vrijdag 19 december 2008

Hamas zal staakt-het-vuren niet verlengen

Twee enigzins tegenstrijdige berichten in de Jerusalem Post over Hamas' positie wat betreft het staakt-het-vuren, waarbij volgens het andere bericht Hamas er nog niet uit is, en de leiders uit Gaza proberen Meshaal ervan te overtuigen dat het staakt-het-vuren moet worden voortgezet. Meshaal staat onder sterke invloed van Iran en Syrië, en die willen niet dat Egypte op die manier opnieuw een diplomatieke overwinning behaalt. Dat zou ook de hoofdreden zijn dat de verzoeningsgesprekken tussen Fatah en Hamas onder leiding van Egypte stuk liepen. Zie: Who is calling the shots in Hamas?
Ondertussen heeft Islamitische Jihad vandaag en gisteren tientallen raketten op Israel afgevuurd, waarna Israel een luchtaanval op raketlanceerders uitvoerde, en is het staakt-het-vuren in feite al non existent.


The Jerusalem Post
Dec 18, 2008 7:28 | Updated Dec 18, 2008 21:05
Hamas officially declared Thursday evening that it would not extend the six-month-old truce between Gaza factions and Israel, although 11 Kassam rockets and five mortar shells had already pounded southern Israel by mid-afternoon.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that "there is no chance of extending the calm" and that Israel was to blame for the failure. It was not clear if this was Hamas's final word. The group often issues contradictory statements.

The cease-fire had been due to expire on Friday and the tempo of hostilities between the two sides had been drastically rising over the last three days.

No one was wounded in Thursday's attacks, but several buildings were damaged when one of the rockets landed in the middle of a western Negev kibbutz.

Shortly after noon, IAF aircraft launched an airstrike against two Kassam rocket launchers - one had been used moments earlier to launch a rocket, while the other was said to be loaded. Both were destroyed in the attack, the IDF said.

Soon after the first early morning rocket barrage, the IAF struck terrorist infrastructure in two separate locations.

One of the targets was an arsenal containing rockets in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Another was a factory for the production of rockets and other explosives in Khan Yunis. Both strikes were conducted with fighter jets and helicopters, the IDF said.

Meanwhile, Palestinians reported that an IAF strike in northern Gaza which followed Wednesday's rocket barrage left a 47-year-old man dead after a missile allegedly hit his home, causing a balcony to come crashing down on him. The IDF, however, said that it had targeted a rocket-launching cell and did not confirm the reported casualty.

The latest flare up comes after nearly 40 rockets struck the western Negev in the past two days, leaving many to wonder over the likelihood that the ceasefire would be extended beyond Friday.

In a poll conducted by the Knesset channel, 47 percent of respondents said that the country had erred in agreeing to a cease-fire, while 43% said it was the right choice. 35% of respondents said that the ceasefire should be extended, while 58% said it should not.

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