UPDATES 10 am Israel time Saturday, July 20 2013:
More missiles launched against southern Israel, another absurd IDF explanation.
Last night at 6:48 pm residents of the Chof Ashkelon (Ashkelon Beach) region that runs north and south of the city of Ashkelon–about 5 km from where your humble servant currently sits–were sent running frantically to their bomb shelters by warning sirens of incoming rockets from Gaza. Two hours later, the IDF, yet again, said that it was a “false alarm”–that the system had been triggered by “light arms fire” along the Gaza border.
Say what? Light arms fire? The missile warning system immediately detects high trajectory launches from Gaza. Are we now supposed to believe that some terrorist standing on the border can shoot his weapon into the air and trigger the alarm? What a bunch of hokum. Of course, as your humble servant has stated on many occasions, nobody here in southern Israel believes anything that the IDF says anymore.
Today or tomorrow, an IDF soldier, or a farmer working his fields, or someone walking around her house will find the missiles.
Yesterday’s israelstreet blog ended with the observation that it was premature to suggest that John Kerry’s attempt to restart “peace negotiations” would fail:
“Who knows what the Palestinians will do and when, or what Netanyahu may give away and when.”
It didn’t take long for us in Israel to find out.
Just a few hours after that sentence appeared, the PLO announced that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had indicated that he would “gradually” release 350 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons–including 100 of the most hideous murderers convicted of killing Israelis before the Oslo Accords were signed back in 1994.
This is the same Netanyahu who once said that under no circumstances would any of these savage murderers be released.
Other reports from Kerry’s camp indicate that Israel has agreed to not engage in construction “outside the main settlement blocks” and has agreed to “international monitoring of construction” in Judea and Samaria. More than this, Israel has agreed to make “significant economic gestures” to the PLO/Palestinian Authority. So much for Israel not agreeing to any preconditions.
Not long after the PLO announcement about the impending prisoner release, we had the spectacle of John Kerry standing in Amman and announcing that “peace negotiations” would resume next week in Washington, D.C. Representing the Palestinians will be Saeeb Erekat and representing Israel will be Tzipi Livni (who has already signaled her willingness to give the Palestinians whatever they want).
Nevertheless, what was agreed to depends on whom you talk to.
According to Kerry:
“We have reached an agreement that establishes a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The agreement is still in the process of being formalized.”
According to Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman Nabil abu-Rudeina:
“Certain details need to be solved before negotiations can take place.”
According to Wasel Abu Youssef, a senior member of PLO (a member of the group that rejected the peace negotiations on Thursday night):
“The announcement today did not mean the return to negotiations. It meant efforts would continue to secure the achievement of Palestinian demands…. Israel must recognize the 1967 borders.”
But the PLO shouldn’t worry too much. Netanyahu and Livni are bound to cave in again, and as for Kerry, his camp issued a statement yesterday that as soon as the talks resume, Kerry–speaking for the Obama Administration–will reaffirm the American commitment to a Palestine based on the 1949 Armistice Lines (aka the June 4, 1967 “borders”).