Ninety minutes after Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated an Israeli/Palestinian 72-hour ceasefire renewed fighting broke out and ended the peace. On Friday, President Obama addressed the media and called on Hamas to release Israeli Army Lieutenant Hadar Goldin; “If they are serious about resolving the situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible.” However, in a predictable turn of events, the 23-year-old Israeli soldier was found a day later—dead.
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At the White House press conference, President Obama defended Israel’s right to defend itself. “No country can tolerate missiles raining down on its cities no country can or would tolerate tunnels being dug under their land to be used for terrorist attacks.”
Meanwhile Hamas rockets and Israeli missiles continued to resume over the weekend at their cross border targets, further accelerating the 1,700 Palestinian death toll. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu took to his own podium and informed the world that the Palestinian operation would continue. “Hamas would pay an intolerable price for its attacks on Israel.”
During his press conference Netanyahu also said; "After completing the anti-tunnel operation, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will act and continue to act, in accordance with our security needs and only according to our defense needs, until we achieve our objective of restoring security to you, Israel's citizens. Hamas again mistakenly believes that the people of Israel do not have the will and determination to fight them and Hamas again will learn the hard way that Israel will do whatever it must do to protect its people."
Even though President Obama strongly condemned the mounting Palestinian civilian death toll, he authorized the release to IDF of additional U.S. ammunition from its Israeli stockpile so Israel could continue its shelling against Palestine terror group, Hamas. The Israelis’ mounted heavy bombing attacks in the small strip of land that shares a border with Israel. The elected ruling party, Hamas has been firing thousand of rockets into Israel in an effort to force the Jewish State to open borders and allow goods into the densely populated country. However, Israelis decided to end the stalemate by eradicating the Hamas military wing, demolish cross-border tunnels and squeeze the Palestinians out of the terror business.
The Gaza population sees the conflict much differently. They contend the tunnels are used to import goods and medicines not readily available in the Israeli-controlled Gaza Strip. But the tunnels are used to move components used to make rockets as well.
So far the IDF has destroyed or damaged 3,600 homes, displacing approximately 25 percent of its 1.8 million population. The newly homeless Gazans must now seek refuge in schools or the over-flowing United Nation safe zones. The relentless Israeli attacks have also damaged more than 130 schools, 22 health care facilities, the country’s only power plant, water resources, numerous farms, as well as fishing equipment used in the hamstrung economy. The destruction of the modest Gaza infrastructure further reduces the 4- hours of electricity allowed per day.
And finally, as we went to press there were reports of another Israeli attack on an UN-run school in the Gaza Strip. It is the sixth attack on a UN school during the three-week conflict and the second in a week according to the United Nations. Approximately 10 civilians were killed and another 70 injured. The Israelis have not commented on the latest attack, but its Prime Minister, Netanyahu, said they were open to the international community rebuilding Gaza after it has been demilitarized.
Operation Protective Edge detractors
Not every supporter of Israel seemed pleased with the longest Palestinian conflict in recent years. British Conservative MP Margot James, a former aide to Foreign Secretary William Hague, wrote a letter to Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, pressing him to end the ongoing battle. The James missive is a sign of the growing uneasiness within the coalition government over the country’s disproportionate military operation.
Ms. James' letter expressed her constituents serious concern for the sizable scale of Palestinian suffering that the world has seen during the bloody three-week war. The politician told Hammond her non-Muslim constituents wanted to “register their despair at the loss of life in Gaza and the wholly disproportionate to the threat posed by Hamas.”
While Ms. James supported Israel’s “right to security” and the right to “live without fear of bombardment,” she argued that the loss of “so many Palestinian lives, homes, hospitals and schools” is not proportionate for the “crude rocket fire that Israelis are subjected to."
“I have visited the town of Sderot and understand, and sympathize with, the concerns, frustrations and fears, of an Israeli community living close to the border with Gaza. But the rockets fired by Hamas that I saw there are of an antiquated nature by comparison with the modern weaponry used by Israel to defend their civilians against such attacks. Attacks which are, in any case, rendered virtually victimless by the air missile defense system that Israel has in place,” James said.
The silence from the Arab world is deafening
To date, only Turkey, Qatar and Iran have expressed outrage over the Israeli assault on Gaza and the rest of the Arab and Muslim world have withheld condemnation of the loss of non-combatant lives in Gaza. While Hamas is a Sunni organization it has received most of its support from Iran. Is it possible the Gaza attack is the opening round in a future war between Sunni Muslims and Israel against Iran's Shiite majority and Hezbollah?
To read the last story: Is the U.S. prepping for war with Iran? http://www.examiner.com/article/is-the-u-s-prepping-for-war-with-iran
Email Kimberly: firstname.lastname@example.org
All these details and more are covered in the most in-depth story: “Did the CIA and State Department run illegal arms trafficking in Benghazi?” that was written December 10, 2012.
Readers may want to reread: Benghazi, Next Stop A Special Prosecutor…
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