Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a stern warning to the Hamas terror organization not to break the cease-fire with Israel and to expect grave consequences if the missile fire on Israeli civilians resumes. Netanyahu was rather blunt as he spoke about Israeli’s options in the Hamas terror war on his nation:
“The operation’s goals were met. I know there are citizens that expect a harsher stand in Gaza – and we are prepared to make one. We choose when to act, against who to act and how to act.”
“If a long-term solution can be put in place through diplomatic means, then Israel would be a willing partner to such a solution. But if stronger military action proves necessary to stop the constant barrage of rockets, Israel wouldn’t hesitate to do what is necessary to defend our people.”
The recent cease-fire, negotiated between Israel and Hamas through the combined efforts of Egypt and the United States, continues to hold but there have been already been several incidents that are quite worrisome.
Thankfully no one was killed, but 21 Israelis were injured when a bomb exploded on a bus yesterday in Tel Aviv. The attack marks the first time a bomb was detonated in the heavily populated city since 2006 and Israeli authorities are quite concerned the explosion may signal the beginning of a new wave of terrorist bombings against civilian targets.
Israel’s left wing peace camp, famous for criticizing Netanyahu when he takes military action to defend the Jewish state, even managed to find a right wing conspiracy in the government’s acceptance of the cease-fire.
Speaking from Israel, Yossi Alpher, the former director of Tel Aviv University’s Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, accused Netanyahu of having ulterior motives in accepting the agreement:
“The Netanyahu government is actually probably more likely to do this, because whatever serious concessions we make with Hamas…is going to hurt the PLO. And since Netanyahu is not interested in negotiations with the PLO, he may be interested in weakening it. So paradoxically, perversely if you like, I think there is a chance we’ll reach some sort of agreement.”
Despite 12 years of terror attacks involving the launch of over 12,000 missiles on civilian targets in Israel, the world continues to apply pressure primarily on Israel. Ban-Ki Moon, the UN secretary General who has done nothing to stop the endless stream of antisemitic rhetoric from many of the members of the United Nations, had this to say about the situation in the Middle East:
“The world is concerned, gravely concerned at the rising loss of human lives. Further escalation would be dangerous and tragic for Palestinians and Israelis, and would put the entire region at risk.”
Back in Gaza, although no missiles are launching at the moment, Hamas is continuing to fire salvo after salvo of threatening rhetoric. The leader of Hamas called for a national holiday to celebrate his fantasy of a victory over Israel. One clothing store owner in Gaza voiced his support for bombing Jewish citizens of Israel:
“For first time, the Israeli people felt what bombs mean, what rockets mean, what war means, what killing people means.”
Meanwhile, Hamas seems determined to push Israel to the limit. They have been supplied with thousands of rockets by Iran in an attempt to drag Israel into an all out war with her neighbors that could engulf the entire region. A major military conflict would fall in line with Iran’s openly declared ambition to spread their apocalyptic version of Islam throughout the Middle East by overthrowing the leadership of many Arabian states and wiping the Jewish state off the map.
Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, made it clear that despite the current cease-fire, it is only a matter of time before the rockets start to rain down on Israel all over again.
“We need more of these painful strikes inside the depths of Israel, in all the towns and cities and villages of Israel.”
In the face of the continuing threats from Hamas, even President Obama stood strongly in support of Israel’s right to defend itself under the endless wave of Hamas terror rockets and suicide bombers:
“Let’s understand what the precipitating event here that’s causing the current crisis and that was an ever-escalating number of missiles that were landing not just in Israeli territory but in areas that are populated, and there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.”
“So we are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself from missiles landing on people’s homes and workplaces and potentially killing civilians.”
“Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory.”
Instead of listening to the drums of war, the people of Gaza should listen to the words of Shimon Peres, President of Israel, and recent recipient of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom from President Obama. Peres, now 89, was once a member of the Haganah, the predecessor of the Israel Defense Forces. Peres has seen all the horrors of war and yet, he is truly a man of peace.
“You must remember that it was not Israel that initiated the timing of the present escalation. Hamas, continuously and ignoring repeated warnings, escalated the firing of missiles on Israel, allowed various organizations to shoot at Israel from the Gaza Strip, just like in the Wild West, and even carried out an attack against Israeli soldiers. In certain respects Hamas left the Israeli government no other choice but to act in order stop the firing against its citizens.”
To the people of Gaza, Peres addressed these words:
“My message is this – we do not wish you harm. Hamas and the terrorist organizations are the ones who are bringing disaster upon you and they are the ones dragging the sides into confrontation. For more than 12 years residents in the south, families and children, have been suffering from Hamas rockets. We are making every effort not to harm Palestinian civilians who are not connected with terrorist organizations despite the fact that the entire world already knows that Hamas hides behind civilians and conceals its weapons in homes and even in mosques. I hope that peace is achieved quickly, and I have not abandoned the hope that one day the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians will be different.”