Jerusalem, as the two Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza on Friday morning. Both were posthumously promoted.
During the attack, terrorists emerged from a tunnel shaft, and a suicide bomber detonated himself in the vicinity of soldiers. Heavy exchanges of fire ensued, before one of the IDF soldiers was kidnapped, a senior army source said.
The IDF said the incident occurred at 9:30 a.m., but a spokesman for Hamas’s military wing claimed the terrorists came out of the tunnel and took part in the ensuing gunfight at 7:00 a.m.
“The incident is ongoing, and the IDF is in the midst of operational and intelligence efforts to track down the soldier,” the army added.
The statement came after Palestinians reported heavy exchanges of fire in southern Gaza, in which several Hamas attackers were reportedly killed in IDF return fire.
Around 10 a.m. rocket and artillery fire resumed, bringing an end to the 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire brokered by the UN and the US that went into effect just two hours prior.
So that was the end of the cease-fire. Algemeiner isn’t particularly impressed with Kerry’s performance…
What happened next – a surprise attack on Israeli troops in the southern Gaza Strip an hour and a half into the “ceasefire”, an abduction of a soldier – shows that Kerry’s word – America’s word! – counts for absolutely nothing. Neither Turkey nor Qatar (and of course not Hamas) intended to keep their promises to the Secretary of State, their dearest friend. They counted on the ceasefire to give Hamas the advantage of surprise to score some “strategic” gains, in which the terrorists have probably and tragically succeeded. Neither Qatar nor Turkey are afraid of possible American retaliation for such a flagrant breach of trust.
That Kerry was deceived will give no comfort to the Israeli government, which knows now that there is no credible channel for dialog with Hamas via Kerry. Moreover, whatever room for diplomatic maneuver there was before the current debacle, has disappeared now altogether. Even beforehand, the Israeli public was already dragging the Prime Minister and the Cabinet in tow, demanding much harsher steps in the war with much more radical aims – the elimination of Hamas both as a fighting force and a political structure. The infamy of today’s incidents will end any possibility for compromise or for additional ceasefire experiments.
John Kerry, again, has made matters much, much worse.
As a result, Kerry is in poor odor with the Israeli government…
A statement from the prime minister’s office said that Netanyahu confirmed to Kerry “that despite his joint statement with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, according to which assurances had been received from Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip regarding a ceasefire from 08:00 this morning, the Palestinians had unilaterally and grossly violated the humanitarian ceasefire and attacked our soldiers after 09:00.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Kerry that Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip will bear the consequences of their actions and that Israel would take all necessary steps against those who call for our destruction and perpetrate terrorism against our citizens.”
The truce allowed the Israelis to destroy Hamas’ tunnels. That’s what the Israelis were doing when they were attacked and Goldin was captured.
This should be the last cease-fire in this conflict. Cease-fires with Hamas do not serve the cause of peace. They only set the stage for a new round of violence.
There won’t be peace there until Hamas is gone. Only the force of Israeli arms can do that; negotiation can’t.
And John Kerry cannot improve that situation. John Kerry is only making things worse, as Algemeiner said. And at this point Netanyahu ought to demand that the Obama administration stand this ridiculous, insufferable windbag down. So much so that Israel should bar him from entering the country and ask for his resignation. Which won’t be given, of course, but it’s time for an unmistakable signal from a responsible party who happens to be perhaps America’s strongest ally that the Obama State Department is dysfunctional to the point of emergency.
The American people already know this. They know it despite an unrelenting and contemptible participation by large elements of the American media in a campaign to blame this conflict on Israel.
The U.S. Administration’s main objective in cease-fire talks is clearly to empower Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas.
This is how the Palestinian Authority [PA] sees the recent efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
It is no secret that the PA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would like to see an end to Hamas’s rule over the Gaza Strip. Moreover, they seem to support the idea of disarming Hamas as part of any agreement to end the current crisis.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been issuing strong condemnations of the Israeli “aggression” on the Gaza Strip over the past few weeks, is hoping that the war will result in the return of his loyalists to control the Gaza Strip or, at least to the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.
Abbas and his Arab allies are not going to shed a tear if Hamas is removed from power and the Gaza Strip is demilitarized at the end of the war.
There is growing concern in Ramallah, Cairo, Riyadh and Dubai, however, that the U.S. Administration is now working to prevent the collapse of Hamas.
And of course there is this peculiar bit of news…
“Due to the current security situation in Tel Aviv, U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv remains open but is operating at reduced staffing until further notice, and has canceled routine visa application processing and American Citizen services,” the statement says. “Emergencies involving an American citizen and visa applications will be considered on a case by case basis.”
Israel shouldn’t continue to tolerate this level of betrayal by its ally, particularly when the American government does not represent its people. It’s time for Israel to publicly rebuke the Obama administration and Kerry specifically.