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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Gaza To Be Annexed By Egypt?

This in from another internet site:

Diplomatic sources disclose that Washington, Cairo, Amman and Jerusalem are hammering out the lines of a ceasefire deal that will be contingent on the state of combat in the Gaza Strip. Jerusalem accepts the proposition that the ceasefire lines will follow the lines of combat reached in the Gaza Strip in the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Egyptian and Jordanian forces will then enter the Gaza Strip.

Prime minister Ehud Olmert told visiting European Union ministers on Monday, January 5th, that diplomacy is in progress to find an "international blanket for damping down the blaze in Gaza." He did not elaborate, but, according to sources in Washington, he was referring to Egypt as the prime mover in a ceasefire solution – not the United States. (This only seems fair since Hamas is really an offshoot of Egypt's Moslem Brotherhood, many of whom were exiled by Nasser to Gaza in order to avoid death sentences in Egypt. Talk about chickens coming home to roost...)

Alongside the overt diplomatic drive for a ceasefire, Washington is quietly moving ahead on a package in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt – which is managing the Hamas track – and German chancellor Angela Merkel. Israel will hold the lines established on the day the ceasefire went into effect for a two-three month trial period. Egyptian and Jordanian units will remain in the enclave until a pre-set date. An international mechanism will prevent Hamas from rearming. (I would really like a little more detail on this last point....)

Egyptian intelligence minister General Omar Suleiman outlined this deal for the Hamas delegation, headed by operations chief, Imad Al Alami, which arrived in Cairo Monday night, after finally agreeing to discuss a truce. It was clear to both sides that he was dictating honorable terms for a Hamas capitulation, as Israeli forces entered the third and most dangerous phase of their Gaza offensive, the entry into Gaza's densely built-up areas.

Tuesday saw heavy Israeli-Hamas street battles in Gaza City after a night of heavy Israeli aerial and naval bombardment. Israel forces engaged Hamas in Khan Younis in the south and hit the southern arms smuggling tunnels of the Philadelphi route and Rafah by air and land.

Hamas attacked the Israeli troops holding the Netzarim belt cutting Gaza City off from the south at Deir al Balakh.

This phase of Israel's Operation Cast Lead follows Phase 1, the heavy aerial bombardment of Hamas military and government infrastructure, and Phase 2, the ground, tank and artillery incursion on Jan. 1, which split the 360-sq km Gaza Strip into three segments.

The outcome of the toughest challenge of the ongoing Phase 3 for flushing out Hamas operatives mingling with urban populations and reducing their rocket-firing capabilities will determine the ceasefire lines for ending the conflict.

------

Meanwhile Hamas was still able to keep up its constant rocket and missile fire by Tuesday afternoon, January 6th (Some of which was launched from a local school.

Israel's Channel 10 tonight showed the mortar fire from that same school. While I would like to think that all these human rights organizations and concerned citizens of the world yapping away on (mostly British) television would be outraged by Hamas using civilians as human shields for their ammo dumps, artillery positions and rocket launchers, I am delusional.....of course they are only upset that Palestinians died, not that Israelis have been dying for years from this war of attrition. )

So Hamas terrorists fired mortar bombs from the area next to the school towards the Israeli forces, who naturally returned fire towards the source of the shooting. This is a war. This is a legitimate action under the rules of engagement in warfare. Shoot at me, I shoot back at you. Even though the Israeli return fire landed outside the school, a series of explosions followed, wounding and killing the people inside and around the building. Why did return fire produce such explosions? Because Hamas stored munitions and explosives in the school building! Just as they have previously stored rockets in mosques.

Intelligence indicates that among those killed were Immad Abu Iskar and Hassan Abu Iskar, two known Hamas mortar crewmen. Not everyone was a civilian. As a matter of fact, probably quite a few of them were armed Hamas fighters. Hiding among the women and children. Cowards.

Diplomatic sources are saying that the German chancellor's involvement in the US initiative has left French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his 48-hour humanitarian ceasefire proposal more or less standing. In any case, it was rejected by Israel except for his proposal to open a corridor for wounded Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip for treatment.

But trucks ARE lined up outside of Keren Shalom crossing to bring humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Unfortunately, despite this daily trucking of supplies, there are still serious shortages ocassioned by Hamas's bad habit of snatching the supplies and not sharing them with the local populace. Nonetheless, Israel is coordinating with Palestinians to open a humanitarian corridor from Gaza City to Kerem Shalom - located near the Egyptian border - to enable the trucks to travel from southern Gaza to the north. Yesterday, a bus picked up some 20 Palestinian workers from Gaza City and transported them to the Kerem Shalom crossing, where they operated the forklifts and unloaded the supplies transferred into Gaza. Fifty trucks were then allowed into the crossing and a humanitarian corridor was opened in coordination with commanders inside Gaza to enable the supplies to reach Gaza City, where it is to be distributed to different areas in the Strip.

In addition to the supplies, the Defense Ministry also began laying a pipeline from Kerem Shalom on Monday in order to deliver fuel into the Gaza Strip. Fuel is usually transferred via the Nahal Oz fuel depot, which could not be operated on Monday due to terrorism threats and shelling. Well, it's war -- but you would think Hamas would want fuel, even so...

I can't vouch for the reliability of this supposed diplomatic move to put Egyptian troops in Gaza. Wait and see. It would bring quiet -- Egypt loathes Hamas.


UPDATE JANUARY 7TH:

Nevermind......Hamas announced today that they want never-ending war with Israel:

Despite mounting international pressure for an end to hostilities between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, Hamas declared on Wednesday that it would not accept any permanent cease-fire with Israel. According to the deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, the group would not talk about a permanent cease-fire so long as Israel continued its "occupation," and would instead continue the "resistance."

It only remains to be said that Hamas considers the "occupation" to be the entire State of Israel, hence there can never be a permanent cease-fire. And here you thought it was only about Jewish neighborhoods in the West Bank....silly you....

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