Monday, July 28, 2014
Gaza War Update - The Latest
Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu blasted the UN statement calling for an unconditional ceasefire, and with good reason.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday slammed a UN Security Council statement calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying during a phone conversation with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the statement addresses the needs of a murderous terrorist organization, but not those of Israel.
The statement, he said, does not address Israel's demands for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, a principle already established by previous interim agreements with the Palestinians.
“The statement did not deal with the harm done to Israeli civilians, nor to the fact that Hamas turned Gaza civilians into human shields,” he said. Netanyahu, who met Ban in Jerusalem last week, also complained that the statement made no mention of the fact that Hamas used UN facilities to attack Israeli civilians.
Israel accepted a UN request for a humanitarian cease-fire three times, he said, while Hamas violated each one.
“They are continuing to fire even now at Israel citizens,” he said. “Israel will continue to deal with the terror tunnels, which is only the first step in demilitarization.”
Instead of having its money used by Hamas to build terror tunnels to attack Israel, Netanyahu recommended that the international community “should work to demilitarize Gaza.”
And has anyone else noticed that with all the aid money being promised to Hamas, no one in the 'international community' is offering Israel one cent to help its civilian population who were victimized by an aggressive attack by a terrorist group?
In spite of rejecting an unconditional ceasefire, the Israelis stupidly allowed themselves to be pressured into a humanitarian 'ceasefire in place' for the supposedly sacred Muslim Eid al-Fitr that ends Ramadan.
Hamas took advantage of that ill-advised humanitarian instinct by launching missile and mortar attacks
on Israel, as well as an attempted tunnel attack. Ten Israeli soldiers were killed as a result.
It started with missile attacks on Ashkelon and was followed by a salvo against the Lachish District and the towns of Netivot and Ofakim. At about 4:30PM Israeli time, Hamas launched one of its large Iranian-supplied Fajr-5 missiles in the direction of Tel Aviv, but instead it fell short and hit Shifa Hospital, the main Hamas command post and killed a number of Hamas fighters holed up there.
The next Hamas strikes didn't end quite so well. At 5:00 PM, Hamas opened fire with mortars at the Eshkol district in Israel near Beersheba, and one of them landed in a crowd of people. Five soldiers were killed and a number of civilians who were bringing parcels to the troops were wounded, four of them critically.At the same time, rocket barrages were fired at at Ofakim and Mt. Carmel.
At around 6 p.m., 5 Hamas terrorists emerged from a tunnel near Kibbutz Nahal Oz and surprised the IDF troops on guard there. Five IDF soldiers were killed and so were the Hamas terrorists in the resulting firefight
The tenth soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in the Gaza Strip this morning, bringing the toll of IDF deaths to 53 during the entire three weeks of the Gaza War.Today was the costliest single day of the war for Israel.
In response, the IDF appears to be ramping up its offensive. Inhabitants of Jebalya and Zeitun, two other Hamas strong points next to the main Hamas headquarters at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City were told to evacuate.
Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moishe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Ganz addressed the Israeli public in a joint television appearance this evening.
Netanyahu told the Israeli people to be prepared for a long war, but that he, Ya'alon and Ganz were not going to end the offensive until Hamas' missile arsenal was destroyed, along with the tunnels. He said that demilitarizing Gaza has to be part of any solution and the 'international community' must forcefully demand it rather than supplying money, cement and concrete to Hamas for more tunnels. There must be supervision.
He's mistaken there in my opinion, but that calls for a separate piece devoted just to demilitarization.
Ya'alon pretty much repeated the same thing, that Israel will not compromise on the nation's security and that Israel will continue to destroy tunnels and rockets and missiles. Ya'alon said that Israel will not show fear and that the IDF will continue to hit Hamas from land, air and sea in the coming days.
Ya'alon also made the point that as much as Israel regretted every civilian casualty, the Israeli population would come first. He and Ganz both explained what was entailed in destroying the tunnels and asked that the Israelis support the IDF and its mission.
They do. The latest polls indicate that over 86% of Israelis want the war to continue until Hamas is defeated..and that comes from a poll by Left-leaning Mina Tzemach.
The last I heard, the IDF is already attacking Zeitun and Jabaliya after warning the population to leave.