You have commented 27 times on Rantburg.

Your Name
Your e-mail (optional)
Website (optional)
My Original Nic        Pic-a-Nic        Sorry. Comments have been closed on this article.
Bold Italic Underline Strike Bullet Blockquote Small Big Link Squish Photo
Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh runs to El Arish, leaves peasants to fight
2012-11-18
Israel launches fresh, major air-sea attack in Gaza after Hamas spurns ceasefire

[DEBKAfile] Israeli air and naval forces launched heavy assaults in Gaza before dawn Sunday, Nov. 18 -- Day 5 of the IDF's Gaza operation - after daylong bargaining Saturday among Washington, Jerusalem, Cairo and Gaza, failed to produce an Israel-Hamas truce accord. When Egyptian and Turkish middlemen suggested a ceasefire was close, Israel accused them of pushing Hamas's terms which were fashioned to present the Palestinian radicals as the victor in the contest. The trio leading the Israeli war, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, countered by intensifying the IDF's Gaza offensive -- though not as yet sending ground troops in.

A Western source said it would take some days to determine if a ceasefire was feasible.
And in the meantime Israel will continue hitting Gaza targets, by way of encouragement and clearing the decks for the next stage of things -- probably Hizb'allah, though that lot are staying very, very quiet in the hope of not being noticed again.
Egyptian intelligence meanwhile smuggled Hamas Prime Minister Islmail Haniyeh out of Gaza and over to El Arish in northern Sinai in the convoy of visiting Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafiq Abdessalem when he departed Gaza Saturday, debkafile reports.
Was he wearing a burqa? That's the usual costume for such adventures.
Friday night, Israel bombers struck government headquarters in Gaza City.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi decided that Haniyeh must be continuously available at the end of a phone to lead the Hamas side in the ceasefire negotiations. This was not possible so long as the Hamas prime minister remained in Gaza. All of Hamas leaders have gone to ground for fear of targeted assassination by Israel. They have switched off their phones and electronic communications to avoid giving away their locations to Israeli surveillance. Haniyeh was even afraid to communicate with Cairo through the Egyptian military mission in Gaza.
They see you when you're sleeping,
They know when you're awake,
They know if you've been bad or good...
In these circumstances, Morsi and Erdogan's were prevented from get their ceasefire mediation bid off the ground. Moving Haniyeh to El Arish put a Hamas negotiator in place to lead the give-and-take for a truce. Our sources have not discovered if he is still there or has moved back to Gaza.

The Turkish prime minister brought a secret passenger in the plane bringing him to Cairo Saturday. He is Saleh Aruri, formerly of the Hamas military wing. Aruri had spent 15 years in an Israeli prison for terrorism and murder until he was released on Oct. 18, 2011 in the prisoner exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit on condition he went into exile.

Turkey granted him asylum and its intelligence agency MIT gave him free rein to set up an operational command in Istanbul for Hamas terrorist networks on the West Bank.

On arrival in Cairo, the Turkish prime minister put Aruri in charge of the contacts with Haniyeh.

At a news conference in Cairo Saturday night, the Egyptian president and Turkish prime minister reported "some indications that there could be a ceasefire soon" although "there were still no guarantees."

The guarantees issue has become a pivotal bargaining point.

Israel, backed by the United States, insists that a ceasefire be signed between the US, Egypt, Turkey and Israel, and exclude Hamas, which would be bound by a separate agreement with Cairo.

Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman are asking the United States to act as guarantor for a ceasefire. Erdogan has countered by inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to join US President Barack Obama as victor.

Hamas has rejected all of Israel's terms.

During the night, Israel denied reports circulating in Cairo that an Israeli negotiator was heading for the Egyptian capital to get down to the specifics of an emerging truce deal. The three Israeli war leaders decided not to fall into the trap laid by Morsi and Erdogan. Instead, they told the IDF to press ahead with the operation until its objectives were attained -- hence the launching of a fresh air and sea assault before daybreak Sunday.

OC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Tal Rousso defined those objectives to reporters Saturday night as "eliminating the war arsenals of Hamas and terrorist organizations and restoring peace and normality to the population of southern Israel."

The ground operation is meanwhile delayed, in accordance with Netanyahu's promise to President Obama in their conversation early Saturday, that a full-scale ground invasion would not go forward so long as there was a chance of a ceasefire - unless there was escalation from Hamas or a strike that caused significant casualties.

A western source in Cairo familiar with the truce negotiations reported that Obama has not yet decided whether he wants to be directly involved in any ceasefire deal, which in any case has not reached the concluding stage. "The cake dough is still being kneaded and not yet ready to for the oven," he said.
A deep and profound statement, to be sure.
Posted by:Water Modem

#8  Hey Idiot Obama. Nobody kneads cake dough.

Good catch, Black Bart Elmolulet4327! :-) I missed that -- and I'm supposed to be pretty good in the kitchen.
Posted by: trailing wife   2012-11-18 21:50  

#7  We're backing the jihadis in Syria. Won't end any nicer than afghanistan in the 80s. We'll end up with blowback again.
Posted by: Pumper   2012-11-18 19:22  

#6  Hey Idiot Obama. Nobody kneads cake dough. Bread perhaps but not Cake. What a maroon.
Posted by: Black Bart Elmolulet4327   2012-11-18 18:27  

#5  Snowy I just like the idea of Turkey and Russia sorting out anything. What's left of my cockles would be warmed.
Posted by: Shipman   2012-11-18 13:29  

#4  We need to pull out of Incirlik and take our deterrent with us, let Turkey and Russia sort out the eventual fate of Syria by themselves.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain   2012-11-18 12:55  

#3  If true, it shows that Mr. Obama's administration has placed itself between a rock and a hard place. The Turks are needed for Syria and possibly Iran; Erdogan's ego is being stroked by involving his government with Gaza. And if Debka is accurate, the Turks are once again angling to become the de facto Islamic power in the region.

In any case, the message from all the parties appears to be: "Mr. Obama, we've reserved a nice place for your country at the kid's table."
Posted by: Pappy   2012-11-18 12:45  

#2  A western source in Cairo familiar with the truce negotiations reported that Obama has not yet decided whether he wants to be directly involved in any ceasefire deal,

PRESENT!
Posted by: Shipman   2012-11-18 05:22  

#1  Another Debka article suggests that the attack will not end until Iran agrees to face to face talks with the US.
Posted by: Water Modem   2012-11-18 00:27  

00:00