Archive for the ‘World News’ Category

Article taken from: Fox News  Published September 01, 2014

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday proposed sweeping legislation to combat the “scourge of extremism,” amid the fast and powerful rise of the extremist group Islamic State.

Cameron officially asked the House of Commons to agree to several temporary measures he proposed late last week, including the power to seize passports of suspected British jihadists leaving the country and controlling where they can move within the country.

“As I’ve said all along, this is not a knee-jerk response or sweeping, blanket changes that would be ineffective,” he said. “It’s not about just new powers, but about how we tackle extremism in all forms. … We will in the end defeat this extremism.”

In addition to laying out measures to defeat terrorism, Cameron also addressed the situations in Ukraine and Israel’s Gaza Strip.

Offering what he called “a tough and patient approach,” Cameron said Britain must fill two key gaps to thwarting religious extremists like the Islamic State, whose members are responsible for the murder of American journalist James Foley.

He said his proposed legislation would give police officers temporary power to seize passports at the border. Secondly, he said it was key that Britain work to keep out foreign fighters who return from the Middle East and pose a threat to the nation, which recently upgraded its terror alert from substantial to severe.

Cameron said that Britain must prevent those suspected of extremism from traveling out of the country.

“Passports are not an automatic right,” he told his colleagues. He said to date, 500 people from the UK have left the country to fight in Iraq and Syria; 700 have left France to fight and Germany has seen 400 people exit to join religious extremists.

Cameron is asking for the changes essentially to prevent attacks on Britain by Islamist militants coming and going for terror training in the Middle East.

His get-tough proposals come amid calls in the United States for President Obama to announce a comprehensive plan to combat Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, which started in Syria and has now taken control of much of northern Iraq. The group late last month released a video of a fighter — suspected to be a British rapper — beheading Foley.

The other proposals made by Cameron are to tighten aviation security by demanding airlines submit passenger flight lists, or not be allowed to land, and to exclude British nationals from return to Britain.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Watch full press conference here:



US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to turn attention away from President Barack Obama highly-criticized  admission Thursday, Aug. 28, “We don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq” – with an article in the New York Times, calling for a “coalition of nations… to stamp out the disease of the Islamic state group.”
Obama said only that the strategy under preparation won’t be ready before next month.

DEBKAfile’s counter-terrorism sources note that until then, and until Kerry’s coalition of nations comes together and decides what to do, Al Qaeda’s IS’s campaign of bloody atrocities and conquests will remain unchecked. And so will the spread of what the British Prime Minister David Cameron called, in a special news conference Friday, “the poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism.”

Cameron warned that, while there was much talk about the threat to Europe of returning home-grown Islamists, “IS is already here.” The return of at least 500 people from fighting in Syria and Iraq “for Islamic State extremists attempting to establish a caliphate” represented a “greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before.”

New laws, said the British premier, would make it easier to take passports away from people traveling abroad to join the conflict.

Announcing the elevation of the UK terror threat from “substantial” to “severe,” Cameron cited the example of the British Islamist who took part in the beheading of the American journalist James Foley on Aug. 18.

He also confirmed that Al Qaeda’s Islamic State perpetrated the May 24 attack on the Jewish Museum of Brussels, in which the Israeli couple, Emanuel and Miriam Riva, was murdered  – as further evidence that Islamist terror was already loose on the streets of Europe.

He was the first prominent world leader to assign the Brussels attack to Al Qaeda, which Israeli officials have so far avoided doing.
The “severe” threat level was imposed in the UK only twice before: in 2006 after the discovery of liquid bombs aimed at airliners and when, the following year, extremists attempted to bomb Glasgow Airport and London’s West End.

Friday, IS released another indescribable video showing the beheading of a Kurdish soldier among 15 captured Peshmerga in orange boiler suits, who were grouped before a Mosul mosque. It was labeled “2nd Message to America” and threatened to execute the entire group if Iraqi Kurdistan continued to cooperate with the United States.

Just a few hours earlier, footage was shown of the mass execution of 300 Syrian soldiers forced to run through the desert in their underwear. They were said to have been taken prisoner at the Syrian air base of Tabqa.
Those barbaric scenes were flashed across the world by international media.
Less noticed was the video tape released on Thursday, Aug. 28, by Al Qaeda’s Sinai branch, Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which showed the beheading of four local citizens and their admission that they had collaborated with Israeli intelligence to identify targets for Egyptian and Israeli air raids. This tape runs 30 minutes.

Egyptian security sources said the four had been abducted Tuesday near the northern Sinai town of Sheikh Zuwaid.
And not far away, in the Gaza Strip, Hamas last week summarily executed 29 alleged collaborators with Israeli intelligence, three of them women, and seven in a public square.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has characterized Hamas as belonging to the same family of murderous extremists as the Islamic State. Israel did indeed fight a limited, inconclusive war on the Palestinian fundamentalists, but no order has gone out for an operation to rescue the 43 Fiji members of the UN Disengagement Observer Force, who were abducted by the Syrian Al Qaeda Nusra Front just 150 meters from its Golan border.

UNDOF policed the Golan buffer zone for 40 years until it was overrun in the fighting between Syrian insurgents including Islamists and the Syrian army. So far there have been no executions, but the danger to the observers is ever present.

Saturday, Saudi sources reported that Qatar had undertaken to broker their release from Nusra on behalf of the UN. Israel, which spurned Qatar in the role of middleman for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, now finds the emirate, which champions Islamist terrorists in the Middle East, assigned a task in its northern back yard. An IDF rescue operation would have prevented this intervention, as well as delivering a timely, preemptive blow to Al Qaeda fighters sitting on Israel’s borders.

It would also have gone far toward muting the many Israeli critics of their government’s decision to curtail the 50-day Gaza operation by a truce, before Hamas was finished off for good.
Bur after the IDF campaign against Hamas, the Israeli prime minister was ready to line up with Western leaders, who make speeches about the horrors of the Islamist extremists and shore up their defenses, while at the same time avoiding putting their hands in the wasps’ nest and their boots on the ground, for tackling them in their Middle East lairs. “Coalitions” and “allies” are assigned the brunt of this mission.
Hoping against hope to jerk them into action, Saudi King Abdullah Saturday issued a wake-up call. He asked Western foreign ambassadors summoned to his palace in Jeddah to convey an urgent message to their leaders: Terrorism at this time is an evil force that must be fought with wisdom and speed,” said King Abdullah. “And if neglected I’m sure after a month it will arrive in Europe and a month after that in America.”


Judicial Watch: ‘Imminent’ Terror Attack Warning on US Border

 Friday, 29 Aug 2014 03:16 PM
By Drew MacKenzie
Islamic State and al-Qaida terrorist cells are operating in a Mexican border town and are plotting to attack the United States with car bombs and improvised explosive devices, according to Judicial Watch, citing intelligence sources.A red alert has been issued by Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and the Department of Defense to its agents to actively investigate all possible leads to what the government watchdog group says is “an imminent terrorist threat.”The terror groups have been confirmed as having operatives planning atrocities in Ciudad Juarez, a crime-ridden, drug-trafficking mecca situated across from El Paso, Texas, federal law enforcement, intelligence, and other sources told Judicial Watch.

Officials have picked up radio talk and chatter indicating that the group formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al-Qaida groups are going to “carry out an attack on the border,” according to a high-placed source. “It’s coming very soon,” according to the source.

A potential terror attack is so imminent that the commander at the Fort Bliss Army base in El Paso has been informed about the danger, according to another source.

Homeland Security did not respond to repeated inquiries from Judicial Watch about the reports.

The terror alert came just hours after intelligence officials revealed that they are seeing a significant rise in “chatter” among terror groups ahead of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

The warning also comes in the wake of reports that heavily armed drug cartels are operating along the border in Mexico and have virtually taken control of some regions with no interference from Mexican police, which could create a vacuum that would allow terrorist cells to operate.

The danger has led the Border Patrol to order its officers to avoid crime-infested areas because of the potential of cross-border shooting incidents, Judicial Watch said.  Article taken from: Newsmax

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Article source:  Written by: Misha Uzan

During his last press conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Hamas to the Islamic State (IS). According to him, Israel and the United States are both fighting the same war against radical Islam. But in fact, that war is taking place on more than just these two fronts.

For 15 years, all French presidents without exception have expressed their refusal to allow the conflict in the Middle East to be “imported” inside of France’s borders. Since France has the largest Muslim and Jewish communities in Europe, that fear is widespread and repeatedly comes up every time Israel and its closest neighbors enter another round of hostilities. Yet I dare to say it: the conflict has not been imported into France (or elsewhere).

My point is not to deny the events of July and August: the synagogues that were attacked, the violence against Jewish businesses in Sarcelles or elsewhere. Nor do I wish to deny the numerous attacks that have been ongoing since before the 2000s. On the contrary, I argue that in France, as in Israel, the United States and elsewhere, this is a single conflict.

When flags of Hamas and Jihad adorn the streets of Paris, it is not an imported conflict but the same conflict in France, Israel, and in all democracies. This fight is the one that pits jihadism, Islamist totalitarianism — hence enemies of liberty in general — against democracies.

Should we not fight totalitarianism wherever it is found? When people shout “Death to the Jews” or “Death to Israel” in the streets of the French capital, shouldn’t the French react and protest instead of being afraid of “adding fuel to the fire”, “raising tensions” or “importing the conflict?” In order to not “import the conflict,” should we muzzle those who think that the fighting in Gaza is important not only for Israel but also for the rest of the civilized world?

When the French intelligence service thwarted an attack against the Strasbourg Cathedral, they participated in the war against Islamic totalitarianism. When the Israeli army destroyed tunnels that permitted Hamas members to infiltrate Israel so as to kill soldiers or civilians, they did the same. When American forces bombed Islamic State targets in Iraq, they contributed to the war just as French army did when it fought against al-Qaida in Maghreb and in Mali. These are all just several fronts in the same war.

Of course, I realize that there are strategic reasons and geopolitical interests that push a particular state to act in one country and not in another, at one time and not at another. Nevertheless, it is the still same conflict against the same totalitarianism that is comparable to fascism, Nazism and communism. It is a world war. Although it is left unsaid and even if the heads of state are not always aware of it, WWIII (or WWIV, if you consider the Cold War to be the Third World War), has well and truly begun. It is certainly different from the previous two, but the Cold War was also different. It is a war that could spread over time and space and one that could prove to be even harder than the previous ones were.

In a discussion on Facebook, a friend asked me why the conflict between Israel and Gaza has provoked so many strong reactions, passionate arguments and controversies in francophone communities on social networks while the war between Russia and Ukraine gave rise to so much less, despite the fact that there are notable Russian and Ukrainian communities in France. There are several reasons that could explain this discrepancy: the growing importance of social networks in a long conflict on the one hand and the relative detachment of Russian and Ukrainian communities vis-à-vis their respective countries on the other, or the fact that those of Ukrainian origin in France are often Russian speakers and very divided on the events. But all these reasons are not sufficient. The main reason lies in the fact that the war between Russia and Ukraine, however important it may be in the world and for the world given the powerful sides involved, is only a local conflict. The conflict between Israel and Gaza, on the other hand, which directly involves much smaller players on the international scene, is not a local conflict, but a local expression of a global conflict. And that makes all the difference.

As Elie Wiesel wrote recently, “what we see today is not a war of the Jews against the Arabs or a war of Israelis against the Palestinians. Rather, it is a war between those who defend life and those who glorify death. This is a fight of civilization against barbarism. “

Misha Uzan is a Web Editor for i24news in French and a journalist. He is also the author of “Next Year in Tel Aviv”, recently released book for sale on the Internet.


Article by: Michelle Malkin   –

Friday, August 22, 2014

Meet Ali Muhammad Brown. His homicidal Islamic terror spree over the last few months took him from coast to coast. But the usual suspects who decry hate crimes and gun violence haven’t uttered a peep.

For two bloody months, an armed jihadist serial killer ran loose across the country. At least four innocent men died this spring and summer as acts of “vengeance” on behalf of aggrieved Muslims, the self-confessed murderer has now proclaimed. Have you heard about this horror? Probably not.

The usual suspects who decry hate crimes and gun violence haven’t uttered a peep. Why? Like O.J.’s glove: If the narrative don’t fit, you must acquit. The admitted killer will be cast as just another “lone wolf” whose familiar grievances and bloodthirsty Islamic invocations mean nothing.

I say: Enough with the whitewashing. Meet Ali Muhammad Brown. His homicidal Islamic terror spree took him from coast to coast. The 29-year-old career thug admitted to killing Leroy Henderson in Seattle in April; Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle on June 1; and college student Brendan Tevlin, 19, in Essex County, New Jersey, on June 25. Tevlin was gunned down in his family Jeep on his way home from a friend’s house. Ballistics and other evidence linked all the victims to Muhammad Brown. Police apprehended him last month hiding in an encampment near the Watchung Mountains of West Orange, New Jersey.

While he was on the run, he disguised himself in a Muslim keffiyeh. He carried a notebook with jihadist scribblings and advice on evading detection. I obtained the latest charging documents filed in Washington state, which detail the defiant domestic terrorist’s motives.

Muhammad Brown told investigators that Tevlin’s slaying was a “just kill.” The devout Islamic adherent proclaimed: “My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day.” Echoing jihadist Fort Hood mass killer Nidal Hasan, Muhammad Brown cited Muslim deaths in “Iraq, Syria, (and) Afghanistan” as the catalysts for his one-man Islamic terror campaign. “All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life.”

When a detective asked him to clarify whether all four murders were “done for vengeance for the actions of the United States in the Middle East,” Muhammad Brown stated unequivocally: “Yes.” He added that he was “just doing (his) small part.”

Seattle’s left-wing mayor, Ed Murray, rushed to issue a statement — which might as well have sported an insipid “Coexist” bumper sticker across the page — asserting that Muhammad Brown’s seething, deadly hatred did “not reflect the values of Muslims.” But the fact is Ali Muhammad Brown has plenty of company. Seattle alone has been a long-festering hotbed of anti-American, anti-Semitic jihadism.

In 2011, a Muslim terror ring led by Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh plotted “to kill officers and employees of the Department of Defense who worked at the (Military Entrance Processing Stations) located in the Federal Center South building in Seattle, Washington, and to kill other persons assisting such officers and employees in the performance of their duties” using “fully-automatic weapons pistols, and fragmentation grenades.”

In 2007, Seattle jihadist James Ujaama pleaded guilty to terrorism charges related to his plan to establish a terror-training ground in Bly, Oregon. He had previously pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban.

In 2006, Everett, Washington Islamic revenge-seeker Naveed Haq shot six innocent women and killed one at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building while spewing anti-Israel hatred and Muslim diatribes.

In 2002, James Ujaama’s mosque leader, Abdul Raheem Al Arshad Ali of the radical Dar-us-Salaam mosque in Seattle’s Central District, was first arrested on illegal weapons charges. He had provided arms to fellow Seattle-area Muslim cleric, Semi Osman. The ethnic Lebanese born in Sierra Leone had served in a naval reserve fueling unit based in Tacoma, Washington. Osman had access to fuel trucks similar to the type used by al-Qaida in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, which killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded nearly 400 other Americans. Osman later pleaded guilty to illegal weapons possession.

Another militant Seattle jihadist, Muslim convert Ruben Shumpert (aka Amir Abdul Muhaimin) was arrested after an FBI raid in 2004 for his role in a terror-financing scheme. He skipped out on his sentencing hearing and turned up in Somalia, where he was killed fighting the U.S. military. Terror group al Shabaab hailed Muhaimin as a martyr.

Which brings us back to Ali Muhammad Brown, who had been arrested 10 years ago as part of Muhaimin’s suspected terror-financing ring. A decade later, despite being on the feds’ radar screen, four innocent men are dead at Muhammad Brown’s hand.

These homegrown Muslim haters don’t want to coexist. They want to kill and help fund and train other Islamic killers. They are living and working among us, embedded in local mosques and inside our military. Where are our political leaders? Making Kumbaya excuses, sitting on the sidelines and golfing while homegrown and global jihad burn.


– See more at:

Date: August 20, 2014 – 3:45AM

By: Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller

Smoke billows from an Israeli air strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip.
 Smoke billows from an Israeli air strike in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Photo: AFP

Gaza: Three rockets fired from Gaza struck southern Israel on Tuesday, breaking a ceasefire, drawing Israeli retaliation and prompting Israel to recall its delegation from already fraught Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo for an agreement to end the conflict.

The three rockets struck southern Israel, near the city of Beersheba, the Israeli military said, nearly eight hours before a ceasefire – extended by one day on Monday – was due to expire. Two other rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system over the southern town of Netivot.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, which the military said caused no casualties or damage. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, the dominant movement in the Gaza Strip, said it had no knowledge of any rockets being fired.

A Palestinian boy points up to the sky as he spots two Israeli drones.

A Palestinian boy points up to the sky as he spots two Israeli drones. Photo: AFP

“This rocket attack was a grave and direct violation of the ceasefire,” Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Beersheba was targeted. A military spokesman said that in response to the salvoes, “terror targets across the Gaza Strip” were attacked.

 Witnesses said Israeli aircraft carried out at least 25 strikes, and hospital officials reported that five Palestinians, two of them children, were wounded. The attacks spurred a new exodus of dozens of Palestinian families who had fled previous fighting and returned home only days ago.

On Mr Netanyahu’s order, Israeli delegates to the indirect talks with the Palestinians, on ending the Gaza war and charting the territory’s future, flew home.

Israel has said repeatedly that it would not negotiate under fire, and Egyptian mediators have been struggling to end the five-week-old Gaza conflict and seal a deal that would open the way for reconstruction aid to flow to the territory of 1.8 million, where thousands of homes have been destroyed.

The Palestinians want Egypt and Israel to lift their blockades of the economically-crippled Gaza Strip that predated the Israeli offensive launched on July 8 after a surge in cross-border rocket fire by Hamas.

The Palestinian Health Ministry put the Gaza death toll at 2,016 and said most were civilians in the small, densely populated coastal territory. Israel said it has killed hundreds of Gaza gunmen in the fighting. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have been killed.

Before the latest flare-up, Azzam al-Ahmad, senior leader of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, said there had been “no progress on any point” in the negotiations, in which Israel has said ensuring its security was its paramount concern.

Earlier, in Cairo the chief Palestinian delegate to the indirect negotiations with Israel cautioned that violence could erupt anew if the talks failed.

Israel, like Egypt, views Hamas as a security threat and wants guarantees any removal of border restrictions will not result in militant groups obtaining weapons.

“We hope that every minute of the coming 24 hours will be used to reach an agreement, and if not (successful), the circle of violence will continue,” Ahmad said before hostilities resumed.

Reuters, The New York Times

Read more:


AUG 12 2014 // 9:45PM AS SEEN ON

Tonight on “The Kelly File,” a foreign affairs correspondent gave an incredible firsthand account of Christians trapped on a mountain in Iraq.

Yesterday, Jonathan Rugman, a correspondent for Channel 4 News in the U.K., flew to the mountain where Iraqi Christians are stranded. Today, the pilot that flew him died in a helicopter crash.

Rugman said that refugees tried to overwhelm the helicopter, clinging to it. The chopper tried to take off, and it overturned, killing the pilot and injuring passengers. Rugman said he spoke to the pilot minutes before he took off.

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“He said to me through the helicopter door, ‘I’m worried for this helicopter, it’s too heavy,’” Rugman told Martha MacCallum.

MacCallum asked Rugman how many people he thinks have been lost on the mountain and how many remain there awaiting help. He said it’s an impossible question to answer because nobody is counting.

Rugman said Sinjar Mountain is a misnomer because it’s a mountain range that stretches for miles and is about a mile high. He described it as barren and said there’s no shelter from the sun. Rugman spoke to a man today who told him that he had seen 33 unburied bodies and had buried two people.

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“[There’s] no question that a humanitarian disaster has happened and that many people have died up there.”

Rugman said some refugees are making their way down the mountain out of desperation. They’re headed to Syria to make a roundabout journey back into Iraq.

“I saw a steady stream, the stream has been going on for days.”

Watch his full account here.

Source: Jerusalem Post

Witnesses claim of Israeli strike on UN school comes as IDF renews heavy artillery shelling in Gaza; Israel does not send delegation to Cairo talks.

GAZA/JERUSALEM – Witnesses and medics inside the Gaza Strip said on Sunday afternoon that an Israeli air strike killed at least 10 people and wounded about 30 others in a UN-run school in the southern Gaza Strip, as the IDF renewed heavy shelling in Gaza.

The IDF said that it was looking into the reports and had no immediate comment on the attack.

A missile launched by an aircraft struck the entrance to the school in the town of Rafah, the witnesses and medics said. Hundreds of Palestinians in the area, where the Israeli military has been battling militants, had been sheltering in the facility.

Last Wednesday the IDF said gunmen had fired mortar bombs from near a UN-run school and it shot back in response. At least 15 Palestinians who sought refuge in the school in Jabalya refugee camp were killed in that incident after Israeli artillery shells hit the building.


In Cairo, efforts to find a new truce were due to resume on Sunday.

A delegation from Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad arrived in the Egyptian capital, but a quick breakthrough seemed unlikely in the absence of Israeli representatives.

After accusing Hamas of breaching a US- and UN-brokered ceasefire on Friday, Israel said it would not send envoys as scheduled.

In Gaza, Israel intensified attacks in the area of Rafah along the border with Egypt, where 23-year-old officer Lt. Hadar Goldin was feared captured there on Friday shortly after what was to have been a 72-hour truce began.

The military later said Lt. Goldin, who was dragged by militants into a tunnel after two of his comrades were killed by a suicide bomber, had also died in action.




Source: i24 News Isreal Analysis

Newly forged special relationship with Egypt, weakening of Hamas are two of Israel’s achievements in Gaza op

After 27 days and 63 Israeli Defense Forces fatalities, the war is over. At least as far as Israel is concerned. The unilateral withdrawal is a political decision informed by military considerations. The IDF has set up a line of defense within the buffer zone of three kilometers from the Gaza border, parallel with moving its troops out of the Hamas-controlled enclave. Granted, should Hamas keep firing rockets, the IDF will return to operational mode and bomb Gaza from air, with the repeat of the ground incursion very much on the table.

All these moves are coordinated with Egypt. Israel’s security coordination with Egypt during the operation has been unprecedentedly close; from Israel’s viewpoint, the special relation with the north-African ally is its most important strategic asset in the region, and the main achievement from this war.

The IDF is set to demolish the last of the tunnels on Sunday, meaning 31 Hamas tunnels leading into Israel were uncovered and decommissioned during the operation. These were tunnels intended for attacking Israel, and a huge amount of military equipment was found inside, including motorcycles, bulletproof vests, munitions and rocket launchers, as well as provisions that could last the fighters some time.

The destruction of the tunnels was the stated goal of the IDF at the start of the ground incursion 17 days ago; prior to that, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s motto was “quiet shall be reciprocated with quiet.”

What cemented the decision of the members of the government’s security cabinet to go ahead with the unilateral retreat was the Friday morning incident, which resulted in the death of Lt. Hadar Goldin and two other soldiers; Thursday night, after consulting with Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen and talks with the Egyptians and the Americans, Israel agreed to the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire during which talks aimed to restore quiet were slated to start. Hamas leadership announced it was prepared to accept the truce that went into effect at 8 AM and lasted 80 minutes. At 9.20 the incident where the IDF soldiers lost their lives had already played out.

That was the straw the broke the back of the camel. Israel realized there’s no point in talks, including mediated ones, after the group broke the previous truces. In the cabinet meeting that lasted until 2 AM on Saturday night it was decided to start the unilateral withdrawal, in coordination with Egypt.

A factor that contributed to the decision was the news that tunnels Hamas put five years of work and tens of millions of dollars into were destroyed within two weeks of accelerated activity of the IDF. Additionally, the terror group’s rocket stockpiles dwindled from some nine thousand to about 2500. Over four thousand rockets were destroyed and some 2800 seized and transferred to Israel.

This marks the start of disarmament of Hamas, in the knowledge that in the future Egypt will closely monitor and destroy the tunnels when and if the Rafah border crossing is reopened. According to IDF estimates between 700 and 800 Hamas terrorists and operatives were killed – about 45% of the total Gaza toll. Yet that’s a small consolation. A “mere” 800 civilians were killed, including many children. Despite the IDF’s efforts to prevent casualties among the civilian population, Israel should be very unhappy with this figure.

The bottom line is that Hamas was severely battered and humiliated, and the heavy toll to the civilian population of Gaza could hurt the organization’s image further. No wonder Hamas pleaded for a ceasefire a few days ago, which it then violated. IDF is hoping that this will serve as deterrence to Hamas and bring several years of quiet to Israel’s south. One should mention here the Second Lebanon War and its aftermath. What seemed at first like a tactical failure and a Hezbollah victory was a huge strategic achievement by Israel that brought eight years of quiet to its north.

Video of Netanyahu Speech

Yossi Melman is an Israeli intelligence and security commentator and co-author of “Spies Against Armageddon, inside Israel’s secret wars.”​ He tweets @yossi_melman.

Source: Jerusalem Post!

08/01/2014 01:04

Kerry, Ban Ki-moon announce three day humanitarian truce, spokesman says Hamas agrees to the ceasefire commencing at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.

John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon make statements to reporters in Cairo Photo: REUTERS
UNITED NATIONS/NEW DELHI – Israel and Islamist militant group Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in their conflict in the Gaza Strip starting on Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday.

The ceasefire will begin at 8 a.m.  on Aug. 1, they said in a joint statement. The statement said “forces on the ground will remain in place” during the truce, implying that Israeli ground forces will not withdraw.

Hamas said it would abide by a three-day mutual ceasefire with Israel to begin early on Friday.

“Acknowledging a call by the United Nations and in consideration of the situation of our people, resistance factions agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian and mutual calm that begins at 8 a.m on Friday as long as the other side abides by it,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

“All the Palestinian factions are united behind the issue in this regard,” Abu Zuhri said. UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry has received assurances that all parties have agreed to the humanitarian ceasefire, the statement put out by the US and UN said.

“We urge all parties to act with restraint until this humanitarian ceasefire begins, and to fully abide by their commitments during the ceasefire,” Kerry and Ban said. “This ceasefire is critical to giving innocent civilians a much-needed reprieve from violence.”

Israeli and Palestinian delegations will immediately travel to Cairo for negotiations with the Egyptian government to reach a durable ceasefire, the statement said.

Fifty-six Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza clashes in Gaza and some 400 wounded. Three civilians have been killed by Hamas shelling in Israel.

Gaza officials say 1,427 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed and nearly 7,000 wounded.

The United Nations said nearly a quarter of the 1.8 million Palestinians in the Mediterranean enclave had been displaced, with more than 220,000 seeking shelter in U.N. facilities. Eight U.N. employees have been killed in the conflict.