Op-ed from Israeli paper.A few days before the air offensive in Gaza, Israelis who are in indirect contact with Hamas transmitted a message to the organization's leaders in Gaza, through mediators: The rocket barrages will not go unpunished; if you do not stop the launch squads immediately, the consequences will be disastrous. When the senior Hamas leaders emerge from their places of hiding after the war, they, too, will have to take stock. They may well repeat what Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said after the war in Lebanon: If he had known that there was even a one-percent chance that this was how the Israelis would react (to the abduction of the two reservist soldiers), he would have preferred to restrain himself.
Still, the assessment in Israel is that in the present circumstances, Hamas' military wing wants to go on fighting. While the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades have been severely damaged, the loss has not been fatal. A few of its senior operatives were assassinated by Israel. Others lost their homes (and in some cases their families) in bombings intended to destroy large arms caches. In one case, neighbors forcibly ousted a Hamas commander from a new home to which he had moved after his previous residence was destroyed, fearing that the new one would be bombed, too.
On Hamas' end, the war is being run by the relatively junior command echelon. The senior officials are stuck in bunkers under the hospitals. The resistance is based on hit-and-run tactics: fighting that is not very organized, almost sporadic. Thus, the officers in one Israeli brigade are now talking about two squads that are harassing the soldiers. There has been something of a decline in rocket launches in the past few days, with the launch teams taking care to operate under cover of mosques or densely populated neighborhoods.
At the beginning of the Second Lebanon War, the chief of staff at the time, Dan Halutz, said it would be necessary to push Lebanon "20 years back." Under the Israeli offensive, Gaza has been hurled back into the 1940s. Electricity is available only for a few hours a day. It is almost impossible to watch television, so people gather around battery-powered radios. The IDF imposed a curfew that begins at 6 P.M., but even before that hour most Gazans are not eager to venture out.
Only a few homes have running water, as the pumps of the Gaza Water Authority no longer work, because of the fuel shortage. "There is no choice, so we shower less," says Ahmed, from the Sajaiyeh neighborhood. "We collected water in plastic containers. The containers that were not hit by Israeli fire are used for drinking and washing." In Beit Hanun and Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip, the sewage has overflowed and is flowing in the streets. This week the World Bank warned that the deadly combination of sewage and a water shortage is liable to cause an outbreak of epidemics in Gaza, a development Israel surely does not want and would not be able to cope with.
The defense establishment still hopes that the harsh situation in Gaza will induce the population to rise up against Hamas. But what one hears in every phone conversation from Gaza is fathomless hatred for Israel, which is growing even more extreme. Hamas may not be as popular as it was, but it may well be that a few months after the operation it will succeed in starting to rebuild with the help of Iranian funds. The hostility toward Israel will remain and with it the desire for revenge will grow. The price will be paid by the generations to come, in Israel and in the Gaza Strip.
the answer to this is a sticky one...The defense establishment still hopes that the harsh situation in Gaza will induce the population to rise up against Hamas. But what one hears in every phone conversation from Gaza is fathomless hatred for Israel, which is growing even more extreme. Hamas may not be as popular as it was, but it may well be that a few months after the operation it will succeed in starting to rebuild with the help of Iranian funds. The hostility toward Israel will remain and with it the desire for revenge will grow. The price will be paid by the generations to come, in Israel and in the Gaza Strip.
Not really. This is the answer. An organization who avows Israels destruction, has been bombing Israeli citizens despite concessions from Israel. Israel warned them to stop, saying consequences would be difficult.
Here we are. How do you negotiate with 1) someone who avows your total destruction, and 2) someone who won't negotiate?
You really think THIS is what's going to just PISS THEM OFF, and not everything else that's happened in the last 50 years? Or maybe, just maybe, they'll learn such a difficult lesson, that, like Nasrallah, they'll think before they attack again. Who gives a **** if they like us, we KNOW they hate us?
We aren't creating terrorists; fear, anger, and despair don't do that. If they did, the Armenians, the CAmbodians, the Jews would be terrorists. It's the education of hate and religious slant which creates terrorists.
We have a whole generation in the South of Israel, which wets its bed at 9 years old; which can't remember NOT being woken up at night to be hauled into the bomb shelter. Enough.
Lol, nice to see Hamas being toyed with and manipulated, for once.Israeli ultimatum: Hamas must turn over all rocket stocks to third party
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
January 12, 2009, 12:48 PM (GMT+02:00)
IDF poised for next stage
IDF poised for next stage
Israel and Egypt are playing hard ball with the Hama delegation who arrived in Cairo Saturday to seek a ceasefire in Gaza hostilities. This is reported by DEBKAfile's military sources Monday, Jan. 12, Day 17 of the Gaza offensive.
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert said Monday: We are closer than ever before to ending the rocket fire and getting Hamas' arms traffic under control.
As Israel tightened its military pressure with added reservists units, Egyptian intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman rejected Hamas negotiators' appeal for compromises and told them the deal on offer was take-it-or-leave-it: Accept or face an all-out Israeli assault on all fronts.
DEBKAfile's analysts note that this was the first time the Egyptian government has used Israeli military gains as currency to further its national interests, namely, breaking the back of an Islamist movement deemed a destabilizing element for the Mubarak regime.
Suleiman informed the Palestinian delegation that Israel was holding out for Hamas to collect all its rocket and missile stocks and weapons in the hands of other Palestinian terrorist groups and turn them over to a third party. This party would also take charge of security in the Philadelphi Corridor.
Hamas would be given a month to implement the handover, but no longer.
Israel was also adamant about retaining its army on the battle lines held in the Gaza Strip when the ceasefire goes into effect until a new military mechanism is put in place on the Philadelphi Corridor and has proved capable of effectively stemming the arms traffic entering through tunnels from outside sources.
Some of the smuggling is still going on - but at a much reduced pace since the Israeli aerial bombardments began 17 days ago. The number of firings has dropped from 60 to 23.
The Hamas negotiators also ran into a blank Egyptian wall when they proposed setting a six-month time cap on the proposed ceasefire and reopening the Rafah crossing from Gaza to Sinai as a face-saving gesture to mark the onset of a truce. Suleiman said firmly that Rafah would reopen only when all six Gaza crossings into Israel were reactivated by Palestinian Authority personnel and European military monitors.
He said that Cairo was consulting with Jerusalem on the possible transfer of the two halves of Rafah - the Gazan and the Egyptian - to the Palestinian Authority and its chairman, Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Sunday, an Egyptian military plane ferried the Hamas-Gaza delegation to Damascus to seek the endorsement of hardline Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal for the truce terms dictated by Egypt and Israel. Gen. Suleiman directed them to pass this message on to Meshaal: Give up your illusions; Hamas' only remaining option now is to bow to the Middle East Quartet's primary condition: Recognize Israel.
Israel's negotiator Amos Gilead put off his mission to Cairo from Monday to await the return of the Hamas-Gaza delegates from Damascus. All parties are clear that a negative Hamas response will signal the onset of the next stage of Israel's Gaza offensive.
Nice use of civilians for cover.Senior Hamas officials in Gaza are hiding out in a "bunker" built by Israel, intelligence officials suspect: Many are believed to be in the basements of the Shifa Hospital complex in Gaza City, which was refurbished during Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip.
Shifa, the coastal strip's largest hospital, was built while Gaza was under Egyptian rule, before 1967.
During the mid-1980s the building underwent massive refurbishment as part of a showcase project to improve the living conditions of residents.
Millions were invested in the project, which was overseen by Shmuel Goren, the coordinator for activities in the territories at the time.
The Israeli civil administration in the territories constructed the hospital complex's Building Number 2, which has a large cement basement that housed the hospital's laundry and various administrative services.
During a cabinet meeting a week ago, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin said senior Hamas officials found refuge in the hospital basement because they know Israel would not target it, due to the patients in the upper floors.
The Israel Air Force on Monday bombed a mosque in southern Gaza City, on day 17 of its offensive against Hamas' infrastructure in the coastal territory.
Israeli ground forces who entered the premises following the attack found a mass stockpile of weapons, including Qassam and Katyusha rockets.
UNHRC votes to condemn IDF Gaza op
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
The top UN rights body has approved a resolution condemning Israel's military offensive in Gaza saying it has "resulted in massive violations of human rights of the Palestinian people."
UN High Commissioner for...
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, South African Navanethem Pillay, addresses the Human Rights Council special session on the 'The Grave Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the recent aggression of the occupied Gaza
On Monday, the Human Rights Council's 47 members voted 33 in favor and 1 against the resolution that also accuses Israel of systematically destroying Palestinian infrastructure and of targeting civilians and medical facilities.
European Union countries abstained and Canada voted against the resolution.
The resolution approved in Geneva Monday urges an end to the rocket attacks but mentions neither Hamas nor violations of Israeli civilians' rights.
GO CANADA! ****, if the Canada shoots your precious resolution down, and the EU abstains, you can know you're WAY left of center. Or lost your mind.
Live feed of the Keren Shalom crossing into Israel; you'll see trucks of aid going through.
The IDF has facilitated the transfer of close to 800 trucks into the Gaza Strip with 17,000 tons of basic foods and medical supplies since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead.
Since the first three-hour humanitarian corridor was established last Wednesday, there have been conflicting claims by both Hamas and the IDF of the other side not honoring the temporary calm.
On Thursday, a Palestinian driver of a UN supply truck was killed near the Erez border crossing.
In a press conference in Jerusalem on Sunday, UNRWA claimed that the death was caused by IDF troops. An IDF captain disputed the claim, telling the Post that "the initial inquiry indicates that it was not IDF fire that killed him" and that according to some reports the driver was killed by sniper fire.
In a similar incident, the army claimed that Hamas operatives violated the three hours of calm on Friday by targeting border crossings with mortar fire. No one was wounded in the attack.
Despite the breaches, the IDF has for the past week announced at the beginning of each day that it would abide by the self-imposed daily ceasefire, so long as it does not come under enemy fire.
Funny how the media and UN are hopping mad about Isreal defending itself and having colateral damage as will always be the case, yet they kinda just let Darfur sit and fester while millions die down there without doing much about it.
Where the heck was the UN BEFORE Isreal invaded? Just sitting back, content with doing nothing to end the rain of rockets coming down on Isreal's citizens. Bunch of F'ing hipocrites, more than willing to congradulate themselves, patting each other on the back as they condemn a sovereign country exercising its right to defend itself. I don't know of a more useless, impotent organization than the UN, and I resent my tax dollars funding it.
About the only thing they actually do do well is hand out food and aid. If they stuck to that instead of trying to become the One World Government telling everyone how to behave they might actually start being good at what they are supposed to be doing.
Not so cool facts about isreal.[/QUOTE]
I dont know anywhere in the bible that talks of a country called Palestine but I do see the country Israel , so how was this fictional land stolen.
.....The war against Hamas is taking place not only in the Gaza Strip, but in the West Bank as well, Palestinians said on Thursday.
Members of the PA's security...
Members of the PA's security forces in Ramallah (illustrative).
Photo: AP [file]
Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority security forces, they noted, had stepped up their crackdown on Hamas supporters and figures in the West Bank since the beginning of Operation Cast Lead.
The latest anti-Hamas measures in the West Bank, which are being carried out in coordination with the IDF and under the supervision of US security experts, are designed to foil any attempt by the movement to overthrow the PA.
Earlier this week, Israeli security officials expressed satisfaction with the coordination between the PA security forces and the IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) in fighting Hamas in the West Bank.
The officials praised PA President Mahmoud Abbas's forces for employing an "iron-fist" policy against Hamas since the beginning of the military offensive.
On the instructions of the PA leadership in Ramallah, protesters are banned from expressing solidarity with Hamas by hoisting the movement's flag or chanting slogans in its favor.
The PA has also banned demonstrators from marching toward IDF checkpoints or settlements to avoid friction.
In the past three weeks, dozens of Hamas supporters have either been detained or summoned for investigation by the PA's much-feared Preventive Security Force and General Intelligence Service.
Hamas claims that the PA had already arrested more than 400 of its supporters in the West Bank prior to the IDF offensive in Gaza.
In the Nablus area alone, more than 200 Hamas supporters were rounded up by the PA in the past two weeks, a Hamas representative in the West Bank said.
Most of the detainees were university students affiliated with pro-Hamas tickets in campus political races, he said.
The PA has also banned pro-Hamas activities at universities and schools. According to sources close to Hamas, the PA Education Ministry recently fired a number of teachers who voiced sympathy with Hamas.
Several Palestinian journalists have also been targeted by the PA security forces in recent weeks. In Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah, policemen beat a number of Palestinian reporters and photographers who were covering protests against the IDF operation. Other journalists have been receiving threats almost on a daily basis from the PA security forces in the West Bank.
One journalist said he was told by PA security officers that they would break his arms and legs if he dared to report about pro-Hamas demonstrations. Another journalist complained that policemen confiscated his camera and assaulted him while he was covering a demonstration in Bethlehem.
In Ramallah last week, the PA deployed more than 1,000 policemen to stop a relatively small number of demonstrators from identifying with Hamas.
In Tulkarm, PA security officers detained a Hamas spokesman shortly after he appeared on an Arab satellite TV station. In Hebron, several demonstrators who hoisted Hamas flags during a recent protest were dispersed by policemen who fired tear gas at them.
Some Hamas members who are being held in PA prisons told their relatives that they were severely beaten by policemen and security officers who were "celebrating" the beginning of the IDF operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians said the PA policemen responsible for the massive crackdown received special training in Jordan and the West Bank as part of a security plan engineered by the US. They claimed that these forces report directly to PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, and not to Abbas.
The anti-Hamas campaign in the West Bank is taking place not only on the ground, but also in the PA-controlled media that continues to blame Hamas for the "massacres" in Gaza.
Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a senior aide to Abbas, on Thursday accused Hamas of holding the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip hostage. "Hamas is attempting to become the main decision-maker on the Palestinian arena," he said. "Hamas is exploiting the Israeli massacres against our people to strengthen its position."
Abdel Rahim expressed hope that Hamas would not be invited to any Arab summit or gathering to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip. "Hamas launched a coup against the legitimate authority of the Palestinians and as such it does not have the right to represent the Palestinians at any summit," he said.
The PA's psychological war against Hamas reached its peak this week when a number of senior officials in Ramallah began talking about a split between the Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip and their colleagues in Syria.
Several Fatah-controlled news Web sites also carried reports about how Hamas militiamen were stealing fuel and food in the Gaza Strip. They also mocked the Hamas leaders for abandoning their constituents by going underground.
On Thursday, Hamas called for a "day of rage" in the West Bank against the ongoing IDF offensive. Hamas is hoping that large-scale protests will embarrass or perhaps undermine the PA leadership and hasten its collapse.
So far, the PA security forces have been successful in containing the protests inside the cities, which are under its control. Most of the clashes between Palestinians and the IDF have been taking place in the rural areas of the West Bank, where overall security is in the hands of Israel.
The IDF has also been helping the PA security forces by arresting dozens of Hamas men in the West Bank.
In some cases, Hamas members were detained by the IDF only hours after they were released from PA detention centers, in what appears to be a clear sign of security coordination between the PA and Israel.
Just last week, the IDF arrested three top Hamas representatives: legislators Abdel Jaber al-Fukaha and Basem al-Za'arir and former Hamas minister Issa Ja'abari.
PA and Fatah officials in Ramallah said on Thursday they had evidence that Iran and Syria were pushing Hamas to continue fighting Israel. Damascus and Teheran were also trying to incite the Palestinians in the West Bank against the PA leadership, they added.
They pointed out that Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, based in Damascus, has repeatedly appealed to the West Bank Palestinians to launch a third intifada against the PA leadership.