Posted by: Lister | December 30, 2008

Ceasefire?

International pressure is mounting and there are plans for sending in more aid. The Telegraph says a ceasefire is not on the table:

The humanitarian plan envisages a 48-hour period during which the Israeli armed forces would direct their fire away from the crossing points into Gaza so desperately needed aid could be delivered.

[…] It reflected international concern at the growing civilian hardship within Gaza, where many of the 1.5 million-strong population have been without power, mains water or fresh food since the operation began on Saturday.

Earlier an Israeli newspaper reported that Israeli army chiefs had recommended a 48-hour ceasefire to assess whether the Hamas leadership would be willing to end the rocket attacks on Israel that precipitated operation Cast Lead.

This was denied publicly by the Israeli defence ministry, but the fact that such an idea was being discussed suggested a growing willingness among Israeli planners to think about the endgame for the operation.

[…] three Israelis died on Monday, killed by the deadliest ever barrage of rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militants.

The loss of three lives to rockets and mortars fired from Gaza was the worst daily death toll suffered by Israel since militants began firing rockets eight years ago.

[…] Early on Monday, the Israeli press ran columns indicating satisfaction that the rocket fire from militants in Gaza had been greatly reduced, suggesting that the Israeli strikes had taken out significant stockpiles of militants’ weapons and middle ranking militant commanders responsible for firing them.

That appears a false dawn after a series of rocket and mortar attacks throughout Monday claimed four Israeli lives.

A construction worker died when a building site was hit by a rocket in Ashkelon, a commuter died further north in the town of Ashdod when a longer range rocket landed and a soldier was killed by a mortar striking a military base.

The Quartet has asked for a ceasefire. BBC:

The Quartet, of the US, EU, UN and Russia, urged “an immediate ceasefire that would be fully respected”.

“They called on all parties to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza and to take necessary measures to ensure the continuous provision of humanitarian supplies,” said the statement.
[…] The announcements came as Israel confirmed that a rocket fired by Hamas militants in Gaza landed in the town of Beersheba, 42km (26 miles) inside Israeli.

The attack is the furthest a missile has ever reached inside Israel.

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Responses

  1. From the beginning of the original ceasefire, The Times, (June 2008):

    After increasing the amount of humanitarian aide into Gaza by 30 per cent this week, Israel resealed the border crossings when the first mortars violated the truce on Tuesday, causing infrastructure damage and slightly injuring two Israelis.

    Hamas today lashed out for the first time at militants who it claims were trying deliberately to breach the ceasefire to destroy the Islamists’ grip on the territory. Today’s rocket-attacks have been claimed by the al-Asqa Martyrs Brigades, a military splinter group of Fatah.

    “It has become clear that some Palestinian parties do not want this calm deal to succeed and they do not want the siege to be lifted,” Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman, said. “Those who fired the rockets did not aim them at the Zionist enemy but fired them to settle internal scores.”

    Islamic Jihad said that last Tuesday’s rocket attack was in retaliation for the Israeli Army’s killing of one of its commanders in the occupied West Bank, where the ceasefire does not apply. However, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades used the same reasoning for today’s attack, a move which Hamas said showed its ulterior motive.

  2. Wiki’s list of Quassam attacks in 2008. Currently it stops on 24th Dec.

    There was a significant lull during the ceasefire, with Fatah’s armed wing taking responsibility for at least some of the breaches.

  3. The wording here made me smile. IHT (Nov 2008 — The ceasefire had been agreed to last another month):

    The confrontations, following five months of relative calm, began to spike earlier this month when the Israeli military destroyed a tunnel being dug toward Israel. The army feared that the tunnel would be used to seize an Israeli soldier as a bargaining chip, like Corporal Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas for more than two years.

    The Israelis said it was a one-off operation, not a violation of the ceasefire agreed to in June, and asked Egypt to pass that message to Hamas in advance. But six Hamas militants were killed during the tunnel’s destruction, leading Hamas to retaliate with rockets, which led to more closures and operations and then more rockets.


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