Tag Archives: IDF

Cease Fire Ends In Gaza As IDF Raids Militants

A behind the scenes cease fire developed with the assistance of Egypt appeared to be at an end after israel Defense Forces during raids in Bethlehem killed five members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. In response, to the attacks, rockets began to be fired from Gaza. The gunmen who were killed were cnsidered to be part of the leadership of Islamic Jihad which had connections with Jihad leadership in Syria. Hamas claimed it had only agreed to a one week period of peace with Egyptian negotiators and that would end on Friday. The Palestinian Authority denounced the killings as an effort to destroy hopes for peace.

A major issue that hampers possibilities for peace is the demand by Hamas for an end to killings and arrests of militants in the West Bank while Israel insists it can never cease its efforts to seek out and kill every millitant who has been involved in the murder of Israelis. At some point, Israel has to take a step back and ascertain if by focusing on the present, peace is possible. One side can not continue killing members of the other side while demanding peace. The lesson of South Africa is a leader like Nelson Mandela arose who urged forgetting about past murders and brutality and rethink what could be done in the present.

There will be no cease fire until all sides adhere to a belief a cease fire means an end to all forms of aggression. This stance is a gamble, but any attempt to end brutality is always a gamble on both sides.

Have Israel and Hamas Agreed To Cease Fire?

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the Arab language al-Arabiya television network that Israel had in fact agreed to a cease fire with Hamas. His statement apparently contradicts comments made earlier by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who insisted there was no cease fire agreement with Hamas. According to Abbas, Hamas had obtained a promise from Israel it will end the policy of killing leaders of the militant organization. It appears firing of Kassam rockets and Israel military efforts have quieted down over the past few days. There are reports Secretary Rice during her recent visit began the process of some unofficial exchanges between Hamas and Israel. Olmert did say “if they don’t fire Qaddams at us, we won’t attack in Gaza.” A military source indicated both sides are cooling down their operations before things got out of hand.

Military sources indicate Hamas knows there are three alternatives:
1. If rocket fire stops completely, the IDF will take no further military action.
2. If rockets hit Siderot and other communities near Gaza, Israel will respond with air attacks.
3. If rockets hit Ashketon, there will be ground operations.

The real question is what to do during this lull. If Hamas uses it to resupply without any thought of ending rocket attacks, it will become a disaster for Gaza and for Israel. A loical solution at this point is to include Hamas representatives in peace negotiations with Israel and Abbas.

Fighting Rages In Gaza As Invasion Looms

The israel Defense Force conducted several mililtay actions in Gaza even as Hamas militants fired at least 50 Kassams and mortar bombs into Israel. At least 59 Palestinians were killed including 16 civillians. The IAF claimed it bombed a truck loaded with rockets. Many of the Palestinians who were killed were unfortuanately living in areas from which rockets are launched into Israel. Izzadin Kassam, the armed wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for firing dozens of rockets at Israel, one of which misfired and wounded five Gazans.

President Abbas urged Israel to end the attacks saying this continuing war would halt peace efforts, and he also urged an end to rocket attacks. Each side is now locked into a tit for tat approach in which the other side must halt before it will. The time has come for an immediate cease fire which means outside mediators must be engaged who can deal with the crisis. Kofi Annan just completed a successful mediating process in Kenya, he certainly could be someone to assume leadership in bringing about peace. There certainly is need for an outside peacekeeping force to maintain peace and security in the area. We recommend asking Turkey to supply such forces since it has excellent realtions with both Israel and Palestinians.

IDF Plans Massive Attack On Gaza Strip

Rumors of a massive strike by the Israel Defensive Force against the Gaza Strip are circulating in Jerusalem as the ever increasing anger about Kassam rocket attacks grows more intense. Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit insists the job of the IDF is to bring Hamas leaders to justice whle Vice President Ramon said “anyone involved, directly or indirectly, with the war crime(of firing rockets) need to be in the IDF crosshairs.” Hamas has responded with warnings that any action would result in “unprecedented force” on its part. A Hamas spokesperson complained Israel forces are targeting Prime Minister Haniyeh and he has gone into hiding to escape possible assassination.

Israel for many years has drawn upon a program of assassinating prominent Muslim leaders of organizations engaged in action against its people. After years of using this approach, terrorists are still active and there is no evidence the theory of killing top leaders results in an end to terrorism. It is about time for Israel to use another approach if the goal of ending rocket attacks and bringing peace is to become a reality. There is need at this point in time for a neutral force to supervise Gaza in order to end rocket attacks and to create conditions for peace. A combination of an outside army and willingness to engage in discussions with Hamas — without any preconditions– offers the best hope for peace.

Israel Defense Minister Promises Solutions To Terror

A day after a suicide bomber detonated a belt loaded with explosives which killed an elderly Israel woman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised the Israel Defense Force would uncover a solution to deal with such outbreaks. He assured the Israel population the IDF would find a way to halt terror attacks as well as end the Kassam rockets which come from Gaza. A member of the Israel parliament urged Barak to have improved security fences built around Gaza.

A security fence can contain people within a geographic area for a certain period of time, but eventually some get out and there are more suicide attacks. Israel consistently has relied on its military to handle terrorism, a policy that results in limited success. At some point, those who use terror tactics must be engaged in the halls of diplomacy which is the ultimate geographic area offering hope for a permanent end to terrorism. After a half century of one military operation after another, why does Barak believe one more shot at military action this time will succeed?

Hamas Rockets Hit Israel- Israel Hits Hamas

Hamas rockets continued hitting targets in Israel resulting in operations by the Israel Defense Force to launch air and ground assaults against Hamas militants. Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that “Israel must brace itself for Jihad’s response” while Hamas leaders warned of a “wave of martyrdom operations” against Israel targets. The current approach to dealing with Hamas and the approach used by Hamas to deal with its hostility toward Israel consists of attacks and counter attacks. Neither side can point to any real success other than citing the number killed or the destruction caused by bombing. It is seemingly a tit for tat approach that simply is not getting at real issues such as how to resolve Palestinian and Israel disagreements. One obvious casualty in the seemingly nonstop attack/counterattack is the road map for peace that supposedly was to emerge from the Annapolis conference.

Albert Einstein supposedly once said the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again without any apparent change resulting from these actions. The Hamas/IDF exchange offers no apparent benefits for either side. A mistake at Annapolis was not inviting Hamas. The Hamas leaders would not have been able to engage in their violent rhetoric when in the company of the Arab world that seeks an end to the Palestinian/israel conflict. Negotiations in which important Arab nations– who also help support Hamas–insist on an end to violence is the best bet to set in motion concrete steps to halt the rocket bombing and counter attacks. One might argue that it is impossible to negotiate with those who practice violence. However, both Israeli and Palestinians who are currently engaged in negotiations were at one point in their pasts using violence to achieve end goals. There is need for Arab leaders to join with Palestinians and Israelis in getting Hamas to the negotiating table if there is to be an end to the Gaza violence. Escalation of the violence will only doom any opportunity for peace.

Hamas Warns Israel Of Resistance In Gaza

The war of words in the Middle East escalated as leaders of Hamas told cheering crowds in the Gaza Strip that Israel would meet a defeat if its troops invaded the Gaza Strip. “The IDF’s withdrawal,” said Hamas leader Mushair al Masri, “from the Gaza Strip will become a graveyard for its troops.” Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh attacked any nation or group which supports the existence of Israel as an insult to Allah and boasted he was ready to lead a third of fourth intifada against Israel. In the meantime, Israel leaders were warning any invasion of the Gaza Strip must not result in damage to the authority of the Fatah led government of President Abbas.

It is relatively easy for Hamas leaders to boast and promise death and destruction, the only problem is that an Israel invasion of Gaza will result in death and destruction to many people, including hundreds of Palestinians. Hamas is long on rhetoric and short on offering positive solutions to problems besetting the Palestinian people. Israel and the United States insist not recognizing the existence of Hamas nor engaging in discussions with its leaders will somehow damage the organization. There is scant evidence such an occurrence is happening. Not talking with Hamas allows its leaders to shout defiance to the wind and to adoring crowds, but forcing them to discuss and negotiate will reduce verbal attacks and make its leaders deal with the presence of other Arab leaders who are not impressed by the shouting that goes over so well with crowds.

Countdown To Israel Offense In Gaza

As Arab nations and Israel prepare for the upcoming meeting in Annapolis to discuss Israel-Palestinain issues, the IDF has intensified its bombing of Gaza positions. The Israeli air force is bombing offices, police stations and police patrols, five policemen were killed in separate bombings. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak says an attack into Gaza is “imminent,” and Israeli TV Channel 10 said last Friday the world supported an attack by their nation on Gaza. Amnon Abramovic, an announcer said bluntly, “our army killed in 24 hours 10 Palestinians, including children, and yet we didn’t hear anyone protesting.” According to Israeli television Channel Two, a heated debate is taking place within the Israeli Joint Chiefs of Staffs over whether or not to attack police stations since destroying the Gaza police might expose the area to chaos. Hamas is warning that an Israel invasion would be met with some “surprises” from their arsenal of weapons. In the meantime, reports are circulating that President Abbas is urging Secretary of State Rice to hold a January, 2008 conference where the focus would be on Syrian-Israel issues.

There is no question, continuer rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza are provocations that can not readily be dismissed. However, since there is an opportunity at Annapolis to confront Middle Eastern issues, the Israel army must stand down and allow peace to deal with issues. It is also vitally important to invite Hamas to the meeting and get them engaged with diplomacy rather than being allowed to stand apart with only violence as their opportunity to be heard.

Bush Gives Green Light For Israel Attack On Gaza

The United States has apparently given the green light for Israel forces to launch an attack on Gaza i order to wipe out smuggling efforts by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Defense Minister Ehud Barak discussed the plan with President Bush and key American officials. He has been meeting the past several days with Israel army leaders to review the scope and scale of the proposed operation. A major concern is the impact on the upcoming Annapolis meetings to discuss Middle Eastern issues and deal with ways to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestinians. Israel forces recently uncovered several tunnels that were being used to transport war materials or serve as a way for people to be smuggled into Gaza.

There is no doubt Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are obtaining rockets and other weapons through smuggling. At this point in time, Hamas is not being invited to the Annapolis meeting. Perhaps, Israel might consider the possibility of inviting Hamas to the meeting and having the smuggling issue discussed among a large audience. The embarrassment of defending smuggling would place Hamas in a weak position and compel them to agree on improved methods to prevent the influx of military weapons.

Israel Attacks In Gaza To End Rocket Launches

The Israel Defense Force continued its attempt to wipe out Palestinians who are sending rockets into Israel. A reported 11 terrorists were killed in missile attacks, but apparently about a dozen civilians were also killed or wounded. President Mahmoud Abbas urged Palestinians to unite in the face of Israel’s “abuse, aggression and war crimes” while Hamas leaders promised Israel would pay for its attacks in Gaza. israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak is warning there might be a “broad and complex operation in Gaza.”

The US upcoming Middle Eastern Conference appears doomed before it even begins. Both sides are trading insults and resorting to violence because apparently violence is the only measure which provides a sense of accomplishment. This is the time for America to insist Israel “stand down” and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations must demand that Hamas and other groups end rocket attacks. Those rockets are coming from Middle Eastern nations and they must be halted.