Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Shaky Cease-Fire In Gaza

Israel's unilateral Gaza cease-fire has thrown the ball firmly back in the Hamas court, with a warning that Israel will reserve the right to return fire, if Hamas continues to fire rockets into the South.

The Israeli cabinet voted for an Egyptian-backed 10-day cease-fire deal, ending the three week long Operation Cast Lead, after a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv this evening. 

But the Jerusalem Post reports IDF forces will remain in Gaza until it's clear Hamas has ended its rocket fire into Israel. 

Hamas leaders have repeatedly warned they will not respect any cease-fire as long as Israel remains inside Gaza. Asked about Hamas continuing its rocket attacks, the Israeli prime minister warned "he wouldn't advise them to try it". 

Prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said the aims of the Gaza operation had been "met in full" and the cease-fire would start from 2am Sunday (local time).

Israel's operation had been at least a year in the planning and training, with the objectives of taking out Iran-supplied Hamas rockets launched from Gaza and ending Iranian weapons smuggling through the Egyptian border tunnels, before the start of Obama's US presidency. 

EU leaders, including prime minister Brown, had offered help to end arms smuggling into Gaza. The cease-fire was agreed by the Israeli cabinet after talks with Egyptian intelligence chiefs, according to the Israelis. 

Meanwhile, Iran's proxy war against Israel was confirmed at an Arab summit, where Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, rejected Israel's conditions for a truce and called on all Arab countries to cut ties with the Jewish state, backed by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian president Bashar Assad. More moderate Egypt and Saudi Arabia boycotted the summit.

With Hamas launching a rocket attack on Israeli civilians during the cabinet meeting and in the hours afterwards, the signs are it won't be long before any fragile peace is shattered. 

Picture: The Israeli cabinet meets at the defence ministry in Tel Aviv, Saturday night.


Anonymous said...

Hamas should respect the cease-fire for the sake of their people.

Anonymous said...

Another flagrant propaganda stunt in which the occupier and aggressor is trying to appear as the victim by declaring a cessation of its own hostilities... Israel must really think the world is stupid and that people are so gullible or naive that they will not see thru this charade. The truth is that most people who care in the least bit about justice and human rights, and every Palestinian man, woman, and child, know very well that Israel's true intentions and the actions and policies of its government and military forces are so blatantly at odds with peace, fairness, and honesty.