Iran General: We Will Hunt Down Israelis House To House

Posted July 30, 2014 by Louisiana Steve
Categories: Uncategorized

Iran General: We Will Hunt Down Israelis House To House
Reza Kahlili 9:50 PM 07/27/2014

The snake is beginning to rear its ugly head.-LS

The deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards vowed revenge against Israel for its ongoing military incursion into Gaza, which has already killed hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israelis.

“You [people of Israel] are trees without any roots which were planted in the Islamic lands by the British,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said at this week’s Friday prayer sermon in Tehran, Fars News Agency reported. That statement referred to the Balfour Declaration, which led to the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire after World War I and the eventual creation of the state Israel in 1948.

“We will chase you house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine,” Salami said. “and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat.”

The deputy commander promised that Palestine will no longer remain calm and cited a statement by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic regime: “Imam [Khomeini] with the statement that Israel must be wiped from the face of the Earth gave a true message to the world. This message enlightened the Muslims and became the concept on the streets of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.”

Salami, recalling previous wars Israel fought against Hezbollah in Lebanon, said: “The end of the Zionist regime [Israel] has arrived. Islamic movements are armed, missiles are positioned, and today we witness how the arms of the resistance in a corner of the Islamic world are controlling the events in the face of the tragic and barbaric attack by the Zionist regime against the oppressed and defenseless Palestinians in Gaza.”

Salami blamed the U.S. and England for Israel’s policies and activities in the region and stated, “The balance of power will change to the benefit of the Islamic world, and we warn the Zionists that you are a rootless society with no land, no race, no history and no element which constitute a nation. Today, no place in the occupied land is safe for the Zionists … today the missiles of the Palestinian resistance cover much farther than the Zionists expected.

“We are confident that Allah’s promises will come true and in the end the Islamic world will be the graveyard of America and the Zionist regime’s policies along with their allies in the region. The flag of Islam will be raised,” Salami concluded.

The Islamic regime has long trained and armed Hezbollah and Palestinian forces for attacks against Israel. In reference to further arming Palestinians, the speaker of the regime’s Parliament, Ali Larijani, said in a statement Wednesday: “The clear need of Palestine is its need for weapons and basic necessities, and Iran plays an important role in meeting the clear needs of the Palestinian people.”

As reported by The Daily Caller on Wednesday, the Islamic regime’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the only solution for the region is the destruction of Israel, and that the armed confrontation must expand beyond Gaza.

“These crimes are beyond imagination and show the true nature of the wolfish and child killer regime, (and) the only solution is its destruction,” the ayatollah declared to his audience. “However, until that time, the expansion of the armed resistance of the Palestinians (from Gaza to) the West Bank is the only way to confront this wild regime.”

Tasnim News Agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, reported on Wednesday that in a letter, 40 high-ranking Guard commanders warned America that it will “certainly be held responsible for the consequences of these events [in Gaza].” The commanders included Ali Shamkhani, current secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council; Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of the Guards and current adviser to the supreme leader; and Ghasem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Forces (in charge of terrorist activities outside of Iran).

The regime has been awarded $2.8 billion in sanctions relief by the Obama administration in return for an agreement on a four-month extension to the Geneva talks in finding a peaceful solution to its illegitimate nuclear program. The Islamic regime had received $7 billion in sanctions relief after the negotiated agreement last November with a six-month deadline to finalize the agreement, but it has so far refused to back down from its demand to continue developing its nuclear program. It has also succeeded in excluding from the talks its ballistic missile program, which is under U.N. sanctions.

The Revolutionary Guards announced last week its first anti-radar ballistic missile, named “Hormouz 1,” and claims it can penetrate and destroy missile defense systems and could now destroy Israel’s famed Iron Dome missile defense system, as well as any Patriot missile defense system. The announcement said the missile could be used to attack the radar systems of U.S. warships and aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI)

Iran: We’ll send arms for West Bank war

Posted July 30, 2014 by Louisiana Steve
Categories: Uncategorized

Iran: We’ll send arms for West Bank war
LAST UPDATED: 07/30/2014 11:41

Once a snake, always a snake.-LS

Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister: During the recent crisis, we were in direct contact and held consultations with Hamas.

Tehran is going to provide missiles to Palestinians in the West Bank, Amir Mousavi, a former adviser to the Iranian defense minister, says.

“A new front must be opened from the West Bank, after it has been armed – especially with missiles, because we know very well that the distance between the West Bank and Tel Aviv, Haifa and other areas is much shorter than the distance from Gaza,” Mousavi said on Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV on Friday, MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) reported.

“Therefore, simple means are required. There is no need for long-range missiles.”

Mousavi said that the “resistance camp,” made up of Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and Syria, has “established very important channels via Jordan, the Golan Heights, and other areas.”

“Everybody will see that new and significant fronts will be opened all of a sudden to support the Palestinian cause in the West Bank and in Gaza,” he asserted.

The “arming of Gaza will be stepped up and strategic weapons will be introduced into the West Bank,” he added. “We hope the PA will not hinder us.”

In another interview on Sunday reported by MEMRI, this time on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV station, Iran’s Deputy Minister for Arab and Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said his country has been in constant contact with Hamas throughout the current crisis.

“Even under the worst conditions, Iran maintained good ties with Hamas. During the recent crisis, we were in direct contact and held consultations with Hamas, with [leader] Ismail Haniyeh, and with Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mashaal,” said Abdollahian.

He claimed that “85 percent” of Hamas’s rockets “hit their targets” despite reports that Israel’s Iron Dome system has shot down nearly every rocket headed for a built-up area.

“Two days ago, the Iranian foreign minister called Khaled Mashaal and talked with him for 20 minutes. This was a very important conversation,” Abdollahian said. “We regularly support Hamas and Islamic Jihad and all factions of the Palestinian resistance.”

Iran Sends Boatload Of Fajr-5 Missiles To Gaza To Launch At Tel Aviv

Posted July 30, 2014 by Louisiana Steve
Categories: Uncategorized

Iran Sends Boatload Of Fajr-5 Missiles To Gaza To Launch At Tel Aviv
NTEB News Desk | November 19, 2012 (Yes, 2012)

Meanwhile, the Israelis were dragged through yet another endless round of peace talks. You can’t say no one knew about the Fajr’s. The snake struck again.-LS)

Iran sends hundreds of Fajr-5 Missiles To Gaza

An Iranian 150-ton freighter departed Bandar Abbas port Sunday, Nov. 18, with a cargo of 220 short-range missiles and 50 improved long-range Fajr-5 rockets for the Gaza Strip, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report. The ship turned toward the Bab al-Mandeb Straits and the Red Sea.

The new Fajr-5′s have a 200-kilo warhead, which packs a bigger punch than the 175 kilos of explosives delivered by the rockets in current use with the Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. To extend their range to cover the 85 kilometers from Gaza to Tel Aviv, Hamas removed a part of their payloads to make them lighter.

Tehran is sending the fresh supply of disassembled rockets to replenish the stocks its allies, the Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islami, depleted in their round-the-clock attacks on Israel since Nov. 10.

To throw Israeli surveillance off the trail, the ship started its voyage called Vali-e Asr owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and was quickly renamed Cargo Star and hoisted the flag of Tuvalu. This South Pacific island nation, which lies between Hawaii and Australia, has a tiny population of 11,000, most of them Polynesians. Iran provides most of its revenue since earlier this year when Prime Minister Willy Telavi agreed to register Iran’s entire tanker fleet of 22 vessels to Tuvalu, to help Tehran dodge the US-EU oil embargo.

Our intelligence sources have learned that four big Sudanese shipping boats sailed out of Port Sudan early Monday and are waiting to rendezvous with the Cargo Star and offload its missile cargo in mid-sea.

The Sudanese will then be told by Tehran whether put into Port Sudan with the missiles, or turn north and sail up the Red Sea to the Straits of Tiran to link up with Egyptian fishing boats which regularly ply this waterway in the service of Palestinian-Iranian smuggling networks. They would unload the missile cargo in a quiet inlet on the Sinai coast. From there, it would be carried to the smuggling tunnels running from Sinai under the border into the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian teams assisted by Iranian and Hizballah technicians in the Gaza Strip would then assemble the new rockets and make them operational.

Through most of the voyage, two Iranian warships, the Khark heliicopter carrier and Shahid Naqdi destroyer, which are posted permanently in the Red Sea, escorted the arms ship until the cargo changed hands.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources also disclose that the Jihad Islami leader Ramadan Abdullah Shelah was sharply remanded by Tehran for meeting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo Sunday to discuss terms for halting Israel’s counter-missile operation in Gaza now in its sixth day.

Iran bankrolls these Palestinian extremists and has no intention of letting Shelah bow to Cairo’s wishes which run counter to Tehran’s plans and interests.

While Egypt’s new Islamist leaders are intent on carving out for themselves a responsible role in the region by restoring order, solving crises and restraining radicals, radical Iran has its own fish to fry and is bent on escalating war tensions in the Middle East.

Hamas calls on Hezbollah to fight Israel

Posted July 30, 2014 by Joseph Wouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Hamas calls on Hezbollah to fight Israel | The Times of Israel.

Deputy head Moussa Abu Marzouk hopes Lebanese terror group will join conflict; Nasrallah declares support for Gazans

July 30, 2014, 2:32 pm

In this picture taken on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Indian UN peacekeepers with their armored personnel carrier, right, stand guard next to a giant poster that shows Hezbollah fighters and the Al Aqsa Mosque with Arabic and Hebrew words reading: "We are coming," near the barbed wire that separate Lebanon and Israeli-occupied Shebaa farms, southeast Lebanon. (photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)

In this picture taken on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Indian UN peacekeepers with their armored personnel carrier, right, stand guard next to a giant poster that shows Hezbollah fighters and the Al Aqsa Mosque with Arabic and Hebrew words reading: “We are coming,” near the barbed wire that separate Lebanon and Israeli-occupied Shebaa farms, southeast Lebanon. (photo credit: AP/Hussein Malla)

As Operation Protection Edge continues into its fourth week, Hamas has asked Hezbollah to join the fight against Israel.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, the Cairo-based deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, told Russian news agency RIA Novosti, “We hope the Lebanese front will open and together we will fight against this formation [Israel],” The Daily Star reported.

“There’s no arguing that Lebanese resistance could mean a lot,” he declared.

Since the outset of Operation Protective on July 8, several rockets have been fired upon northern Israel from Lebanon, though Palestinian groups, not Hezbollah, have been suspected in those cases.

On Wednesday morning, an IDF patrol was fired upon in the northern Galilee.

Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk (photo credit: AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

While there have been no injuries or damage incurred from these incidents, the IDF, the Lebanese Army and UN peacekeeping troops have all increased their presence along the Israel-Lebanon border.

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has vowed that his party will stand by Hamas and all of Gaza.

In his first remarks on the fighting that erupted on July 8 as Israel launched a campaign to stem rocket fire from Gaza upon Israe’s towns and locate and destroy cross-border attack tunnels, Nasrallah warned Israel on Friday that its efforts to wage war in the Gaza Strip would falter.

“Ehud Barak said that in any possible war between Israel and Gaza, it would be quick and decisive and the victory would be clear,” Nasrallah said, referring to Israel’s former prime minister and defense minister, “but Gaza today says to them — you are cowards that murder children, and if you face our heroes face to face, you and your army will fall.”

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah speaking in July via video feed (image capture from Al Manar News video)

Nasrallah’s speech was reported to be a rare public appearance before a crowd of supporters, though TV footage which only showed the Hezbollah leader alone in extreme close-up made the claim dubious. The speech was given to mark “Al-Quds Day,” a day of solidarity with Palestinians that Arabs traditionally observe on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Al-Quds is Arabic for Jerusalem.

Hezbollah, a Shiite group, has long been one of the closest allies of Hamas, the main Palestinian Sunni faction which controls Gaza. Both terror groups are backed by Iran.

AP and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.


U.N. experts trace recent seized arms to Iran, violating embargo

Posted July 30, 2014 by Louisiana Steve
Categories: Uncategorized

U.N. experts trace recent seized arms to Iran, violating embargo
By Louis Charbonneau June (Yes, June) 28, 2014

Old story but relevant. The snake must have known in advance about the events we see unfolding today.-LS

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A U.N. expert panel has concluded that a shipment of rockets and other weapons that was seized by Israel came from Iran and represents a violation of the U.N. arms embargo on Tehran, according to a confidential report obtained by Reuters on Friday.

The finding comes just days ahead of the next round of negotiations in Vienna between Iran and six world powers aimed at securing a deal that would gradually lift international sanctions on Tehran — including the arms embargo — in exchange for curbs on the controversial Iranian nuclear program.

Despite Israel’s public statements that the seized arms were destined for Gaza — an allegation that Gaza’s governing Islamist militant group Hamas dismissed as a fabrication — the experts said the weapons were being sent to Sudan.

The experts do not speculate in the report about why the arms were being sent to Sudan, a country which Western diplomatic and intelligence sources have told Reuters has in the past been a conduit for Iranian arms shipments to other locations in Africa, as well as the Gaza Strip.

The experts said the Israeli U.N. mission wrote to the U.N. Iran Sanctions Committee on March 13 about “the transfer of rockets, mortars and related materiel from Iran to Sudan.”

The 14-page report on the incident by the U.N. Security Council’s Panel of Experts on Iran makes no mention of the Gaza Strip as a possible destination for the arms, which were concealed in 20 containers on the Panamanian-flagged vessel Klos C. The weaponry was seized by Israeli authorities in March.

The U.N. experts reached their conclusion after investigating the case and inspecting the seized cargo and documentation related to the shipment, which travelled from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas to the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, and from there in the direction of Port Sudan.

The vessel was intercepted by the Israeli navy in the Red Sea before it reached Sudan.

“The Panel finds that the manner of concealment in this case is consistent with several other cases reported to the (Security Council’s Iran Sanctions) Committee and investigated by the Panel,” the experts said.

“The Panel concludes that the shipment of arms and related materiel found aboard the Klos C is a violation of Iran’s obligations under paragraph 5 of resolution 1747,” they added, referring to the U.N. arms embargo on Tehran.

Despite Iranian denials, the experts said official seals from Iranian customs authorities on containers that held some of the arms “substantiates the Iranian origin of those containers.” Further evidence on the Iranian origin came from the Iranian bill of lading, cargo manifest and the container stowage plan.

Iran’s U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


The report includes details on the arms, which were concealed in a shipment of cement: 40 M302 rockets and fuses, including four different variations of the rockets; 181 120 mm mortar shells; roughly 400,000 pieces of 7.62 caliber ammunition.

The experts could not confirm the Israeli allegation that some of the weapons were made in Syria.

“According to Israeli officials, the rockets were produced in Syria by the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC),” they said. “No markings were identified on the rockets during the Panel’s inspection that would have allowed confirmation of the Syrian origin of the rockets.”

“One expert notes that the Syrian origin of the rockets cannot be independently established and neither can the movement of the rockets from Syria to Iran,” the report added.

It was not clear from the report what, if any, role Iraq could have played in the smuggling of weaponry. The 20 containers that held the illicit arms were part of the 100-container shipment loaded onto the Klos C at Bandar Abbas, Iran.

The 50 containers of cement loaded onto the ship at Umm Qasr in Iraq did not contain weapons, the report said, citing information the experts had received from Israeli authorities.

The experts said the concealment techniques were similar to other cases of alleged sanctions violations by Iran they have investigated — in Nigeria, arms were shipped amid crates of marble; in other cases reported by Israel arms were hidden in containers with polyethylene pellets, lentils and cotton.

In another case of reported by Italy, Iran allegedly shipped dried explosives among bags of powdered milk, the report said.

At the time that the arms were seized, Israel said the case showed Iran was not negotiating in good faith with the six powers – the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China.

“At the same time that it is talking to world powers, at the same time that Iran is smiling and saying all kinds of honeyed words, that same Iran is sending lethal weaponry to terrorist organizations and it is doing so in a complex web of covert, worldwide operations,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

The circulation of the Panel of Experts’ report to the Iran Sanctions Committee just ahead of a deadline for Iran and the six powers to reach an agreement in the Vienna nuclear talks clearly irritated Russia.

Earlier this week Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, complained that “any information not backed up by concrete facts … could have a negative impact on the conduct of negotiations of the group of six and Iran.”

But Russia was in the minority in its complaints. Other Security Council members, including the chair of the Iran sanctions committee, Australian Ambassador Gary Quinlan, praised the investigative work of the Panel of Experts.

France’s deputy U.N. envoy Alexis Lamek said the experts annual report submitted to the sanctions committee last month was a “precise source of information on Iran’s illicit programs and its methods of circumventing sanctions.”

The panel’s annual report said that Tehran’s illicit procurement appeared to have slowed during its negotiations with the six powers, though Iranians continued to attempt to bypass sanctions on a regular basis.

Why Netanyahu doesn’t want to go ‘all the way’

Posted July 30, 2014 by Joseph Wouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Why Netanyahu doesn’t want to go ‘all the way’ | The Times of Israel.

Op-ed: The PM is clear-eyed about the danger Hamas poses to Israel. So why, despite considerable pressure, is he manifestly disinclined to order a full-scale ground offensive?

July 29, 2014, 4:43 pm
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (R) and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (L) at the Command and Control Center of the 162nd Armored Division in southern Israel, July 21, 2014. (Photo credit: Kobi Gideon /GPO/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (R) and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (L) at the Command and Control Center of the 162nd Armored Division in southern Israel, July 21, 2014. (Photo credit: Kobi Gideon /GPO/Flash90)

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Israelis late on Monday night, he knew the army had lost 10 soldiers in the course of the day, although news of five of those fatalities had not yet been made public. That made Monday Israel’s darkest day to date in the three weeks of Operation Protective Edge, with the IDF toll rising to 53.

With Hamas gloating, Netanyahu’s brief remarks were reported in some quarters as presaging an expansion of the ground offensive, presumably taking the army deeper into Gaza — into the even-more treacherous neighborhoods where the Hamas leadership, many of its gunmen, and much of its weaponry sit in fortified underground bunkers and tunnels. But actually the prime minister was deliberately ambiguous. He said Israel wouldn’t end the operation until the threat posed by Hamas’s cross-border tunnels had been dealt with, and he reminded Israelis that he’d told them all along this could be a lengthy operation, but he gave no definitive indication that the real battle to destroy Hamas was about to begin.

Indeed, it has been clear since the days before this conflict began that Netanyahu has not wanted to launch a full-scale war against Hamas. He repeatedly offered “quiet for quiet” when the rocket fire first escalated, immediately accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal two weeks ago, agreed to a series of “humanitarian time-outs” which were then breached by Hamas over recent days, and waved away what he called the “background noise” from those, like Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who have been loudly urging him to smash Hamas and deriding him for his hesitancy.

Nobody can imagine for a moment that Netanyahu does not consider Hamas the embodiment of Islamic extremist evil. Nobody can doubt that he takes seriously Hamas’s declared goal of destroying Israel. Netanyahu does not believe for a second that Hamas can be reformed. Netanyahu does not believe any conceivable post-conflict framework could achieve the demilitarization of Gaza if Hamas remains largely intact. He knows all too well how Hamas has strengthened its capacity to do Israel harm over the seven years since it seized control of Gaza, and that it will only strengthen further if it is able to do so after this conflict. It was he who warned that the tunnels would have been used to “catastrophic” effect against the residents of Gaza-adjacent communities had they not been tackled now. It was he on Monday night who declared it untenable for Israelis to be faced with the threat of “death from above” by rocket fire and “death from below” via the terror tunnels.

So why, from a prime minister clear-eyed about the danger Hamas poses to Israel, and urged by his right-wing base to approve more intensive military action, this manifest disinclination to send the IDF “all the way”?

One possible explanation: He believes that for all Hamas’s swaggering, it is in real trouble — not militarily, where its key capacity has not been significantly harmed, but in terms of its credibility in Gaza and thus its likely standing when the guns fall silent. That Gazans loathe Israel is a given. But might they also increasingly loathe Hamas for bringing Israel’s military force down upon them? And might a weakened Hamas be forced to accept the return of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority to Gaza, with the possibility of the “sustained calm” for Israel that Netanyahu set as his opening objective for this conflict?

Another possible consideration: He knows how heavy the IDF losses will be in a full-scale ground offensive. Israel enjoys air supremacy over Gaza. On the ground, things are very different. Israel lost five soldiers on Monday who were killed by Hamas gunmen emerging from a tunnel the IDF had identified, partially demolished, and thought it had secured. Even in those most favorable of conceivable circumstances, the infiltrators fatally surprised the army. Deep in Gaza, Hamas enjoys a home field advantage. Its killers are waiting. The IDF is a highly motivated, well-trained and well-equipped fighting force. Hamas’s home advantage notwithstanding, Israel’s ground troops are certain to kill many more of the enemy’s gunmen than they lose. But be the ratio 5:1, 10:1, or 20:1, Israel will bleed, and quite apart from his own anguish at such a prospect, the prime minister may be concerned that the public mood will turn radically before Hamas is defeated.

Alternately, Netanyahu may be highly concerned about the consequences of a successful ground invasion, leaving Israel back in control of 1.7 million very hostile Palestinians.

A further possible explanation — to my mind a relevant one: Netanyahu is watching the boiling Middle East aware of the ease with which one active military front, in Gaza, can become two, three or more. In South Lebanon, Hezbollah has 10 times as many rockets as Hamas had three weeks ago, with longer ranges, greater accuracy and bigger warheads. It has stayed out of this conflict so far; there are no guarantees it will continue to do so. Its sponsor-in-chief, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, has been urging Muslims everywhere to arm the Palestinians against the vicious Zionist enterprise. Thus far, he has steered clear of calling Hezbollah into action — testament, perhaps, to the ongoing deterrent effect of the 2006 war. Closer to home, last weekend saw nine Palestinians killed in clashes in the West Bank, after the masses were exhorted by Hamas to unleash a Third Intifada. There were riots in parts of East Jerusalem, too.

Also worth remembering, as Netanyahu holds back, is his unyielding focus on the Iranian nuclear weapon drive. If necessary, he has said time and again, Israel will act alone to stop Iran attaining the bomb. Netanyahu emphatically considers the Iranian program an existential threat to Israel, and is anything but confident in the will of the international community to avert it. Becoming deeply embroiled in a major, bloody war in Gaza is a distraction he may be intent on avoiding. He may also be concerned at exhausting such tolerance for Israeli military action as still exists internationally over Gaza — where the scenes of devastation, death and helplessness effortlessly trump the most articulate efforts to explain why this is all Hamas’s fault — when he may need it over Iran.

Only the prime minister and those closest to him know which if any of these considerations, or others, are centrally impacting his decision-making. Netanyahu is anything but a fool — and nor, for that matter, are the minister of defense and the IDF chief of staff who are stewarding this conflict with him and, unsurprisingly, showing no signs of dissent. He knows he can’t leave the IDF treading water in Gaza — partially deployed, relatively exposed.

But whatever choices he now makes, there can be no doubt: Netanyahu, who opposed Israel’s 2005 disengagement from Gaza, did not want to order its re-invasion. Which begs the question: What does he have in mind?

In face of truce bids, Hamas’ Deif gives Gaza war fresh impetus, makes it a religious jihad

Posted July 30, 2014 by Joseph Wouk
Categories: Uncategorized

In face of truce bids, Hamas’ Deif gives Gaza war fresh impetus, maes it a religious jihad.

DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis July 30, 2014, 12:12 PM (IDT) Tags:  Gaza operation,  IDF,  Hamas,  ceasefire,  Muhammad Deif,
Israeli Air Force bombards Gaza
Israeli Air Force bombards Gaza
Despite the rush of diplomats and analysts declaring that a ceasefire in the Gaza fighting is imminent, the war refuses to end. Wednesday, July 30, the commander of Hamas’ military wing, Mohammed Deif gave the conflict fresh impetus by injecting a religious dimension that cannot be ignored.
The conflict was sparked essentially by the June 12 abduction and murder of the Israeli teens Gilad She-ar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach. Forty-nine days later the crisis is evolving into the longest and toughest of Israel’s wars, with the exception of its War of Independence.
As fierce as the fighting is on the battlefield, and as arduous the diplomatic wrangling, the emerging and largely overlooked jihadist element is the most troubling.
The wars raging in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq have demonstrated that armies bigger than the IDF – like the US military and a coalition of nearly all the NATO countries – were not able to end wars against Islamist fighters. This may be that, because of political machinations and self-interest, none of the statesmen and military commanders leading those wars ever sought a decisive end. They gave up on victory on the principle that “Modern wars have no winners.”
But Islamist religious and military leaders do not subscribe to this principle: The Afghan Taliban’s Omar Mullah, the Islamic State’s Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Hamas’ Deif all seek all-out victory over the enemy.
Deif did not leave this in doubt in the pre-recorded statement he released on June 30 from his hidden Gaza bunker.
“What the planes, artillery, and warships haven’t achieved, the defeated [Israeli] forces will not achieve in the field for, thanks be to Allah, they have become prey for the guns and ambushes of our jihad fighters,” promises Deif in the tape.
“IDF soldiers are facing soldiers who are eager for death and factions that are united,” Deif goes on. “The firm resolve of the Palestinian people will bring victory on the battlefield. The enemy is sending its soldiers to a certain holocaust.”
To Israel, this war has been primarily defensive as implied in its name, Operation Protective Edge. But for Hamas and perhaps a large portion of the Palestinian people, it is Mohammed Deif’s personal accounting with the Zionist enemy.
Israel has tried to have this dangerous terrorist mastermind killed several times – and failed, earning Deif the moniker “the man with nine lives.” On August 22, 2001, Deif and his deputy Adnan al-Awal escaped a targeted assassination attempt. On September 26, 2002, an IDF Apache helicopter fired two Hellfire missiles at Deif’s car as he returned home from a visit of condolence in the Sheikh Rawan district of Gaza. After hours of conflicting reports about the terrorist leader’s fate, Deif turned out to have cheated death once again, although he lost an eye and the use of one hand.
The IDF gave it another go in August 2003, bombing an apartment building where the Hamas military leadership, including al-Awal, Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, Deif and the movement’s spiritual leader Ahmad Yassin were meeting. Although intelligence had correctly pinpointed the conclave’s time and place, the men were on the building’s bottom floor and escaped with light injuries.
For some years, Deif has not shown his face in public. In a recorded communiqué some eleven years ago, he boasted: “God wanted to make the Jews mad, so He saved me. I believe that only what God wants is what will happen.”
The notorious Islamist sees the war as an opportunity to repolish his personality cult. It must therefore go on unabated wtihout the let-up of a ceasefire until all the truce brokers,  including US President Obama and Egyptian President Fattah El Sisi, force Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to cave in and meet his demands.
When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Jerusalem on July 28, Netanyahu warned him about the troubling similarities between Deif’s Hamas and extremist Islamist groups like the Taliban, ISIS and Boko Haram.
Israel’s counter-terror offensive, Netanyahu explained, is part and parcel of the war on fundamentalist Islam. As self-appointed commander-in-chief, ensconced in his subterranean lair, Mohammed Deif couldn’t agree more.
And so the not-so-secret contacts between Washington, Cairo, Riyadh, Doha, Jerusalem and Ramallah are doomed to go nowhere, because they take place on one level, whereas a fanatical religious war is taking place on a completely separate one.
So long as the IDF does not breach Hamas’ main lines of defense to the east of Gaza City, and has not destroyed its underground command system and terror offshoots, Deif will cling to his belief that victory is his. And so long as that belief is not shaken, the war will go on.




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