Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cease Fire?

Evidently Hamas was not really interested in a long cease fire with Israel. Ten days and the war is back on.

The Israeli military says one soldier has been killed and three wounded in a bomb attack on the Gaza-Israel border.

The bombing Tuesday marks the first serious clash along the border since a cease-fire began on Jan. 18, ending a punishing three-week offensive by Israel against Hamas.

No militant group has claimed responsibility, but a Hamas leader expressed support for the attack.
Swell. Just swell. Evidently Hamas has not yet had enough war. Here are some more details:
An Israeli jet broke the sound barrier and set off a loud sonic boom over Gaza City not long afterward, possibly as a warning, but there were no further reports of Israeli retaliation. Since ending a punishing three-week offensive against Hamas on Jan. 17, Israel has said it will respond in force to any attack from Gaza.

Israeli troops crossed the border fence into Gaza to search the immediate area of the bombing, defense officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines.

Israel closed its crossings into Gaza to humanitarian aid traffic after briefly opening them Tuesday morning. Gaza border official Raed Fattouh said Israeli officials informed him the closure was due to the attack.
Naturally the Israelis are responding.
Eight Palestinians were reportedly wounded in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday when the IAF struck a vehicle in the town of Khan Yunis. Among the wounded were several children, according to Palestinian sources.

The strike targeted 25-year-old Mahmoud Hamdan Samiri, a Khan Yunis resident involved in the terrorist cell behind Tuesday's attack at the Kissufim crossing. In the attack, a roadside bomb killed one IDF soldier and wounded three others.

The air strike followed the firing of a Kassam rocket Thursday morning which fell in an open area near the town of Sderot. No one was wounded in the rocket attack and no damage was reported. It was the second rocket fired into Israel since the end of Operation Cast Lead eleven days ago.

The rocket attack came after an IAF jet struck a weapon manufacturing facility in the Rafah area late on Wednesday night, in response to another Kassam rocket fired from the Strip at Israel several hours earlier. The IDF identified an accurate hit. The rocket landed in an open area in the Eshkol region, causing no casualties or damage.
As far as I can see the purpose of these attacks is to keep the border crossings between Israel and Gaza closed and to see if Hamas can get some more of their human shields killed. Dead human shields make for great headlines. And of course it is an embarrassment for Obama who just sent George Mitchell to Israel to help foster peace.

Evidently Obama the peacemaker hasn't devoted enough effort to the Israel/Hamas conflict yet. This may just be the Hamas response to Obama's attempts to make peace between Hamas and Israel a priority. It was a fools errand to begin with. And Hamas is illustrating with action that they will do to Obama what Palestinians have done to every other President who made Israeli/Palestinian peace a priority. Make a fool of him. George Bush had a better idea. Let the parties involved come to their own resolution in their own way. You know, maybe that Bush guy understood the dynamics of the Hamas/Israel conflict better than the new guy.

What next? I think Iran will be further testing Obama. I think I made a point during the election that electing a guy who had zero military experience and was predisposed to a kumbayah approach to foreign policy was a bad idea. I guess we are stuck with that bad idea for another three years, eleven months, and three weeks.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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