For the benefit of you deluded tools who think Israel is somehow the “aggressor” in the current Gaza conflict, your peace-loving heroes in Hamas just rejected a cease-fire and de-escalation plan proposed by Egypt and accepted by Israel, then resumed peppering Israeli civilians with random murder weapons. There was a little of usual terrorist soft-shoe about how the “political” wing was thinking hard about the cease-fire proposal, but the “militant” wing didn’t like it. This wing, that wing, the other wing; Palestinians are ruled by gangs of barbarian warlords who openly describe themselves as such, but their Western useful idiots keep pretending the multi-ethnic democracy and high-grade professional military next door are the problem.
Fox News reports on the unlovely conclusion of Hamas Cease-Fire Theater:
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that he is willing to intensify the country’s military campaign against the Islamic militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip after a proposed cease-fire aimed at ending the week-long conflict was approved by Israel’s Security Cabinet, but rejected by Hamas minutes later.
“If Hamas rejects the Egyptian proposal and the rocket fire from Gaza does not cease, and that appears to be the case, we are prepared to continue and intensify our operation,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Israeli officials said that the truce proposed by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry had been accepted by the cabinet shortly after it was due to take effect at 9 a.m. local time (2 a.m. Eastern Time). Less than half an hour later, a senior Hamas official told The Associated Press that the group had rejected the proposal, claiming that Cairo had not consulted them.
“We did not receive any official draft of this Egyptian proposal,” Sami Abu Zuhri said, adding that the plan, as is, was “not acceptable.”
Under the Egyptian plan, proposed late Monday, a 12-hour period of de-escalation was to begin at mid-morning Tuesday. Once both sides agree to halt hostilities, they would negotiate the terms of a longer-term truce.
Earlier Tuesday, the armed wing of Hamas said the Egyptian plan “wasn’t worth the ink it was written with.” Reuters reported that a statement on the website of the al-Qassam Brigades called the proposal “an initiative of kneeling and submission” before vowing that “our battle with the enemy continues, and will increase in ferocity and intensity.”
Since the start of the proposed cease-fire, the Israeli military said that 35 rockets have been fired at Israeli territory from Gaza.
The real hold-up is that Hamas wanted its cash and weapons pipeline through Egypt reopened, but the Egyptians wouldn’t put that on the table:
The militant group appeared to be holding out for better cease-fire conditions, with senior officials saying the current proposal offers no tangible achievements, particularly on easing a border blockade of Gaza enforced by Israel and Egypt.
Osama Hamdan, a key aide to top Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, told The Associated Press that Hamas has a series of demands, including the release of Hamas activists arrested by Israel in the West Bank in recent weeks. Hamas also wants to be recognized by Egypt as a partner in any truce efforts.
Another Hamas official, Moussa Abu Marzouk, sounded more conciliatory, saying internal consultations on the cease-fire proposal are continuing.
Hamas officials are weary of promises by Egypt and Israel to ease the border blockade. Such promises were also part of a truce that ended more than a week of fighting in 2012, but were quickly broken as violence flared again.
An easing of the blockade of the coastal strip is key to the survival of Hamas.
Before the outbreak of the latest round of fighting, the militant group found itself in a serious financial crisis because a particularly tight closure by Egypt had prevented cash and goods from coming into the strip through hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.
Oh, goody, there’s a conciliatory wing of the political wing that’s still holding “internal consultations” on a cease-fire, while the militant wing pops off 47 more rocket attacks on Israeli civilian areas just this morning, even as the Israeli Defense Force suspended operations. The 47th rocket was the last straw:
Hamas has fired 47 rockets since we suspended our strikes in Gaza at 9 am. As a result, we have resumed our operation against Hamas.
??? IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 15, 2014
That brings the total number of rocket attacks against Israel this week to 1,088, which the IDF works out to one rocket every 10 minutes. Also, 38 Hamas rockets fell back into Gaza, causing injuries and property damage against their own people, so the IDF is defending both Palestinians and Israelis by shutting down Hamas.
Gangsters don’t get to have “tangible achievements” after they murder three innocent students, and then start a war when the cops come to arrest the perpetrators. That’s how barbarians topple a civilization: fight by savage rules, then collect all the benefits of civilized conduct. The people who specifically target civilians are treated the same way as those who warn civilian human shields to clear away from military targets, frequently calling off attacks when they see the warnings have not been followed. Perhaps weary of Hamas’ useful idiots in the West refusing to believe that, the IDF has released videos documenting operations that were called off in real-time due to the presence of civilians in the target areas:
One Hamas official said his gang would not accept “calm for calm.” That’s the definition of a cease-fire, chief. If you don’t understand that, don’t be surprised that nobody wants to legitimize your bloodlust by treating you as an equal “partner” in a truce negotiation. Also, it would be helpful if your spokespeople stopped gushing with enthusiasm for human-shield tactics and boasting that Hamas is “leading our people to death.”
Doubtless the Hamas leadership will soon announce this guy is actually a spokesman for some other wing of the organization and has nothing to do with them. CNN has some more of the Political Wing vs. Militant Wing tap dance:
The response from Hamas’ military wing contradicted the one from its political wing.
“We are still discussing and there is no official position yet from the movement on the Egyptian initiative,” Mousa Abumarzook, a senior member of Hamas, said on his official Facebook page.
Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades, dismissed any talk of a cease-fire, saying its battle with “the enemy” will “increase in ferocity and intensity.”
“We in the Al-Qassam Brigades reject altogether the proposal, which for us is not worth the ink that it was written with.”
Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the Israeli acceptance of the Egyptian proposal should be seen as “a first step, not the end.”
“We have to be cautious of this cycle of violence which the Palestinian people continue to suffer,” she said.
Earlier, Hamas mocked the proposal in public, with a spokesman describing it as a “joke.”
Wait, is the Joke Wing part of the Political Wing or the Military Wing? It’s hard to keep them all straight – which is, of course, the point. Maybe Hanan Ashrawi should sit down for a talk with the “leading our people to death” guy, because he doesn’t seem terribly concerned about whether any cycles of violence cause the Palestinian people to suffer. We’re not going to make much progress toward peace when the duly authorized representatives of the Israeli government have no idea who’s on the other end of the phone, or which wing of which organization they represent, or how many other wings of other terror groups are willing to follow their lead. The net effect fits perfectly in the formula for barbarian victory described above: none of the restraints government civilized people, but all of the benefits.
Certain elements of the “international community” are not helping by working overtime to legitimize and reward Hamas’ human-shield defensive tactics:
Amid the diplomatic maneuvering, the residents of Gaza are stuck in the middle of the continued fighting. The United Nations has said that most of the people killed by Israel’s aerial attacks are civilians.
“I urgently call on the Israeli Security Forces to put an end to attacks against, or endangering, civilians and civilian infrastructure which are contrary to international humanitarian law,” said Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNRWA.
There are now 17,000 refugees taking shelter in 20 schools in Gaza, UNRWA said, and the airstrikes have damaged 47 of its buildings, including clinics, schools and warehouses.
The Israeli military says it uses a variety of methods, including phone calls and leaflets, to warn civilians of impending strikes.
But UNRWA called on Israel to exercise maximum restraint and precautions to avoid more casualties.
“Clearly at this stage not enough is being done in that regard,” Krahenbuhl said.
Really? Would Mr. Krahenbuhl care to outline exactly what Hamas is doing in that regard? They’re outright ordering their own people to stay put and absorb Israeli strikes, and their counter-attacks deliberately target civilian areas. The only reasons they haven’t racked up a hearty civilian body count are (a) they’re murderous dolts, not professional soldiers, (b) most of their weapons stink, and (c) the Israelis have a sophisticated missile shield that is intercepting the most dangerous incoming attacks. There were warnings when the Israeli Iron Dome system went online that it would be turned against them in propaganda wars, because it would minimize the death toll from terrorist rocket attacks. Looks like those warnings were prescient.
CNN wraps up its report by saying Secretary of State John Kerry may or may not reconsider his decision not to visit the Middle East (such bold leadership!) but the U.S. government is “deeply concerned” about the escalating tensions:
Earlier, Kerry spoke by phone with Netanyahu and expressed U.S. concerns about escalating tensions. He reiterated that the U.S. is prepared to help bring about a cease-fire, a senior State Department official said.
But “offering facilitation is not enough,” Yousef Munayyer of the Washington-based Palestine Center told CNN’s “New Day.”
“It’s important that the United States demand a cease-fire,” he said. “There is no military solution to this.”
Well, you got your cease-fire, Mr. Munayyer. It didn’t last half an hour on the Palestinian side, because they evidently do think there’s a military solution to this. Or at least a violent one. It’s an insult to actual soldiers to describe Hamas as a “military” force, just as it’s an insult to legitimate governments to describe the loose coalition of gangsters and keptocrats ruling over the Palestinians as a “government.” Let’s try this cease-fire thing again after the Palestinian leadership boils itself down to one “wing,” and it’s not the wing that brags about leading its people to death.
Update: Writing at the L.A. Times, Jonah Goldberg skewers the dopey “Genocide in Gaza” talking point by noting that if the Israelis were actually interested in killing Palestinian civilians, they clearly have the weapons and expertise to do it on a vast scale, but that never happens. Instead, it’s Hamas that is interested in killing Palestinians, as you can tell from the little-noted but very significant lack of civilian bomb shelters in Gaza:
One perverse complaint, often subtly echoed in the mainstream media, is that it is somehow unfair that Israelis are not dying, so far, from Gaza rocket strikes. The Israelis have the Iron Dome defense system, which intercepts the rockets aimed at civilians. They also have bomb shelters; the Palestinians do not. They have these things because, as Netanyahu said, Israelis are interested in protecting their citizens.
As Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin notes, no one is asking why the Palestinians don’t have bomb shelters. The assumption seems to be that the Gazans don’t have the wherewithal to build them. This is untrue because they do have bomb shelters ??? they just reserve them for Hamas’ leaders and fighters. Indeed, Hamas has dug thousands of tunnels under Gaza, largely so it can smuggle in, and store, more rockets to fire on Israel. Better that those tunnels were used as shelters for civilians, but that would mean not letting them die for the greater “good.”
Living under conditions where you’re constantly 15 minutes away from being ordered into a bomb shelter is horrible. Living under a “government” that doesn’t even provide bomb shelters, because they want civilians to die protecting the big shots and their munitions, is infinitely worse.