The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

ISRAEL WILL NOT DEAL WITH HAMAS-BACKED PA GOVERNMENT

September 2nd, 2014

ISRAEL WILL NOT DEAL WITH HAMAS-BACKED PA GOVERNMENT

The government stands by its decision not to conduct peace talks with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, officials said on Tuesday amid renewed attempts at restarting some kind of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue in the wake of the fighting in Gaza.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas plans to present a new diplomatic initiative to Arab foreign ministers during their meeting in Cairo on September 7, Mahmoud al-Habbash, Abbas’s adviser on religious affairs and chief of the PA religious courts, told the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad. The plan envisages a full Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines within a period that does not exceed three years, a senior PA official was quoted Tuesday as saying.

The plan calls for the Israelis and Palestinians to resume the peace talks within nine months, the official said.

“President Abbas is keen to obtain Arab support for his plan,” Habbash said.

The first three months of the negotiations would be devoted to drawing the borders of the future Palestinian state, after which the two sides would proceed to discuss final-status issues pertaining to refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, water and security, he said.

“The talks will begin with the borders, during which time there will be a freeze of settlement construction and the release of the fourth and final batch of prisoners incarcerated before the signing of the Oslo Accords, who were supposed to be freed last March,” Habbash added.

If Israel does not accept Abbas’s initiative, the Palestinians will resort to “diplomatic and political measures to impose peace,” he warned.

The PA’s options include joining international treaties and conventions, including signing the Rome Statute as first step toward membership in the International Criminal Court, Habbash said.

Abbas has dispatched chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and PA General Intelligence Service head Majed Faraj to Washington to brief US Secretary of State John Kerry on the initiative.

Abbas said recently that he does not expect the Americans to like his plan.

An Israeli government official said that the diplomatic focus should be on the Gaza Strip, and that “in many ways the ability to get things moving in the right direction in Gaza will be a test case for the Palestinian Authority. If they would succeed in reestablishing a security presence in Gaza, that would be an important example that could then create a new dynamic.”

The PA’s inability up to this point to confront Hamas terrorism, and Fatah’s political alliance with Hamas, “remains a serious problem,” the Israeli official sad.

Relating to calls to leverage the fighting in Gaza into a resumption of peace talks, the official said that Jerusalem wants a peace process, “but it has to be a process not based on illusions, but reality.”

It is important, the official said, that the PA act in a way that is conducive to a diplomatic process.

“If we go back to the same old game – exploiting automatic majority in the UN for one-sided resolutions condemning Israel – that is obviously not a mood that would be conducive to moving forward,” he said.

Going this route would “condemn” the Palestinians to the status quo, he added.

“If the PA shows it is serious about peace in word and deed, and as a first step would act seriously in Gaza, that could create a whole new dynamic,” the official said.

Asked whether Israel’s declaration on Sunday of 400 hectares in Gush Etzion as state land, a move that has drawn criticism from around the world, is conducive to a peace process, the official said that despite the perception, “no one has made any decision to build anything yet.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday warned that a diplomatic process with the Palestinians that would lead to Israel pulling forces out of the West Bank would lead to rockets and mortar shells being fired at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Speaking at the Calcalist National Conference in Tel Aviv, Ya’alon said that whenever the IDF pulled out its forces from Palestinian areas, whether areas of the West Bank under the Oslo agreements or the 2005 Gaza disengagement, terrorism brewed. Israel paid a heavy price to retake West Bank cities in 2003’s Operation Defensive Shield operation in order to restore calm during the second intifada. In Gaza, even when the PA was in charge, Hamas sprouted beneath it and eventually took over, he said.

Instead of rushing to withdraw from the West Bank, Israel should pursue an “outside the box” diplomatic process including “moderate” Arab states that share Israel’s strategic goals, Ya’alon said. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states (except Qatar) could align against Islamist terrorism, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, he said.

Meanwhile, Hamas called on Abbas to pull out of the peace process with Israel “immediately.”

Abbas should instead seek to reunite the Palestinians and “achieve a comprehensive national strategy in response to the occupation’s decision to confiscate Palestinian lands,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

HAMAS LEADER HANIYEH FAVORED FOR UNITY PRESIDENT

September 2nd, 2014

HAMAS LEADER HANIYEH FAVORED FOR UNITY PRESIDENT
by Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News

Poll finds Haniyeh upsets Abbas among Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza 62%-32%, gaining boost from terror war on Israel.

Support for the terrorist organization Hamas has skyrocketed in Judea, Samaria and Gaza according to a new poll, after Hamas “skyrocketed” Israel with a massive missile barrage and terror war in Operation Protective Edge.

A full 61% of Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza would pick Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh for unity government President if elections were held today, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll reported Tuesday by Associated Press (AP).

By contrast, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was found to have dropped sharply to a mere 32% in support.

The survey also found a “grass is greener” effect, with support for each of the two higher in the area under the other’s control; Haniyeh received 53% support in Gaza and 66% in Judea and Samaria, while Abbas got 43% in Gaza and 25% in Judea and Samaria.

The poll also suggested that a majority of Arab residents of the region support appropriating Hamas’s active terrorism against Jews in Judea and Samaria as well, a trend that accompanies a recent rise in terror incidents there.

The polling agency said Haniyeh gained a majority of support for the first time in eight years; the survey included 1,270 respondents and had a 3% margin of error.

Just in May a similar poll found jailed arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti of Abbas’s Fatah faction was favored for President of the new unity government, outpacing both Abbas and Haniyeh.

In an open letter last month, Barghouti called for a Fatah revolution, urging the group to further unify with Hamas and reject negotiations with Israel in preference of “resistance.”

The new poll also confirms another survey last Wednesday conducted by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), which found 89% of Gazans support indiscriminate rocket fire against Israel civilians.

On the other side of the Arab support for the terror war, an Israeli poll late last month after the ceasefire found a 59% majority of Israelis felt Israel did not win Operation Protective Edge, signalling the frustration over a perceived lack of decisive military action against Hamas.

The poll likewise found that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s approval rating has taken a nose-dive during the operation, plummeting from a high of 82% at the time of the IDF ground entry to an abysmal 32% after the ceasefire with Hamas.

IS, HAMAS, IRAN, AND THE WEST’S NAIVETE

September 1st, 2014

IS, HAMAS, IRAN, AND THE WEST’S NAIVETE
by Noah Beck (IsraelNationalNews)

They must be having a hard time controlling their laughter at Obama’s feckless policies.

The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley has raised concerns in the West about Islamist threats. But Israel has been facing this specter for decades and – given Israel’s proximity to the Islamist threat – the Jewish state is the canary in the coal mine for the West. But Gaza seems to be the Western blind spot, even though the Hamas-IS parallels are glaringly obvious.

Since beheadings are the current media focus, and IS has beheaded infants, it’s worth noting that Hamas praised the 2011 Itamar murders, which involved the decapitation of a baby. Islamist beheadings should surprise no one, given that they’ve been happening for much of (and despite) modernity – perhaps because “Islam is the only major world religion today that is cited…to legitimize beheadings,” according to this study.

While there have been no reported Hamas beheadings of journalists, the similarities between Hamas and IS are more important than their differences.

Both would like to establish a Caliphate. Hamas Interior Minister declared as much in this 2013 speech.

Both gain and keep power through savagery and fear. Hamas rose to power in Gaza thanks to its violent, 2007 coup, and recently planned a second putsch (in the West Bank). Hamas famously threw its political opponents off rooftops.

Given the opportunity to obliterate IS’ terrorist infrastructure, would the U.S. ever spare any part of it?

Like IS, Hamas uses clinics, schools, mosques, and charities to gain legitimacy, and inculcates children with the values of jihadi terror. A Vice documentary exposed how IS indoctrinates and uses children for war, but Hamas has been doing so for years, educating children to worship death and using child soldiers.

Hamas’ use of human shields has been widely documented (and proven very effective in turning public opinion against Israel by exponentially increasing Gazan civilian casualties). IS used 500 Yazidi captives and 39 abducted Indians as human shields.

IS is known for its expulsion of Christians from Mosul and its genocidal murder of Yazidis and Christians who refuse to convert to Islam or pay the jizyah. Hamas would undoubtedly behave the same way towards the religious minorities within its reach, if Israeli Jews didn’t have the protection of a superior military, and if Hamas didn’t depend on international donations to Gaza that might dry up after a wholesale slaughter of the tiny Christian community there.

But even with these checks on Hamas’ brutality, Hamas regularly practices and preaches religious hatred. For years, Hamas has attacked Christians, including defiling Christian graves, abducting and murdering Christians, and more recently using a Gazan church to launch rockets at Israel. Hamas preaches hateful incitement against Jews, has desecrated Jewish holy sites, and has murdered hundreds of Jews in terrorist attacks.

IS uses Sharia to justify its barbaric treatment of women. Also enamored with Sharia, Hamas treats women as second-class citizens and endorses honor killings.

Like IS, Hamas advocates the death penalty for homosexuals, lets Islamic morality police govern economic activity, and punishes crime with lashings, amputations, and executions. There have been no broadcast beheadings of homosexuals by IS yet, but such horrors can’t be far off, given that IS fighters include gay-hating Westerners.

Hamas condemned the assassination of Osama Bin Laden and IS aspires to surpass him.

Yet, astonishingly, President Obama and liberals have continually called for restraint when Israel’s military has confronted Hamas (after Hamas’ countless attacks against Israeli civilians) and Obama has pressed Israel to negotiate with Hamas (as if the U.S. would ever negotiate with IS). Worse still, the Obama administration tried to advance Hamas’ negotiating position and recently pressured Israel into letting Hamas keep its military capabilities.

Given the opportunity to obliterate IS’ terrorist infrastructure, would the U.S. ever spare any part of it?

Even more troubling – in terms of the perils involved – is Obama’s feckless strategy towards the Iranian regime, which is the world’s chief sponsor of Islamist terrorist groups (including Hamas and Hezbollah). Like so many Islamist terrorist organizations, Iran executes homosexuals; mistreats women; persecutes religious minorities; employs barbaric, Sharia-law punishments (like amputation and stoning); and brutalizes political dissenters (among myriad other human rights violations).

But unlike the terrorist organizations, Iran could theoretically acquire a nuclear weapons capability in under two months. Imagine an Islamist state, which openly supports Islamist terrorists, possessing nukes. Alarmingly, Obama’s overall approach and eagerness to negotiate any deal he can get with Iran have signaled weakness in a region that respects only strength.

As if to mock Obama’s naiveté, the Iranian regime has continued supporting Hamas despite the sanctions relief that Obama delivered to the Islamic Republic. Obama’s meek and misguided policy has only emboldened the Iranian regime, improved its economic condition, and given diplomatic cover to Iran’s nuclear program.

Islamist groups like IS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah, all seek the destruction of Western values and civilization. The pursuit of nukes by the Islamist state of Iran – which could eventually enable nuclear terrorism by Iran’s jihadi proxies – poses the greatest threat of all.

The West ignores these facts at its peril, and should therefore support Israel’s war against Hamas, and its efforts against Iranian nukes, just as the U.S. has rightly (albeit tardily and minimally) supported the Kurds in their fight against IS.

CANADA’S PRIME MINISTER TO BE NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

September 1st, 2014

CANADA’S PRIME MINISTER TO BE NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
by Dalit Halevi and Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

B’nai Brith Canada to nominate Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for the Nobel Peace prize.

In a statement released on Friday, B’nai Brith CEO Frank Dimant said that “with recent developments across the globe posing new and difficult challenges, only one leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has maintained the moral clarity needed to face them.”

“Moral clarity has been lost across much of the world, with terror, hatred and anti-Semitism filling the void,” he said.

“Throughout, there has been one leader which has demonstrated international leadership and a clear understanding of the differences between those who would seek to do evil, and their victims. More than any other individual, he has consistently spoken out with resolve regarding the safety of people under threat — such as opposing Russian aggression and annexation of Ukrainian territory — and has worked to ensure that other world leaders truly understand threat of Islamic terrorism facing us today.”

Dimant continued, “In accordance with the rules of the Nobel Foundation it gives me great pleasure to nominate in my capacity as Professor of Modern Israel Studies at Canada Christian College, Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the Nobel Peace Prize in honor of the outstanding moral leadership he has demonstrated.”

Harper has been a staunch supporter of Israel and continued to stand up for the Jewish state during the last conflict in Gaza.

The Canadian leader called on Canada’s allies and partners to recognize that Hamas’s terrorist acts “are unacceptable and that solidarity with Israel is the best way of stopping the conflict.” He also blamed Hamas for the heavy loss of civilian life in Gaza during the fighting.

In January, Harper visited Israel for the first time since becoming Prime Minister. During the visit, he gave a speech in the Knesset and also showcased his musical talent during a special dinner with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

ISLAMIC STATE VOWS TO REACH “PALESTINE” AND “KILL THE BARBARIC JEWS”

August 30th, 2014

ISLAMIC STATE VOWS TO REACH “PALESTINE” AND “KILL THE BARBARIC JEWS”
By Lev Selmon ( Jerusalem Post articles)

Islamic State’s English-language publication inspires potential recruits with graphic images and messages of jihad while vowing to strike down every “obstacle on its path to Palestine.”

Islamic State warns it has sleeper cells in the West, raises the stakes with beheading of American.

Report: Suspect in Foley beheading was once rapper known as ‘L Jinny’

The organization calling itself the Islamic State has risen from the fog of war in Syria and Iraq in recent months and drawn the attention of the world with major victories on both sides of the Euphrates River that have claimed swaths of territory for its declared caliphate, or Islamic State.

Now in the organization’s new English language publication, Dabiq, aimed at young Muslims in western states, the extremist organization declared, “Islamic State will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its path towards Palestine.”

Denouncing the ineffectiveness of other Arab states and organizations in carrying out the “will of Allah,” the magazine vows that, “Its [Islamic State's] actions speak louder than its words and it is only a matter of time and patience before it reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees – the trees of the jews.”

The Islamic State recently brought attention to the large and growing number of westerners in its ranks with the video of American journalist James Foley’s execution, at the hands of a masked IS militant speaking English in a British accent.

The shocking video and revelation that the American hostage’s killer might be a British citizen turned jihadist led a man hunt to identify the man. Assessments by Britain’s two intelligence and security agencies led to the positive identification of 23-year-old British-born Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, nicknamed “Jihadi John” by his colleagues.

Western countries are well aware of the issue. “I don’t think this video changes anything. It just heightens awareness of a situation which is very grave and which we’ve been working on for several months.” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC.

Now the Islamic State is producing a slick new magazine in English which caters to potential recruits around the world to answer the “call to Hijrah,” migration to the Islamic State.

The publication does away with the often poetic translation of Arab prose found in other jihadist propoganda and writes in plain English that young Muslims in Europe or the United States can relate to.

The publication’s second issue opens by telling its readers, “The first priority is to perform hijrah from wherever you are to the Islamic State. From the state of the infidel to the state of Islam.”

Al-Qaida has an English language publication of its own titled Inspire, but the Islamic State’s new periodical demonstrates the movement’s prowess in creating an image for itself with graphic illustrations and a slick format. Captioned high quality pictures show Islamic State jihadists, or mujahadeen, in the field and graphically gruesome executions of the movement’s enemies.

In everything it does, Islamic State’s writers justify the movement’s terrorist activities and militant strategy with the movement’s overall aspiration to establish a caliphate, or state ruled by the movement’s strict interpretation of Islamic Law.

THE NEW CEASEFIRE WILL CUASE WORSE WAR AGAINST ISRAEL

August 29th, 2014

THIS NEW CEASEFIRE WILL CAUSE WORSE WAR AGAINST ISRAEL
By Batya Medad (IsraelNationalNews)

Faux Peace and Deceptive Euphemisms Won’t Stop a Real War
We’re being suckered again! This latest ad nauseum ceasefire will not lead to true peace or a safer Israel. Aspirin is useless against cancer, too.

There is absolutely nothing in this latest ceasefire and proposed deal that is good for Israel.

The following statement by Secretary of State John Kerry has NOTHING CLOSE TO THE EU call.

Kerry talks of reconstruction but “peace and security, without terrorist attacks, without rockets, without tunnels” is relegated to “the next phase”…”future of the region”…”long term solution for Gaza”. (IMRA’s Dr. Aaron Lerner, Israel Behind the News) We strongly support today’s cease-fire agreement, and call on all parties to fully and completely comply with its terms. We hope very much that this cease-fire will prove to be durable and sustainable, that it will put an end to rocket and mortar attacks, and that it will help to bring about an enduring end to the conflict in Gaza.

As soon as calm is restored, the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza must be accelerated, and the United States and the international community are fully committed to supporting this effort. We are also prepared to work with our international partners on a major reconstruction initiative, with appropriate measures in place to ensure that this is for the benefit of the civilian population in Gaza, not Hamas and other terrorist organizations. We look forward to coordinating closely with President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority on these critical efforts… (U.S. Press statement)

There is absolutely nothing for Israel’s security in this American document. The opening paragraph states the U.S.’s priorities and understanding of what has been happening all summer. The fact that this Arab Hamas anti-Israel terror campaign of rocket and mortar attacks which have killed Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers is called”the conflict in Gaza” makes it super clear that according to Obama and Kerry, we Israelis are at fault. For that alone, Israel should have ripped the papers and walked out.

I’m far from the front-lines or targeted areas here in Shiloh, but I know that with every “ceasefire” the terrorists improve their deadly weaponry and targeting accuracy and distance. One doesn’t need to be a top general or security expert to understand that the Hamas Arab terrorists based in Gaza and fully supported by their Fatah allies in Ramalla are out to destroy, decimate the State of Israel and murder all of us Israeli Jews and any Arab they think has supported us. Making any sort of “deal” with them is only going to endanger Israel even more.

Yesterday, as Shiloh’s Chief Rabbi Elchanan Bin-Nun finished his talk he left us with what he considers to be an important message. The misreading of the pre-Yom Kippur 1973 situation and our lack of preparedness caused many Israelis to lose faith in the government. That was forty-one years ago, and the process has continued. I think that this summer’s war, which hasn’t yet ended, is continuing and spread that lack of trust in government decisions and policies.

Many people have pointed out that, davka, the populations now being targeted by Hamas are those that had supported Disengagement most strongly and had jeered those of us who were protesting it. The big question is whether they are willing to admit their terrible mistake, apologize, repent and now change their politics. G-d willing…

WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE “PALESTINIAN CAUSE”

August 29th, 2014

WHEN YOU SUPPORT THE “PALESTINIAN CAUSE”
By Tuvia Brodie (Arutz Sheva News)

It’s fashionable to be anti-Israel. Many even believe that it’s important to be anti-Israel. How else can you advocate for justice?

They say, to support justice, you must attack Israel.

Once you declare that you stand for justice, calling Israel a criminal nation is easy. Doesn’t everyone know that Israel oppresses innocent Arabs?

There’s just one problem. It’s not true. Israel isn’t the evil one in the Arab-Israel conflict.

Israel doesn’t preach hate. It doesn’t call to kill anyone. It doesn’t call people pigs and apes.

Hamas and Fatah do.

If you want to see evil emanating from the Arab-Israel conflict, here’s an article for you from The Algemeiner. It was written by The Alegmeiner’s editor-in-chief, Dovid Efune. It was posted August 17, 2014:

“The Anti-Jewish Riots Have Exposed Hamas”

The editors at British newspaper The Guardian are beside themselves. Somebody forgot to pass on the ‘Anti-Israel Rioting Etiquette Handbook’ to the largely vicious and thoroughly bigoted hordes who gathered to call for Israel’s demise in the streets of the world’s major cities over this past month.

Media reports said that the marches were prompted by Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and sympathy for Palestinian children.

So why is it that protesters in Paris were chanting “death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right,” and activists in London proclaimed “Heil Hitler” and “Oh Jew, you will die”?

Can anyone explain why Muslims in the Netherlands were referring to “dirty Jews from the sewers,” or why in New York they shouted “Intifada, intifada!”? And why was “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” heard on the streets of Germany?

One group even sought to boycott McDonalds because “the owner is Jewish” and many of the rallies featured Swastika banners held high.

Of course all this left the honchos at The Guardian, and others who are generally aligned with the anti-Israel cause, feeling rather uncomfortable, and they quickly moved to disassociate themselves from the hate.

In an editorial on Friday, The Guardian wrote, “It should not need saying, but it does: people can be as angry as they like at the Israeli government, but to attack a synagogue, threaten children at a Jewish school, or throw a brick through the window of a Jewish grocery store is vile and contemptible racism. It cannot be excused by reference to Israeli military behavior. The two are and should be kept utterly distinct.”

But The Guardian has completely missed the point.

The sad truth is that while the situation in Gaza may have been used to ignite the raging protesters, it is the marches themselves and their message that have exposed a key motivation in Gaza’s war against Israel.

Hamas has made no secret of its visceral hatred of Jews, and anti-Jewish animus is enshrined in the group’s constitution.

The Charter reads: “The Day of Judgment will not come until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

According to a recent Anti-Defamation League poll, the Palestinian-controlled territories contain the most anti-Semitic population in the world, with 93% holding anti-Semitic views.

Away from Gaza, and Hamas’s iron grip on messaging, which is tailored to garner world sympathy, downplaying the elements of Hamas’s ideology that are unpalatable to the West, and highlighting Palestinian suffering, their allies chanting in the streets have exposed their genocidal aims.

For The Guardian and other flagships of the progressive left, it doesn’t get much starker than this.

There is simply no legitimate case to be made that the tent of modern liberalism can hold the likes of Hamas and their ideological partners.

To accept their narrative as legitimate is to implicate Liberals and their ideological camp in the prejudice.

No amount of editorial hair splitting will cleanse them of the association.

Martin Luther King, Jr is reported to have said, there is no difference between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. They’re the same thing. He said that more than forty years ago. He was right then—and he’s still right.

When you claim to seek justice (as the ‘Palestinian cause’ does), you surrender all claim to justice the moment your defenders cry, ‘Death to the Jews’ or ‘Destroy Israel’.

That’s exactly what protesters around the world are doing; and it’s exactly what Hamas has written into its Charter. Such public hate aimed at destroying Jews means only one thing: the ‘Palestinian cause’ is not just. Justice never allows for the extermination of Jews–never.

Evil does.

We saw that evil in Nazi Germany. We see it again in the ‘Palestinian cause’.

When you support the ‘Palestinian cause’, you support hate, racism and genocide. You support the extermination of the Jewish people.

HAMAS NOT INTERESTED IN RETURN TO FULL BLOWN GAZA CONFLICT, EVEN IF CAIRO TALKS FAIL

August 18th, 2014

HAMAS NOT INTERESTED IN FULL-BLOWN GAZA CONFLICT, EVEN IF CAIRO TALKS FAIL
By JPOST.COM STAFF

Diplomatic source tells ‘Maariv Hashavua’ that Hamas is facing heavy pressure from Egypt not to provoke Israel into wide confrontation.

Israel pessimistic agreement will be reached by expiration of cease-fire at midnight

Egypt and Norway to host donor conference for Gaza reconstruction

The five-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is set to expire at midnight on Monday, and as of now, there are no signs of a breakthrough to reach a long-term deal between the sides in Cairo negotiations.

As the sides returned to Cairo for further talks on Monday, members of the Palestinian delegation expressed pessimism and estimated that efforts to reach a deal were not likely to succeed.

An Israeli diplomatic source told The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication, Maariv Hashavua, that “it is very unlikely that a full-blown military conflict between Hamas and us will reignite, even if no deal is reached in Cairo.”

The source added that “Hamas has not shown signs that it is interested in returning to a wide-scale confrontation. We are hearing reports from Cairo that Hamas is facing heavy pressure from Egypt and others.”

Hamas is also facing economic pressure that is likely to prevent it from provoking Israel to carry out further attacks in Gaza, according to the source.

The source said reports that the leadership of Hamas is willing to delay negotiations on its demand for a seaport for a month also are a sign that the organization is not interested in a renewal of hostilities.

Palestinian media reported on Monday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would be traveling to Qatar in the near future for talks with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and later visiting Cairo to discuss cease-fire efforts with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi.

ISRAEL THREATENS HAMAS WITH MASSIVE RETALIATION AS CEASE-FIRE ENTERS FINAL DAY

August 17th, 2014

ISRAEL THREATENS HAMAS WITH MASSIVE RETALIATION AS CEASE-FIRE ENTERS FINAL DAY!
By Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh (Arutz Sheva News)

Netanyahu told his cabinet ministers that Hamas was mistaken if it thought that it could cover its military defeat over the last month with a diplomatic achievement.

Netanyahu: Hamas will not be able to cover its military defeat with a diplomatic victory

Bennett calls on Israel to immediately halt negotiations with Hamas

A day before the midnight expiration of a five-day ceasefire, Israel sent out clear messages on Sunday that it will respond massively to any type of fire from Gaza and not tolerate a long-term “war of attrition.”

“It is not clear whether there will be an agreement,” a senior diplomatic official said as the Israeli and Palestinian delegations held indirect talks in Cairo.

If no agreement is agreed upon, the official said, there are two possibilities. The first is that no cease-fire extension or agreement is reached by Monday at midnight, and Hamas renews its firing. “If that happens,” he said, “Israel’s response will be strong.”

He said an example of Israel’s likely reaction was last weekend’s breakdown of the cease-fire, when Hamas fired mortars at Israel and the IAF responded by hitting 170 terrorist targets inside Gaza.

The other possibility is that the cease-fire lapses, but the firing does not resume, in which case efforts would continue to find a longer-term arrangement, the official said.

But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his cabinet ministers at the opening of the weekly Sunday cabinet meeting that Hamas is mistaken if it thinks it can cover its military defeat over the last month with a diplomatic achievement.

In an apparent response to Hamas’s threats to engage Israel in a long war of attrition if its demands were not met, Netanyahu said further that “if Hamas thinks that we cannot stand up to it over time, it is mistaken.”

“In the turbulent and unstable Middle East in which we live, it is not enough just to have more strength, you also need determination and patience,” he said. “Hamas knows that we are very strong, but perhaps it thinks we do not have enough determination and patience. And here it is making a big mistake as well.”

Netanyahu said that Israel is a “strong and determined” nation, whose citizens and soldiers showed “amazing resilience and fortitude” during the Gaza operation and which will stand “steadfast and united” until “quiet and security” are returned to the country’s citizens.

Netanyahu said that Hamas suffered a harsh military blow, which included the destruction of the attack-tunnel network it spent years building, the killing of “hundreds of terrorists,” the interception of thousands of rockets, and the prevention of terrorist attacks from the “land, sea, and air.”

“If Hamas thinks that by a continuation of a drizzle of rocket fire we will make concessions, it is mistaken,” Netanyahu said. “As long as quiet is not restored, Hamas will continue to take very hard blows.”

Netanyahu stressed that the Israeli delegation to the indirect talks in Cairo is working under “very clear directives” to insist on Israel’s security demands. “Only if there will be a clear answer to our security needs will we agree to any understandings,” he said.

Diplomatic sources said that one of the key messages Netanyahu conveyed during the cabinet meeting, and which he will repeat in the upcoming days, is the need for patience in the war of nerves Hamas is waging with the Israeli public.

A subtext of this message is that the Gaza operation is not yet completed, that more time is needed, and that the greater the patience and resolve of the country, the greater the chance that Israel will be able to achieve its goal of long-term security for the South.

Netanyahu briefed his ministers on the situation in Gaza, as did Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen.

One of the problems in the negotiations, it has emerged, is that the Palestinian delegation to Cairo – made up of Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad representatives – is not a united group. For instance, while the Palestinian Authority under Fatah accepted the Egyptian proposals weeks ago, this was not binding on Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

And even among Hamas, there are differences of opinion between its leader Khaled Mashaal, who sits in Qatar, and the leadership in Gaza, which is more eager to come to an agreement. According to Israel, meanwhile, Qatar should be viewed as a state sponsor of terrorism, since it is Hamas’s main financial backer.

Before the cabinet meeting, disparities between some of the key ministers became apparent, with Finance Minister Yair Lapid promoting his idea for an international conference, and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett saying that Israel should halt the talks in Cairo.

Lapid, who is to travel to Germany for two days on Wednesday and promote the idea of an international conference as a vehicle for a long-term resolution to the Gaza crisis, said the outline of any agreement needed to be that there would not be a rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip without its disarmament, and there would not be a cease-fire agreement without quiet for the residents of the South.

Bennett called for an immediate end to the indirect negotiations with Hamas, saying that a situation where Israel is “biting its nails waiting for the answer of a murderous terrorist organizations must end.”

He said that Israel should immediately cease the talks, and adopt the following formula: “Yes to humanitarian aid to Gaza, no to terrorism.”

Under this formula, Israel would allow the passage of food and medicine to Gaza’s residents “without limit,” but would act “without limits” as well toward any weapons factory or terrorist tunnels found, or against any Hamas leaders.

Israel must extract a heavy price from Hamas for firing on its citizens, he said, adding that “any other arrangement that will tie our hands will bring the next war closer.”

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the most important element Israel must insist on is the demilitarization of Gaza. He said that Israel must not accede to Hamas’s demands for a seaport or airport, saying that this would be nothing more than “duty free for rockets and missiles. This would mean that if up until now we suffered from Grad and Fajr missiles from Gaza, in the future it would be Scuds.”

One official said that Hamas is pushing for a seaport because this would allow Iranian ships to dock and unload weaponry. Likewise, he said, Iran is very keen on securing access to a Mediterranean port.

In a related development, Israel agreed to lift the fishing ban it clamped on Gaza during the military operation, and will now allow fishing up to three miles from the coast.

Meanwhile, the head of the Palestinian delegation to the cease-fire talks in Cairo expressed hope that an agreement over a permanent truce with Israel would be reached in the coming hours.

Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official and head of the delegation, was speaking shortly after holding talks in Cairo with Egyptian intelligence officials and other members of the Palestinian team from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

“We won’t accept any weak agreement,” al-Ahmed said. “Any deal should meet the demands and goals of the Palestinian people, first and foremost halting the aggression, lifting the siege, and launching work to rebuild the Gaza Strip.”

He added that the Palestinian delegation would hold a meeting late Sunday with Egyptian intelligence officials to hear about the Israeli reply to the demands.

Meanwhile, Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials reiterated their refusal to make concessions on their demands.

Izzat al-Risheq, a Hamas member of the delegation, said the Palestinians would not give up the rights of their people “who made sacrifices for the resistance.”

He said that the Palestinian delegation’s goal is to “solidify the victory of the resistance with a political victory at the indirect talks in Cairo.”

USA CONFIRMS AIRSTRIKES ON ISIS TARGETS IN IRAQ

August 17th, 2014

USA CONFIRMS AIRSTRIKES ON ISIS TARGETS IN IRAQ
by Arutz Sheva Staff

The United States military confirms it conducted nine airstrikes in an effort to help Kurdish forces retake areas in Iraq from IS jihadists.

The United States military confirmed on Saturday night it conducted nine airstrikes near Arbil and Iraq’s largest dam in an effort to help Kurdish forces retake it from violent extremists, AFP reported.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said fighter jets and drones had destroyed or damaged four armored personnel carriers, seven armed vehicles, two Humvees and an armored vehicle.

CENTCOM “conducted these strikes under authority to support humanitarian efforts in Iraq, as well as to protect US personnel and facilities,” it added.

“All aircraft exited the strike areas safely.”

Kurdish forces attacked the Islamic State (IS) fighters who wrested the Mosul dam from them a week earlier, a general told AFP.

“Kurdish peshmerga, with U.S. air support, have seized control of the eastern side of the dam” complex, Major General Abdulrahman Korini told AFP, saying several IS men had been killed.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently authorized “limited airstrikes” following threats of an impending genocide committed by IS against the local Yazidi people.

The Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria it captured, forced tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee their homes or face certain death.

Members of the group have also taken hundreds of Yazidi women captive and have been holding them in schools in Mosul.


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