[Rushtalk] Hamas flatly spurns a ceasefire. Israeli air strikes kill 7 of its operatives in Gaza

Carl William Spitzer IV cwsiv at copper.net
Thu Jul 31 22:46:42 MDT 2014






July 7, 2014

Hamas flatly spurns a ceasefire. Israeli air strikes kill 7 of its
operatives in Gaza

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 7, 2014, 8:29 AM (IDT) Tags:

There is not the slightest chance of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas
halting its three-week barrage of rockets against Israel in the
foreseeable future, high-placed sources in Cairo, Washington and the IDF
told DEBKAfile’s military sources Sunday night, July 6. They all agreed
that Israeli-Gaza border tensions would continue to escalate in the
absence of serious Israeli military punishment for cutting Hamas down

Following this assessment, the Israeli Air Force went into its first
serious action against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip during Sunday
night – not just bombing empty buildings, but hitting Hamas operatives.
Seven were killed in Rafah and another two in Al Bureij.



The Hamas spokesman said that this was the biggest single Israeli hit
against the Islamist group since the 2012 Pillar of Defense operation
and “The enemy would pay dearly.”

A senior US intelligence official familiar with the sector offered the
view that, so long as Israel did not show it was serious about a
military reprisal – like for instance positioning two whole IDF armored
divisions right up to the Gaza border – Hamas would not feel pressured
enough to stop firing rockets and accept a truce. Every passing day
without real punishment for kidnapping and murdering the Israeli
teenagers, Gil-Ad Shear, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, leaves the
Islamists certain they have got away with it and in no mood to talk
terms.

The source reported that, as far as he knew, Cairo had given up on its
earlier effort at brokering a Gaza ceasefire. Cairo sources confirmed
that Hamas had made unacceptable demands of the Egyptian government as
its price for halting rocket attacks on Israel. The list was presented
to Gen. Mohammed Farid el-Tohamy, head of Egyptian intelligence, who had
been acting as the intermediary between Hamas and Israel in the truce
effort.

One of those demands was for Egypt to reverse its six-month crackdown
for reducing Hamas’ aggressive capabilities for terror in and from
Sinai, including the reopening of the smuggling tunnels Sinai which long
furnished the Hamas regime with arms, smuggled goods and revenue.


Cairo lashed out against Hamas as a terrorist group harmful to Egyptian
security and a helpful offshoot of the proscribed Muslim Brotherhood.

There is no sign that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has any intention
of meeting Hamas demands.

Indeed, all the parties following the conflict agree that the ball is
now in Israel’s court and not, as it is presented by Israeli officials,
up to Hamas to take the initiative. The Islamist group has already made
its decision, which is to continue shooting rockets, in line with its
unswerving commitment to fight Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz must decide if and how to fight
back.


Contrary to Israeli media reports, the chief of staff and the high IDF
command have clearly informed the government that they are fully
prepared to undertake any military operation without delay if so
ordered. The elimination of seven Hamas members of its fighting army
Sunday night may be the first step.



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