UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Thursday, September 4, 2014.
**IDF forces in the form of the Nahal Brigade have been sent back to Netiv Ha’Asarah 24 hours after the IDF General Command idiotically ordered their evacuation.
The Gaza border community had been quietly abandoned by the IDF, but a surge of unfavorable media attention forced Benny Gantz and company to reverse their position.
As has been reported here on israelstreet, Netiv Ha’Asarah is just one of many Israeli kibbutzim that have been absurdly abandoned by the IDF following the ceasefire on August 26th.
**In the wake of Mahmoud Abbas’ rejection on Sunday of an apparent Egyptian offer to settle so-called Palestinian “refugees” in a 1600 sq km. (618 sq mi) tract of land contiguous with Gaza and “end the Palestinian refugee problem once and for all”, General Sisi has warned that the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel could end at any time.
According to Sisi, the talks–which were apparently supposed to have continued indirectly– have completely “stagnated” and are going nowhere. By way of reference, it has now been 9 days since the ceasefire began. In the context of the conflict with Hamas, this is an extraordinarily long time to go without missile or mortar firings into Israel.
**Meanwhile, King Bibi has arrogated more power to himself. Responding to the building of a footbridge under the Mughrabi Gate and to Israel’s Housing Minister who said yesterday that he hopes to see the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the coming years, Netanyahu blasted the footbridge and the statement and said that he, and he alone, has the power to determine what happens on the Temple Mount.
And according to Netanyahu, whose rant was meant for the Jordanians who control the Islamic Wakf which in turn controls the “religious” affairs on the Mount, the status quo will not change.
And what is the status quo that Netanyahu is so zealously protecting? The Jordanian-based Islamic Wakf has turned the Temple Mount over to Hamas and other Islamists who recently burned the Israeli police station on the Mount and who regularly pelt and curse any Jews who go up on the Mount–and then use the Al-Aksa Mosque as a safe haven.
By the way, your humble servant was in Jerusalem yesterday morning and was appalled once again at the closure of the Mount to Jews (the Islamic Wakf had designated a one-hour opening in the afternoon). More than this, the “temporary” Mughrabi ramp is an ugly eyesore that must be removed.
This morning’s blog is a short one–merely designed to give you more information about the deteriorating situation along the Golan Heights which was briefly discussed yesterday. Please take a look at the following map:
As noted yesterday, the linchpin to the entire buffer zone (“Zone Under UN Control”) between Israel and Syria is Quneitra. And Quneitra has fallen to the Islamist rebels who are currently fighting against Assad but who are eager to turn their attention to Israel.
But the situation is actually much worse.
The Islamists now control the entire buffer zone south of Quneitra all the way to the Jordanian border, and parts of the buffer zone north of Quneitra (as well as contiguous parts of Syria itself).
At the moment, the only areas contiguous to Israel that are not under Islamist control are several enclaves north of Quneitra mainly near Mt. Hermon and the Druze town of Khader (located at the northeastern tip of the light green Israeli Golan Heights on the map). That Druze town, by the way, is not controlled by Assad’s forces but by the local pro-Assad Druze militia.
If that situation around Khader seems confusing, it became more so this week with Israeli Druze groups which support Assad remarkably calling on Israel to annex Khader–which, again, is in the buffer zone between Israel and Syria—to Israel.
One last note. Where is ISIS (DAAS) in this picture?
Not very far away. The ISIS controlled area of Syria is in the top right corner of the map up near Aleppo, Syria.