Hamas Breaks Cease Fire With Roadside Bomb Attack – Israel Resumes Bombing Tunnels

Hopefully Israel will finish the job this time. It is time to take Hamas out, until Hamas is gone there is no chance for peace. 

An Israel Defense Forces spokesman said the air strike came in response to a remote-control bomb attack at the Gaza Strip security fence Tuesday, which killed an Israel Defense Forces tracker and wounded three other soldiers, one seriously.

The border blast was the Palestinians’ first deadly attack since the cease-fire ended Operation Cast Lead, and came the day before the arrival of George Mitchell, the U.S. envoy to the Middle East. 

Earlier on Tuesday, IAF aircraft fired a missile at a militant on a motorbike in the Khan Yunis area of Gaza. The Shin Bet security service, which helped coordinate the missile strike, said the militant, Hussein Abu-Shamaya, was involved in the bomb attack. The bomb was planted by a Hamas breakaway group identified with the Al-Qaida-affiliated Global Jihad, the Shin Bet said. 

In addition, a Palestinian man, apparently a farmer, was killed in exchanges of fire between IDF troops and Palestinians in Gaza after the bomb was detonated, according to Palestinian reports. The incident took place while IDF tanks and soldiers, assisted by helicopters, were patrolling Gaza after the attack. 

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned of a “further response” to the attack. 

“What the IDF did today was not a response but a preliminary action,” he said at a meeting of ministry directors general. “A further response to this serious incident will be forthcoming.” 

The security cabinet is to meet Wednesday to discuss security projects, but the situation in Gaza might also be discussed. 

Olmert, noting that he had termed the cease-fire “fragile,” also said: “We don’t even call it a cease-fire but a holding of fire in the face of Hamas infractions, so that we can retain the IDF’s freedom of action.” 

Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to strike Hamas targets in response to the death of the tracker. 

“We do not intend to gloss over incidents like these,” Barak said. “We will not let Hamas and its outgrowths continue their hostile acts of terror. Anyone who hits us will have to absorb a serious blow in the future, too.” 

Sources in the Prime Minister’s Bureau said Tuesday Israel was not negotiating with Hamas over a cease-fire or second lull. “The Egyptians are speaking to Hamas to attain things that are important for them, but we are not obligated to anything. We have not signed understandings or an agreement with Hamas,” a source in Olmert’s bureau said. 

Israel and Egypt are apparently formulating an understanding on the passage of merchandise from Israel to the Gaza Strip, and at the same time some increased freedom of movement in the opening of the Rafah crossing from the Strip to Egypt. 

The Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings on the Gaza border were closed after the attack. Approximately 185 trucks carrying aid and equipment were to have crossed into Gaza yesterday. 

The bomb near the Gaza border detonated around 8 A.M., as an IDF patrol was passing near the Kissufim crossing, north of Kibbutz Kissufim. The tracker was killed and an officer was seriously hurt. One of his legs was amputated and the other one is severely damaged. Two other soldiers were classified as lightly hurt and will be released in a few days. Soroka Medical Center said they had extensive shrapnel wounds. 

The name of the tracker, a Bedouin, was not released, at the request of his family

A preliminary investigation revealed that the soldiers were patrolling an area that had not been patrolled for several weeks due to the fighting in the Strip. The regional brigade commander was apparently not apprised of the patrol, which was approved by the battalion commander. IDF sources said the Palestinians who planted the bomb did so Monday night, under cover of heavy fog. 

The closure of the Gaza crossings is only the first stage of Israel’s response to the attack, Amos Gilad, who heads the Defense Ministry’s political bureau, said yesterday. “The equation in the Strip has changed,” he said during a lecture at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. 

Yuval Azoulay, Avi Issacharoff and Barak Ravid contributed to this report. 

via Gaza rocket hits Negev; IAF strikes Hamas tunnels after soldier killed – Haaretz – Israel News .

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Obama Lays Ground Work For Direct Negotiations With Iran

Direct diplomacy without preconditions I am sure… Just wait and see. Pretty soon we will be bending over for these asshats while they builds some nukes… Remember what happened with N. Korea under the Clinton administration… 

Change You Can Believe In!

President Obama did a quick pivot Monday, shifting his focus to foreign policy by contacting a handful of major world leaders — including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nikolas Sarkozy — as his new U.N. ambassador restated the desire for vigorous and “direct diplomacy” with Iran.

President Obama did a quick pivot Monday, shifting his focus to foreign policy by contacting a handful of major world leaders — including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nikolas Sarkozy — as his new U.N. ambassador restated the desire for vigorous and “direct diplomacy” with Iran.

Obama spoke with the foreign leaders ahead of a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and his Middle East envoy George Mitchell, who was leaving immediately afterward for a trip to the region. Mitchell will go to Cairo, Egypt; Jersusalem, Israel; Ramallah in the West Bank; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He will also visit Paris and London.

Back in the U.S., U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who was confirmed last week for the post, said Monday that Iran’s refusal to meet international obligations will increase pressure on Tehran to drop its nuclear ambitions and cooperate with the United States and global community.

Besides pursuing nuclear weapons, Iran has called for the destruction of Israel and support for Hamas, a terror group designated by the U.S., Israel and the European Union. 

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Rice’s remarks are not a departure from statements made previously by Obama the candidate. She merely restated the administration position that no forms of communication should be off the table with the Islamic regime. 

“Whether you were on the campaign trail or not, clearly this was something that generated a lot of coverage over the past two years. And I think Ambassador Rice was simply restating the position that the president had,” he said.

Gibbs did not offer any specific initiatives on dealing with Iran, but said Rice’s remarks should come as no surprise.

“This administration is going to use all elements of our national power to address concerns” about Iran’s nuclear program. 

As for the Mitchell trip, Gibbs said Mitchell was ahead overseas “to begin the process that the president promised to be actively engaged in, the peace process there in the Middle East.”

State Department Spokesman Robert A. Wood said the purpose of the trip is to consult with regional leaders on a range of issues, including trying to contain smuggling into Gaza to prevent the rearming of Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules Gaza. He said Mitchell will not meet with any Hamas leaders.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

via Obama, Iran Talks Next? – First 100 Days of Presidency – Politics FOXNews.com .

Chavez Possibly Supporting Hamas And Hezbollah

Not really that much of a surprise… I wonder how much support and the types he is providing… 

Now let’s not forget Chavez is looking to start up a nuke program, allegedly for power, but I would suspect with a little Iranian help this could very easily be a weapons program…

Wonder if Obama will watch his own backyard or if they will be given the Socialists pass…

A new book published in the United States alleges that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is an active and open supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, providing the Lebanese Shi’ite militia with training for its fighters.

In “The Threat Closer to Home: Hugo Chavez and the War Against America,” authors Douglas Schoen and Michael Rowan write that through his support of terror organizations and by providing safe refuge for terrorists, Chavez constitutes a real, concrete threat to the United States.

Venezeula earlier this month cut ties with Israel to protest its military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The move came shortly days after Chavez called the attacks on the Hamas-ruled coastal territory a “holocaust.”

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Last August the Los Angeles Times reported that Western governments fear that Hezbollah is establishing a growing number of operational cells in the South American country.

Iran is long believed to have undertaken covert activity in South America in concert with Hezbollah. The LA Times reported that the U.S. State Department believes Iranian operatives were behind two terrorist attacks in Buenos Aires – the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center building. Both attacks killed dozens of civilians and wounded scores more

via Chavez providing aid to Hamas and Hezbollah, says new book – Haaretz – Israel News .

Carter Has Ended The Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

No not really, but anyone that read the headline and believed, please contact me, I have a bridge for sale…

Carter claims Hamas ready for peace with Israel… Yeah right… This vile ex-President, who has meet on many occassions with a Terrorist Organization, claiming you have to talk with the enemy to make peace with them, disgraced the soldiers that died in Beirut at the hands of Hezbollah by meeting in Syria with Hamas on the 25th anniversary of the barracks bombing, is blowing smoke up the public’s ass, and has accomplished nothing.

Until Hamas stops its terror campaign, there cannot be any chance of peace.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, later said Carter’s comments “do not mean that Hamas is going to accept the result of the referendum.”

Here is the key, no matter what peace agreement is reached, until Israel is no longer, Hamas will not stop.

 JERUSALEM —  Former President Jimmy Carter said Monday that Hamas is prepared to accept the right of Israel to “live as a neighbor next door in peace.”

Carter said the group promised it wouldn’t undermine Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts to reach a peace deal with Israel, as long as the Palestinian people approved it in a referendum. In such a scenario, he said Hamas would not oppose a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

Hamas, a militant Islamic group that both the U.S. and Israel consider a terrorist organization, calls in its charter for Israel’s destruction. It has also traditionally opposed peace negotiations with the Jewish state.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, later said Carter’s comments “do not mean that Hamas is going to accept the result of the referendum.”

Carter’s comments came after his much criticized meetings with the top Hamas leaders in Syria in last week.

The Nobel laureate also urged Israel to engage in direct negotiations with the Islamic militant group, saying it was a “problem” that Israel and the U.S. refuse to meet with Hamas. Both governments consider it a terrorist organization.

“The problem is not that I met with Hamas in Syria,” he said. “The problem is that Israel and the United States refuse to meet with someone who must be involved.”

“There’s no doubt that both the Arab world and Hamas will accept Israel’s right to exist in peace within 1967 borders,” he said, referring to Israel’s frontiers before it captured large swaths of Arab lands in the 1967 Mideast war.

Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he decided not to meet with Carter in Israel because he does not wish to be seen as participating in any negotiations with Hamas.

In his comments Monday, Carter said Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking has “regressed” since a U.S.-hosted Mideast conference in Annapolis, Md., in November.

Israel has been negotiating directly with Abbas, who heads a moderate government based in the West Bank. Abbas lost control of the Gaza Strip last June, when Hamas violently seized control of that territory.

Carter said Hamas has promised to let a captured Israeli soldier send a letter to his parents, and said the militants “made clear to us that they would accept an interim cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.”

However, Carter said Hamas rejected his specific proposal for a monthlong unilateral cease-fire.

 

I also find Carter’s timing a bit curious… He chose to meet with Hamas just before the start of Passover and again after Passover started… Hmmm… I guess maybe there was extra plague the bible left out, terrorists…

Now Hamas’ real answer to Carter’s peace making trip, a step up of attacks from Gaza. These attacks were authorized if not ordered during the talks with Carter.

As for Hamas, our intelligence sources report that Saturday, April 19, after the Gazan leaders Mahmoud a-Zahar and Siad Siyam, fresh from their Cairo stalemate, met former US president Jimmy Carter in Damascus – and heard his suggestion of a one- or two-week halt in rocket fire as a gesture of good will – they went straight into a conference with their masters.

Khaled Meshaal and Mussa Abu Marzuk were there as well as Iranian intelligence officers based permanently in Syria and Syrian intelligence officers who maintain liaison with Hamas. It was agreed that Hamas would not only continue to batter the Gaza-Israel border as in the last ten days, but intensify its assaults against a broader range of targets.

Sunday night, Hamas fired 8 Qassam missiles and half a dozen mortar rounds against Israel civilian locations, their first nocturnal attack of this kind.

Shortly before midnight, they directed fire at Israeli farmers who were harvesting the Kibbutz Nir Oz potato crop in bullet-proof vests by night to escape sniper fire from Gaza. Israeli air force strikes followed, hitting armed Palestinian bands. At least 8 gunmen were killed over the week end.

DEBKAfile’s military sources stress that these Israeli attacks and the deaths of its operatives offer Hamas neither disincentive nor impediment for its war preparations

Abbas’ 2008 Return Project

Well, May should be an interesting month if what Debka is reporting, should turn out to be true and Abbas is able to organize the Fatah return plan.  

DEBKAfile publishes here for the first time details of the Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbasmaster plan for wrecking Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations. The project is called the “2008 Return”

Its highlights are disclosed here with DEBKAfile’s comments.

The Palestinian leader has circulated guidelines for three million Palestinians to leave their homes on the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon on May 14 and march on Israel’s borders, including the Green Line. The march is to take place a week after Israel’s Independence Day on May 8, 2008. If Israel obstructs their passage, they will strike camp and live in tents until Israel surrenders and lets them through.

This stunt will be accompanied by pressure from the Palestinian Authority on international organizations to force Israel to implement UN Resolution 194, passed by the General Assembly on Dec. 11, 1948.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that Abbas commissioned the “2008 Return” project from a special Fatah forum headed by Ziyad Abu Ain from Ramallah, deputy minister for Palestinian prisoners in the Salam Fayyad government and close associate of Marwan Barghouti, who is serving life for five terrorist murders.

Operation “2008 Return” is described in its introduction as a decision by the Palestinian people “to implement UN resolution (194), declare themselves holders of the UN blue banner, and return to their homeland, from which they were forcefully expelled [Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Ramla, Lod, Ashkelon etc]… in order to live in peace and security with their Israeli neighbors.”

[DEBKAfile: This motion is dredged up from the past as though history had stopped at that point and the subsequent 60 years of Arab belligerence, endless conflict and further UN resolutions had never happened. Another part of the same resolution appointed a Conciliation Committee to establish contact with the parties and assist them reach a final settlement of outstanding questions. This part was buried under decades of Arab rejection.]

The introduction goes on to state: “Neither the Jews nor the international community can stand against the desire of the Palestinian people to exercise their right of return to their homeland and to their homes, land, holy places [Jerusalem] and heritage.”

[DEBKAfile: Mahmoud Abbas incidentally lays claim to Christian as well as Muslim holy sites – therefore also Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee sites.]

The introduction is followed by a set of instructions to Palestinian communities, of which seven are the most relevant:

1. All returnees must attach the UN resolution and refugee card on their chests.

2. All returnees must bring their tents and other goods with them. If obstructed by Israeli forces from reaching their land, they must set up their tents on the border and stay there until Israel surrenders and allows them to cross.

[The plan is to deploy hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in tent cities indefinitely on all of Israel’s borders.]

3. Jewish friends are called upon to assist in resolving the Palestinian refugee problem.

4. Arab governments and friends all over the world are called on to support the logistics of the operation.

5. Palestinian holders of foreign citizenships, especially US and European, are to charter planes for flights to Israel or neighboring countries on May 14, 2008, as well reserving passage on tens of ships to dock at Israeli ports on this date.

6. Personal invitations will be extended to all world leaders for their support.

7. Kings and leaders of Islamic countries will be invited, as well as members of the Israeli government and Knesset. Special invitations will be sent to the US president and members of the Senate.

The document ends with an appeal to the Arab nation, especially the Saudi King Abdullah, to support the operation politically, diplomatically and materially.

DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources report that Mahmoud Abbas intends to submit his ambitious master plan to the summit of Arab rulers meeting in Damascus March 29.

There is no knowing how much support he will win from Arab governments or whether the different Palestinian communities will rise to his call. The whole plan may simply fold for lack of response – or not. Abbas’ main objectives appear to be to upstage the warlike Hamas and throw a wet blanket over Israel’s anniversary celebrations.

Hamas PR Campaign And Media Bias

If you were to believe the mainstream liberal media, the Palestinians in the Gaza strip are already dying from the cold brutal cutoff of fuel from Israel.  Well luckily the liberal media is only fabricating a crisis based on Hamas manipulation. The three key factors here are simple.

  1. Gaza is still receiving 70% of their electricy from Israel directly, yes folks that is right, the fuel cutoff only accounts for 30% of the electricity in the Gaza strip…
  2. It has been less that 24 hours with only 30% of the electrical supply cut off based on lack of fuel 
  3. Hamas is the government of the Gaza Strip and HAS been conducting daily missile launches into Israel for the past year, any sane person would consider these actions when weighing the situtation. I know the liberals are going to cry about how those missiles haven’t killed any Jews, however the aggression is there, and the measurement of hostility is based on agression not success.

A forth item to consider is that if Israel shut down the supply of fuel at 8PM Sunday, then Hamas is either poorly managing their fuel supply or shut down while they still have a supply, either way Hamas is directly responsible for this and only when Hamas stops its terrors activities can there be a chance for peace. Remember Israel pulled out of Gaza over a year ago and Hamas is still attacking Israel. Who is the aggressor?

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip —  Gaza City awoke Monday to shuttered bread shops and gas stations, prompting officials to warn of a possible humanitarian crisis as Israel pressed ahead with efforts to stop Palestinian rocket fire, refusing to reopen crossings or allow in crucial fuel supplies.

Children marched through dark dark streets holding candles, an angry Hamas TV announcer shouted at the camera “we are being killed, we are starving!” and Palestinian leaders issued emotional pleas for national unity. Israel accused Gaza’s Hamas rulers of fabricating a crisis to gain world sympathy.

Electricity officials shut down Gaza’s only power plant just before 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) Sunday, Gaza Energy Authority head Kanan Obeid said.

Health Ministry official Moaiya Hassanain warned that the fuel cutoff would cause a health catastrophe. “We have the choice to either cut electricity on babies in the maternity ward or heart surgery patients or stop operating rooms,” he said.

Gaza bakeries stopped operating because of the blockade, bakers said, because they had neither power nor flour. Residents of the strip typically rely on fresh pita bread as a main part of their diet.

Waiting in a line at the only bakery for kilometers around, Mohammed Salman said he had spent far more on a taxi getting to the shop than he would on bread. /**/

“I’m going to buy something that my family can keep for only two days because there is no electricity and no refrigerator,” Salman said. “We cannot keep anything longer than that.”

In addition to the fuel it receives from Israel to power its electrical plant, Gaza gets about 70 percent of its electricity directly from Israel — and that has not been stopped, Israeli officials said.

The power plant supplies most of the remaining electricity, and Israeli officials acknowledged that the fuel used to supply it has been stopped.

Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Shlomo Dror said Israel would “do everything” to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Dror suggested that the crossings would not be opened in the coming days, saying that a reduction of rocket attacks this week was not enough to bring about the lifting of the blockade. The army said five rockets were fired on Sunday, down from 53 in the two previous days.

“If we open the crossings again tomorrow there will be rockets that fall again on Israel,” Dror said. “They don’t want to recognize Israel and want to destroy Israel, that’s their problem. They shouldn’t expect that we will help them destroy us.”

Dror and other Israeli officials charged that Hamas was creating a false crisis and could resume the electricity if it wanted.

Hamas claimed that five people had died at hospitals because of the power outage. However, health officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were contradicting the official line, denied the claim.

Israel was trying to find a way to stop rocket fire into its southern communities. The barrages have virtually paralyzed life there since a spike in fighting last week that followed an Israeli anti-rocket operation in Gaza.

Israel sealed all crossings into Gaza last week in response to the fighting, cutting off fuel, food and medicine. Several weeks ago Israel reduced the fuel supply as a pressure tactic. Gazans said Monday that they were eating less meat and dairy products since they had no power for refrigerators. The price of meat has doubled in 10 days.

Late Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appealed to Israel to lift the blockade, said Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeneh. Abbas effectively rules only the West Bank after Hamas expelled his forces from Gaza last June.

Abbas renewed peace talks with Israel after a U.S. peace conference in November. On Monday, some Palestinians urged Abbas to break them off.

“We ask the Palestinian Authority to halt negotiations, and demand that (Israel) lift the embargo on Gaza as a condition of returning to negotiations,” Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Negotiators for Abbas’ government will raise the Gaza situation in the next negotiating session, but Abbas does not want to pull out of the talks because of what’s happening in Gaza, said Nabil Shaath, Abbas’ representative in Egypt.

The exiled leader of Hamas on Sunday evening urged Arab leaders and Abbas to forget their differences and help the Gaza Strip. It was a dramatic and emotional plea from the hard-line Khaled Mashal, who lives in exile in Damascus, Syria.

“Oh Arab leaders, every minute in which a Palestinian dies in Gaza, you are responsible for his blood and soul before God,” he told Al-Jazeera satellite TV in a live interview from Syria.

He also called for Palestinian unity. “God is not going to forgive you nor Hamas if we don’t meet on the grounds of brotherhood … This is a sincere call, without any politics,” Mashal said.

A Hamas-linked militant group threatened to crash through the border with Egypt “by force.”

Human rights groups condemned the fuel cutoff. The British group Oxfam called it “ineffective as well as unlawful.” Gisha, an Israeli group that has fought the fuel cutbacks in Israel’s Supreme Court, said “punishing Gaza’s 1.5 million civilians does not stop the rocket fire; it only creates an impossible ‘balance’ of human suffering on both sides of the border.”

Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, but many see Israel as still responsible, since it controls most land, sea and air access to the territory.

The Israeli military commander, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, said Sunday that a solution to the rocket fire is not near but said “even if it takes time, the goal will be achieved.”

Late Sunday Israel carried out two airstrikes in Gaza City against rocket launchers, killing one militant, Palestinian security forces said. In the West Bank, a Palestinian militant was killed in an Israeli army operation in the town of Tulkarem.

Hamas Preparing To Raid Israel

It appears that Hamas is getting ready to conduct a raid against Israel. They are training with new kalashnikovs in Gaza. The recent attempt at Fatah and the West Bank to try to reach a deal with Israel in Annapolis is a sore spot for Hamas. What is great is that Hamas claims it is getting ready for an Israeli military response to the rocket attacks from Gaza… The admit to attacking Israel and being the aggressor in this case… This breaks from the norm of playing victim when in fact they are the primary instigator…

Another interest note is the Hamas terrorist threat to kidnap Israeli soldiers… This fall back to last years offensives against Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon…. Hezbollah has reached a higher level of weapons stock than last year….

It is looking more like a coordinated attack will be coming soon…

Armed members of Hamas are conducting practical drills for a possible attack on Israel.

FOX News had an exclusive look at the guerrillas as they trained with new Kalashnikovs in the Gaza Strip.

“The U.S. and Israel and other regional powers were generous enough to provide Fatah security with very good weapons, and now they are in our hands,” one gunman told FOX News.

The Hamas militants say they are training for an Israeli military response to their persistent rocket and mortar fire aimed at Israeli towns. The gunman wouldn’t say where they obtained the rocket-propelled grenades and roadside bombs.

“This training is part of the Hamas preparation to stop an Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip,” another gunman said. “We will hit them bad and many of them will be kidnapped.”