UPDATES 9 am, Israel time, August 12 2014:
**The ceasefire continues to hold as the Netanyahu government continues falling all over itself to appease Hamas.
Here is where the capitulation talks stand at this hour:
1. Israel has agreed to facilitate payment of Hamas officials’ salaries through a third party. These are the same officials that directed the war against Israel.
2. Israel has agreed to let Saudi Arabia pay the last two months salary of the terrorists in Hamas’ military wing. This is the same military wing that fired missiles at us and conducted tunnel attacks against our soldiers during those two months.
3. Israel has agreed to allow huge quantities of construction materials such as concrete into Gaza. This is the same concrete that was used to build the attack tunnels.
4. Israel has agreed to increase the monthly quota of permits of entry into Gaza from the Erez Crossing.
5. Israel has agreed to ease Palestinian entry into Israel from Gaza and from Judea and Samaria. Now we can have more Palestinian terrorists running around Israel.
6. Israel has agreed to double the number of “humanitarian” trucks going through the Kerem Shalom Crossing from 300 to 600 per day. This is the same Kerem Shalom Crossing that Hamas attacked day in and day out for a month.
7. Israel has agreed to expand the fishing area off of Gaza to six nautical miles initially, perhaps 12 later.
And this is just the start.
According to Palestinian reports yesterday, Israel has also agreed to release the 24 remaining pre-Oslo prisoners, the re-arrested Shalit prisoners, and the prisoners captured in the war with Hamas, in return for the body parts of two Israeli soldiers.
And what is Israel getting in return for giving Hamas everything it wants?
Absolutely nothing. Zero. Zilch.
Remember how PM Netanyahu went on and on about how Gaza must be demilitarized? Israel raised the issue yesterday; Hamas rejected it; and now it is off the table.
64 dead soldiers, 3 dead civilians, thousands of Israelis traumatized, 3500 missiles raining down on Israeli men, women, and children–and the Netanyahu government utterly capitulates to Hamas.
It’s just unbelievable and sickening.
Today’s main blog will follow in a few hours.
We continue today with our post-mortem of the Israel-Hamas war.
In Part 1, we described how:
1. The war has left Israel permanently vulnerable.
2. The Netanyahu Security Cabinet is an unmitigated disaster–hamstrung by indecision and political correctness.
3. The IDF General Command is an unmitigated disaster–hamstrung by useless and outdated military strategy.
Let’s move on now to Point 4.
4. Israel squandered a golden opportunity to get rid of Hamas. In the wake of the Hamas murders of the three Israeli teenagers, the country was unified as seldom before. Everyone realized the necessity of eliminating Hamas.
But it wasn’t long before the Security Cabinet began coming up with the most outrageous excuses to save Hamas. First came the absurd “we cannot destroy Hamas because something worse (read DAAS) will take its place.” Then came the equally absurd “we cannot destroy Hamas because then we will have no one to blame when the terrorism starts again (there will be no address for the terrorists).
5. Israel squandered a golden opportunity to cement its relationship with Egypt. Stop and remember for a moment, the extraordinary lengths to which Gen. Sisi has gone to support Israel. Not only did he order attacks on Hamas tunnels at the outset of the war (just this morning the Egyptian Army killed 10 Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in Rafah), he also refused Palestinian efforts to open the Rafah Crossing. Then he proposed a ceasefire plan that was virtually written by Israel.
And what has he gotten in return? An Israel that is selling out to Hamas and, in effect, strengthening the Muslim Brotherhood. One can only imagine that Sisi must be infuriated at Israel–and it is no wonder that he is suddenly out of the country. He probably cannot stomach what is going on in Cairo.
6. Israel has squandered a chance to enhance its regional standing. As Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and DAAS see how Hamas has gained by firing part of its missile arsenal at Israel, what do you think is going through their minds?
They see a weakened and vulnerable Israel that is completely devoid of any deterrent capability.
As do Israeli citizens.
And that is why citizens along the Gaza perimeter are moving out. Last night, your humble servant was at a wedding here in Ashdod at which the only topic of conversation was how Netanyahu and his minions have sold out the South. As one man said, the region of Israel that has been known as “Otef Azza” (the Gaza region), is now on its way to becoming simply “Azza”.
A final note: it is difficult even at this point to fathom the incompentence of the Netanyahu government, but an interview given by Israel Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich to the Yediot Aharonot newspaper yesterday speaks volumes. Aharonovitch, you may remember is actually an integral member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet.
Here’s what he said:
“There is little chance of reaching an agreement with Hamas. By my understanding, at the end of the 72 hours we’ll return to fighting and we’ll need to progress to the next stage which is the decision making stage.”
Isn’t it incredible that Aharonovich doesn’t seem to have a clue of what is going on in Cairo?
Isn’t it incredible that Aharonovich believes that there will be a a resumption of fighting? (There will surely be more missile fire in the coming days and weeks from Hamas as we relapse into prewar mode–but fighting?)
Isn’t it incredible that Aharonovich thinks that the next stage is a “decision making” stage?
Your humble servant doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.