Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Israel/Gaza: Update--Ending of Three-Day Cease-Fire Looms Today

According to Reuters, the threat of renewed war in Gaza loomed on Wednesday (August 13) as the clock ticked toward the end of a three-day ceasefire without an indicator of a breakthrough in indirect talks in Cairo between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli negotiators returned to Cairo with the truce in the month-old hostilities that have killed 1,945 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and 67 on the Israeli side due to expire at 1700 hours.

Hamas, which dominates the major player in Gaza and seeks at lifting  Israeli and Egyptian blockades of the coastal enclave, understandably have deep security concerns about the Islamist group, complicating any deal on easing border restrictions.

The two sides are not meeting face-to-face. Israel regards Hamas, which continues to advocate Israel's annihilation. Worse, as a terrorist group that seemingly continues to advocate destruction of the Jewish state, I will raise the subject I addressed last week:

What has changed?

COMMENT: It is moot to even suggest where Tel Aviv goes from here, largely because the existence of Hamas as an entity remains, which is the destruction of the Jewish state?

If anything, a continued cease-fire, providing that that is even an option, is simply to delay the inevitable which is to afford Hamas another opportunity to "reload, resupply and flag attention before United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay whose appointment expires on September 1, 2014, that 1,945 Palestinian civilians have died in the conflict while serving as 'human shields.'"

If there is any "silver-lining" for Tel Aviv it is this: Navi Pillay's extension will not be continued.

It is asking a great deal of the UN, but perhaps in the heat of battle is not a good time to make allegations of Israeli war crimes when the only purpose of Hamas, is wiping the Jewish state from the Middle East map.

Strangely, both the US Department of State and the UN simply don't get it! Their only response to the conflict are the words "cease-fire," which ignores the clear and present danger facing Tel Aviv from today onward:

If the Israelis let themselves get "sucked into a continuing cease-fire," their uphill climb will only get steeper.

For Tel Aviv, as long  as Hamas' stated objective is the elimination of the only democracy in the Middle East, and is unwilling to "stand down" from that intention, a restoration of the conflict is the only solution.

Seemingly, both the Obama Administration and the UN's Navi Pillay have no solution other than a cease-fire as long as Hamas is unwilling to stand down from its stated goal.

Israel has resisted removing the economically stifling blockade on Gaza and suspects Hamas will restock with weapons from abroad if access to the coastal territory is relaxed. Egypt also treats Hamas as a security threat.

Rightfully so, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, speaking on Tuesday (August 12), told the IDF to prepare for a possible resumption of fighting. 

Israel now wants guarantees Hamas will not use any reconstruction supplies sent into the enclave to rebuild the tunnels. Yet, trusting Hamas, which has violated one cease-fire after another, simply cannot be trusted.

In closing, I again go back to my original premise. What has changed?