Gazans celebrate rocket attacks on Israel yesterday
* Business Week: “Israel’s astonishingly effective Iron Dome air defense has prevented Hamas from killing Israelis and spreading terror in the civilian population. Ironically, though, the better Iron Dome works, the less sympathy the rest of the world has for a nation that remains under rocket attack.
“Israel hardly feels like a place under assault from close range. Bars, restaurants, and the Mediterranean beaches are still busy. Businesses are open. Although traffic is lighter than normal, the roads are hardly abandoned. Incoming rockets that would ordinarily wreak havoc are being blown up in the air, causing nothing but a boom, a puff of white smoke, and falling debris. Iron Dome’s success rate hovers around 90 percent. No other system in the world is as effective in shooting down short-range and medium-range rockets.”
* Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone): “Over the past week there are voices coming out of Egypt and some Arab countries -- voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims. ‘Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas!’ wrote Azza Sami in the (leading) Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.”
* Mira Bar Hillel (The Independent newspaper, London): “She is an Israeli Parliamentarian - and the reason why I am on the brink of burning my Israeli passport. Because behind that wide-eyed innocent face lurks the Angel of Death… She is well to the right of Benyamin Netanyahu, just in case you thought such a thing was not possible… She made me think about my mother’s sister Klara and her three small children who were living in Krakow in 1939 when the Germans invaded… My father’s brother Shmuel and his young family also perished before I was born, taken in Holland, to where they had escaped from Berlin, to the same camp Anne Frank died in. I know what it is to have been helpless victims, living and dying under racist oppressors’ boots, and I know today’s Israelis… Seeing these angelic faces of evil spouting such genocidal rhetoric, I pick up my Israeli passport and a box of matches.”
* Spengler: “Hamas has shot off hundreds of rockets (including one that landed a few kilometers from me up north in Zichron Yaakov while I had lunch there yesterday) without causing a single injury. Iron Dome has worked brilliantly. Traffic was a bit lighter than normal last night, but there wasn’t a free table at any of the hundred or so cafe terraces on Dizengoff St., Tel Aviv’s main drag.”
Tom Gross writes: This is another in an ongoing series of dispatches about the current conflict between Hamas and Israel. I attach seven articles below..
For those who missed them, other dispatches include:
* Abbas to Hamas: “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” (& Media misreports international law)
* The song Israeli schoolchildren sing to deal with rocket attacks (& Hamas admit to using human shields)
* Video dispatch 26: Intensifying conflict as more rockets aimed at Tel Aviv
* BBC admits Gaza airstrike photos are fabricated (& Swastikas by the Western Wall)
* Let's hope John Kerry and the EU don't insist on their early release
* "From Gibraltar to the Khyber Pass, the U.S. shares values only with one country"
These can all be viewed here.
You can see these and other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia.
1. “Israel’s Iron Dome is amazing, and that’s a problem” (By Peter Coy, Business Week, July 11, 2014)
2. “Missile defenses work” (Wall Street Journal, editorial, July 10, 2014)
3. “Egyptians hoping Israel will destroy Hamas” (By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone, July 13, 2014)
4. “Why I’m on the brink of burning my Israeli passport” (By Mira Bar Hillel, The Independent, July 11, 2014)
5. “Sunny with light missile cover here in Tel Aviv” (By David Goldman, PJ Media, July 10, 2014)
6. “Hamas to blame for lack of Cairo mediation over Israeli airstrikes: Ex-Fatah head in Gaza” (By Musaid Al-Zayani, Asharq Al-Awsat, July 12, 2014)
7. “Hamas officials denounce ‘criminal’ Abbas as ‘Likud member’” (Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2014)
“I WAS IN JERUSALEM AS A TOURIST ON THURSDAY AFTERNOON WHEN IRON DOME WENT INTO ACTION IN THE CITY FOR THE FIRST TIME”
Israel’s Iron Dome is amazing, and that’s a problem
By Peter Coy, economics editor
July 11, 2014
Israel’s astonishingly effective Iron Dome air defense has prevented Hamas from killing Israelis and spreading terror in the civilian population. Ironically, though, the better Iron Dome works, the less sympathy the rest of the world has for a nation that remains under rocket attack.
Israel hardly feels like a place under assault from close range. Bars, restaurants, and the Mediterranean beaches are still busy. Businesses are open. Although traffic is lighter than normal, the roads are hardly abandoned. Incoming rockets that would ordinarily wreak havoc are being blown up in the air, causing nothing but a boom, a puff of white smoke, and falling debris. Iron Dome’s success rate hovers around 90 percent. No other system in the world is as effective in shooting down short-range and medium-range rockets.
I was in Jerusalem as a tourist on Thursday afternoon when Iron Dome went into action in the city for the first time. An alarm sounded. We pulled our rental car to the side of the road, jumped out, and lay flat on the ground in a patch of dirt and stones next to the central bus station. People were prostrating themselves all across what passes in Jerusalem for a small park. Others continued to stand. Within a minute we heard muffled booms. We looked up and saw small, wispy clouds in the blue sky—the aftermath of the detonations. Threat over. Someone standing near me called it a miracle.
The health ministry in Gaza on Friday reported that Israeli airstrikes against targets in Gaza had killed more than 100 Palestinians, with more than 500 injured. By contrast, as the Jewish Sabbath was about to begin on Friday evening, just one Israeli had died from Hamas’s rocket attacks—an elderly woman in Haifa who had a heart attack while seeking shelter. (Eight others were injured, one seriously, when a rocket hit a gas station in Ashdod on Friday morning.)
But Iron Dome’s very success makes Israel look worse in the eyes of the world. There might well be more sympathy for Israel if Hamas broke through and achieved its objective of killing large numbers of Jews. As is usually the case in this asymmetrical war, the death toll is much higher in Gaza, where innocent women and children have died alongside Hamas operatives. The difference is that while Hamas is trying to kill civilians, Israel is trying to avoid harming them while it goes after combatants. Because Hamas hides its launchers, rocket factories, and stockpiles in densely populated areas, it’s impossible for Israel to avoid killing innocents. On Friday the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said there is “serious doubt” that Israel is complying with international human rights law.
The success of Iron Dome to date also creates painfully high expectations for continued success. The burden is felt most intensely by the operators of the seven (soon to be eight) batteries of Iron Dome interceptors, who are like overworked goalkeepers in the World Cup. The Iron Dome can be configured to operate automatically, but the Israeli air force has chosen to have human beings push the firing buttons. I spoke today with Lieutenant Colonel Assaf Librati, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces, who told me that the people who fire the buttons are low-ranking officers, typically from 19 to 23 years old. The officers are authorized to fire extra interceptors if they feel an extra margin of safety is required or to overrule the Iron Dome targeting software if they think it might be mistakenly perceiving a harmless airplane as an incoming rocket. “They’re making sometimes very hard choices,” Librati said.
It will get harder for Iron Dome to live up to the high expectations for it. Hamas is constantly upgrading its arsenal with faster and longer-range rockets. The nightmare scenario for Israel would be a Hamas or other foe equipped with cruise missiles that can twist and turn in flight to evade interceptors. Or, perhaps sooner, a simultaneous launch of so many rockets that Iron Dome can’t shoot them all down. In a conference call with reporters this evening, Yair Ramati, the director of the Homa Administration within Israel’s defense ministry, said that Iron Dome has improved significantly since its first use in 2011, staying “one step ahead of the enemy.” But he said that Hamas is constantly probing the system for weaknesses.
For now, though, Iron Dome is more popular in Israel than hummus and falafel. And Hamas is still hunting for a way to damage its enemy.
THE STUNNING SUCCESS OF ISRAEL’S IRON DOME
Missile Defenses Work
Israel’s Iron Dome interceptors have a 90% success rate.
Wall Street Journal, editorial
July 10, 2014
The Palestinian terror group Hamas continues to attack Israeli civilians with dozens of rockets launched each day from Gaza, and as we went to press on Thursday no Israeli had been killed. This wasn’t due to some Holy Land miracle but to the stunning success of Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system.
The Hamas missiles lack accurate guidance systems, so they are essentially shots in the dark. The Israelis don’t activate the Iron Dome system unless they judge that the missiles could hit a civilian or military target. Haaretz.com quotes Israeli defense sources as saying Iron Dome had been activated to intercept about 27% of the roughly 180 missiles that had been fired between Monday night and midday Wednesday, successfully intercepting nine out of 10. U.S. sources have confirmed the Israeli figures. That’s a remarkable record since Iron Dome is essentially firing a bullet to intercept a bullet.
In addition to sparing lives, the missile defenses give Israeli leaders more time and flexibility to plan any military response to Hamas. If they could do nothing to stop the missiles, they would have to respond with far more ferocity against Hamas targets. The Iron Dome system teaches that defensive systems can be as important in warfare as destructive offensive weapons, and they are a reminder that Ronald Reagan was right from the beginning in the 1980s despite his many liberal critics.
EGYPTIANS HOPING ISRAEL WILL DESTROY HAMAS
Egyptians Hoping Israel Will Destroy Hamas
By Khaled Abu Toameh
July 13, 2014
Over the past week there are voices coming out of Egypt and some Arab countries -- voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims.
“Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas!” — Azza Sami of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.
Isolated and under attack, Hamas now realizes that it has lost the sympathy of many Egyptians and Arabs.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has thus far turned down appeals from Palestinians and other Arabs to work toward achieving a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas telephoned Sisi and urged him to intervene to achieve an “immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas. Abbas later admitted that his appeal to Sisi and (other Arab leaders) had fallen on deaf ears.
Sisi’s decision not to intervene in the current crisis did not come as a surprise. In fact, Sisi and many Egyptians seem to be delighted that Hamas is being badly hurt.
Some Egyptians are even openly expressing hope that Israel will completely destroy Hamas, which they regard as the “armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization.”
Sisi’s Egypt has not forgiven Hamas for its alliance with Muslim Brotherhood and its involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptian civilians and soldiers over the past year.
The Egyptians today understand that Hamas and other radical Islamist groups pose a serious threat to their national security. That is why the Egyptian authorities have, over the past year, been taking tough security measures not only against Hamas, but also the entire population of the Gaza Strip.
These measures include the destruction of dozens of smuggling tunnels along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt and the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.
True, there are still many Egyptians and Arabs who sympathize with Hamas, mainly because it is being targeted by Israel. But over the past week, there are also different voices coming out of Egypt and some other Arab countries -- voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.
This is perhaps because a growing number of Arabs and Muslims are fed up with the Islamist terrorists who are imposing a reign of terror and intimidation in the Arab world, particularly in Iraq and Syria. They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims.
Sisi and other Arab leaders are now sitting on the fence and hoping that this time Israel will complete the job and get rid of Hamas once and for all. Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah are certainly not going to shed a tear if Hamas is crushed and removed from power in the Gaza Strip.
The reaction of some Egyptians to the Israeli military operation has shocked Hamas and other Palestinians. As one Hamas spokesman noted: “It’s disgraceful to see that some Egyptians are publicly supporting the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip while Westerners are expressing solidarity with the Palestinians and condemning Israel.”
Addressing the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian actor Amr Mustafa said that they should not expect any help from the Egyptians. “You must get rid of Hamas and we will help you,” he said. He also called on Hamas to stop meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries. “Pull your men out of Egypt, Syria and Libya,” Mustafa demanded. “In Egypt, we are today fighting poverty that was caused by wars. We have enough of our own problems. Don’t expect the Egyptians to give more than what they have already given. We’ve had enough of what you did to our country.”
In response to Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi’s decision to dispatch 500 tons of food and medical aid to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian newspaper El-Bashayer remarked: “The standard of living for a Gazan citizen is much higher than that of an Egyptian citizen. The poor in Egypt are more in need than the poor in the Gaza Strip. Let Qatar spend as much as it wants on the Gaza Strip. We should not send anything that Egyptians are in need of.”
Famous Egyptian TV presenter and journalist Amr Adeeb has been told by many Egyptians to “shut up” after his criticism of Sisi’s “silence” toward the war in the Gaza Strip.
One Egyptian reminded Adeeb that “Hamas is responsible for the killing of Egyptian soldiers.”
Egyptian ex-general Hamdi Bakhit was quoted as expressing hope that Israel would re-occupy the Gaza Strip. “This would be better than the Hamas rule,” he said.
Egyptian TV presenter Amany al-Khayat launched a scathing attack on Hamas.
She pointed out that Hamas agreed to the reconciliation pact with Fatah only in order to get salaries for its employees in the Gaza Strip.
Al-Khayat said that Hamas was seeking to depict itself as a victim of an Israeli attack only in order to get the Egyptian authorities to reopen the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip. “They just want us to open the Rafah border crossing,” she said on her show. “Hamas is prepared to make all the residents of the Gaza Strip pay a heavy price in order to rid itself of its crisis. We must not forget that Hamas is the armed branch of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist movement.”
Her colleague, Azza Sami of the newspaper Al-Ahram, went as far as thanking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for ordering the attack on Hamas. “Thank you Netanyahu and may God give us more [people] like you to destroy Hamas,” she wrote.
What is also remarkable is Egyptian criticism of Hamas for launching rockets at the nuclear facility in Dimona in southern Israel. Ahmed Qandeel, head of the Energy Studies Program at the Al-Ahram Strategic Studies think-tank, denounced the targeting of Dimona as “idiotic.” He warned that this would have a negative impact on the entire region and endanger the lives of many Egyptians and Arabs. “Egypt must take precautionary measures,” he advised.
In response, an Egyptian wrote: “May God make the State of Israel victorious in its war against the terrorist movement Hamas during this holy month of Ramadan.”
Echoing the widespread sentiment among Egyptians, journalist Mustafa Shardi said: “No Arab country has done for the Palestinians as Egypt did. Why doesn’t Hamas go to (Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip) Erdogan? Where is Erdogan when you need him? Why is he silent? If he opens his mouth they (Israel and the US) will hit him with a shoe. The Egyptian people are asking: Where are our people who were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip? Hamas should apologize for the 1000 tunnels that were used to smuggle the resources of Egypt. They all have their own planes and accounts in Swiss banks.”
Isolated and under attack, Hamas now realizes that it has lost the sympathy of many Egyptians and Arabs. Some Hamas leaders are now talking about the “betrayal” and “collusion” of their Arab brethren, especially Egypt.
When the Egyptian authorities reluctantly and briefly re-opened the Rafah border crossing a few days ago, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum rushed to declare: “The Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing only to receive bodies. Egypt is imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip and has destroyed the tunnels.”
Former Palestinian Authority security commander Mohamed Dahlan predicted that the Egyptians will not do anything to save Hamas. “Egypt won’t intervene to stop the war on the Gaza Strip because Hamas was conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood against Egypt,” he said. “Hamas was working with Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian army.”
Hamas is paying a heavy price for meddling in the internal affairs of Egypt and some other Arab countries. But the Palestinians living under Hamas in the Gaza Strip are paying a heavier price, largely due to their failure to rise up against the Islamist movement and demand the right to live better lives.
Why I’m on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
By Mira Bar Hillel
The Independent (London)
Friday 11 July 2014
I can no longer stand by while Israeli politicians like Ayelet Shaked condone the deaths of innocent Palestinian women and children
She is young. She is pretty. She is a university graduate and a computer engineer. She is also an Israeli Parliamentarian - and the reason why I am on the brink of burning my Israeli passport. Because behind that wide-eyed innocent face lurks the Angel of Death.
Ayelet Shaked represents the far-right Jewish Home party in the Knesset. This means she is well to the right of Benyamin Netanyahu, just in case you thought such a thing was not possible.
On Monday she quoted this on her Facebook page: “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.” [Tom Gross adds: Shaked apologized for her Facebook post and removed it within hours of posting it.]
A week earlier, just before 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair was snatched and burned alive, Shaked wrote: “This is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. The reality is that this is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started it.”
So even before the boy died horribly she declared him to be the enemy, and afterwards, without any apparent hint of guilt or remorse, she was calling for the deaths of innocent women and their unborn babies.
She made me think about my mother’s sister Klara and her three small children who were living in Krakow in 1939 when the Germans invaded. They decided that the Jews – all Jews – were the enemy and had to be eliminated, not least the women and the little snakes they were raising. “Why? Ask them – they started it” , as the Nazis would say if asked.
I never met Klara or her children who had perished by 1942. I did meet my uncle Romek, who survived by working in Oskar Schindler’s factory, and his wife Yetti who survived because she spoke good German and was able to pretend she was a fine German woman who had kicked out her Polish Jewish husband, as she smiled prettily at every Nazi she came across.
My father’s brother Shmuel and his young family also perished before I was born, taken in Holland, to where they had escaped from Berlin, to the same camp Anne Frank died in.
I know what it is to have been helpless victims, living and dying under racist oppressors’ boots, and I know that today’s Israelis are no longer the victims but the perpetrators of the current crisis. Yes, Hamas are dreadful hate-filled killers and woe betide Israel had they had the wherewithal to carry out their intentions. But the fact remains that it is Israel which has the tanks, bombers, artillery, nuclear warheads and missile defences of Goliath, while ordinary Gazans had nothing a week ago and even less today, as even hospitals and schools were bombed.
Shaked got what she wanted: the death toll in Gaza is nearing 100, one in four being children. Hundreds more have serious injuries in a place where hospitals have also been bombed and medical essentials are running out.
In Israel, in spite of Hamas’s best efforts, not one death has been recorded, nor any serious injuries, although a wedding party was disrupted and got on the television news.
And, as the bombs rain on Gaza, Israeli teens have taken to tweeting scantily-clad selfies alongside their political sentiments. In two now deleted tweets, one wrote “Death to all of you Arabs you transfag” , while another proclaimed “Arabs may you be paralyzed & die with great suffering!” Another teen simply tweeted “Death to these f****** Arabs” , and attached a photo of themselves pouting alongside it.
Seeing these angelic faces of evil spouting such genocidal rhetoric, I pick up my Israeli passport and a box of matches. “Not in my name, people. Not in my name!”
SUNNY WITH LIGHT MISSILE COVER HERE IN TEL AVIV
Sunny with Light Missile Cover Here in Tel Aviv
By David P. Goldman (Spengler)
July 10, 2014
Sunny with light missile cover in Tel Aviv this morning. I awoke to muffled thuds in the distance, Iron Dome shooting down Syrian-made missiles launched from Gaza, according to news reports. I attended the obligatory morning mixer for hotel guests at the bomb shelter, which fortunately lasted only five minutes before the all-clear sounded. I’ll write something more comprehensive on this soon but the thumbnail version is that Hamas is making a demonstration out of weakness. Money is tight, 44,000 Gaza civil servants haven’t been paid for weeks, and the IDF did significant damage to its infrastructure on the West Bank after the kidnapping-murder of the three yeshiva boys. Netanyahu will look indecisive and confused, because he has to deal with an openly hostile U.S. administration on one side and his nationalist camp on the other. Time, though, is on Israel’s side: economically, demographically, strategically. The proportion of Jewish births continues to soar. The fruits of a decade of venture capital investing are ripening into high-valuation companies. And the Arab world is disintegrating all around Israel’s borders.
I have no idea whether the IDF will go into Gaza on the ground, or what they will do if they do so: that’s a tricky cost-benefit calculation, and no-one outside the government has relevant information. But the broader point is that Israel will win a war of attrition. Hamas has shot off hundreds of rockets (including one that landed a few kilometers from me up north in Zichron Yaakov while I had lunch there yesterday) without causing a single injury. Iron Dome has worked brilliantly. Traffic was a bit lighter than normal last night, but there wasn’t a free table at any of the hundred or so cafe terraces on Dizengoff St., Tel Aviv’s main drag.
There will be no Intifada on the West Bank: the Palestinian Arabs are older, more resigned and less inclined to destroy their livelihoods than in 2000. Syria and Iraq continue to disintegrate, Lebanon is inundated with Syrian Sunni refugees (weakening Hezbollah’s relative position), and Jordan is looking to Israel to protect it against ISIS. Egypt is busy trying to survive economically.
Medium-term, the boycott and BDS threat become irrelevant. “Startup nation” is becoming market-cap nation as hundreds of Israeli firms exit the venture capital stage and become profitable, mature enterprises. There’s never been anything like this. India and China beckon with a combined market of 2.5 billion people. To the extent that the Europeans threaten Israel with sanctions, the term “Middle East” gradually will be replaced by “Western Asia.”
[I was interrupted by another brief visit to the bomb shelter, again for five minutes.]
In the short-term, to be sure, Israel must proceed with caution. It is still vulnerable to pressure from the U.S., which provides the bulk of its military hardware, and economic pressure from Europe, which accounts for a third of its trade. Nonetheless, Israel is winning and its adversaries are losing. B’ezrat Hashem Israel will prevail.
HAMAS TO BLAME FOR LACK OF CAIRO MEDIATION
Hamas to blame for lack of Cairo mediation over Israeli airstrikes: Ex-Fatah head in Gaza
By Musaid Al-Zayani
Asharq Al-Awsat (Saudi Arabia)
July 12, 2014
Hamas should renounce its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood to encourage Egypt to be more proactive in negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants, an exiled Gaza strongman and former Fatah leader told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Mohamed Dahlan, a controversial Palestinian political figure now based in Dubai, attributed Cairo’s more hands-off approach to the ongoing Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, which entered its fourth day on Friday, to tensions between the Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi government and the Hamas Movement.
Israel’s Operation Protective Edge has seen more than 2,000 targets in the Gaza Strip being hit by airstrikes, with an Israeli Defense Force spokesman estimating one strike was taking place every 4.5 minutes.
“The real reason behind Cairo delaying taking steps is related to the fact that Hamas was in alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt,” Dahlan said.
Egypt’s interim authorities designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in December 2013, less than six months following the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
“For the blockade on Gaza to be lifted, Hamas has to fix this mistake,” Dahlan added.
His comments come as Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that it was facing difficulties in mediating a halt to the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.
“Egypt has communicated with all sides to halt violence against civilians and called on them to continue with the truce agreement signed in November 2012,” Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“Unfortunately, these efforts over the past 10 days have met with stubbornness, with only innocent civilians paying the price.”
Cairo played a key role in brokering the 2012 truce between Tel Aviv and Hamas, but has taken a more hand-off approach during the current conflict. Egypt temporarily opened its border crossing with Gaza this week to allow critical casualties of Israeli airstrikes access to Egyptian medical care but is expected to close this once again following the end of the conflict.
HAMAS OFFICIALS DENOUNCE ‘CRIMINAL’ ABBAS AS ‘LIKUD MEMBER’
Hamas officials denounce ‘criminal’ Abbas as ‘Likud member’
By Jerusalem Post staff
July 12, 2014
Hamas officials assailed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his criticism of the persistent rocket attacks on Israel, Israel Radio reported on Saturday.
Leaders of the Islamist movement which rules Gaza said that Abbas, who heads the rival Fatah faction, was “aiding the enemy” by making his statement. Hamas accused the PA chief of “acting as a third party” while branding him “a criminal” and “a Likud member.”
In an interview with Lebanese television network Al-Ma’ayadin, Abbas said that Hamas’ demands for a ceasefire were unnecessary, and that both sides needed to halt hostilities immediately.
“We are the losing side, and every minute there are more and more unnecessary deaths,” the Palestinian leader said. “I don’t like trading in Palestinian blood.”
Abbas also criticized Hamas on Palestinian television. “What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?” Abbas told Palestine TV. “We prefer to fight with wisdom and politics.”
“It’s not important who wins or loses,” Mr. Abbas said. “What’s important is to end this bloodshed.”
Abbas said that he has been in touch with Turkish leaders in an effort to bring about a ceasefire.
Earlier this year, Abbas’ Fatah faction and Hamas agreed to back a unity government made up of technocrats, a move that angered Israel and contributed to the disintegration of peace talks.