Hamas’ strategic miscalculation in rejecting an extension to a six-month truce with Israel was a gift on a “golden platter” to Israel, as Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit wryly noted. The Israeli security establishment has been intent since its flawed 2006 war in Lebanon to reassert Israel’s hegemony and its deterrent power. But the attack on Gaza may also have deeper causes. Lost in most of the coverage is the fact that the Israel-Hamas truce was working—a fact fully acknowledged in a recent intelligence report released by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to that report, “Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire.” Furthermore, “the lull was sporadically violated by rocket and mortar shell fire carried out by rogue terrorist organizations in some instances in defiance of Hamas.”
I sent him this comment:
Truce was holding?
If a truce is being violated by tunnel-digging to bring in tons of weapons and armaments and ammunition, if it is being violated by workshops creating longer-range rockets, if the Hamas is trying plant bombs at the gates and fences, if the the population is being mobilized physically and mentally for a future war, if all this and much more is being done, then no matter what some idiot at Israel's Foreign Ministry wrote, this is not a ceasefire and surely not a time-period being used for peace. It is a ceasefire that is not working.
Even Human Rights Watch got bothered by November's events, which are claimed to have been a reaction to a violation of the ceasefire by Israel on November 5, and wrote:
Letter to Hamas to Stop Rocket Attacks
November 20, 2008
Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza
Head of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Damascus
Wednesday, November 20, 2008
Dear Prime Minister Haniya and Mr. Mishaal,
We are writing to you to express our deep concern about the resumption of deliberate and indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups operating in Gaza. We urge you to speak out forcefully against such attacks, take all necessary measures to prevent unlawful attacks on civilians, and bring to justice those who are found to have participated in them.
Hamas's armed wing, the Izzidin al-Qassam Brigades, Al-Quds Brigades (Islamic Jihad), and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine together fired at least 72 rockets at Israel last week in response to an operation in Central Gaza by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) that killed six Palestinian fighters and wounded a 23-year-old Palestinian woman. According to Hamas spokespersons, during a 24-hour period on November 4-5, Hamas fired over 51 “Qassam” rockets at Israeli army posts and at “Israeli communities” in the Western Negev.
Many of the rockets have misfired or landed in Gaza. On November 5, one struck a house in Beit Hanoun injuring two Palestinian women, Jamila Abu Harbid, 37, and Feda' Abu Harbid, 23. None of the rockets caused any injuries in Israel, but struck the towns of Ashkelon and Sderot, and fell close to populated areas in the Western Negev.
The rockets fired by Palestinian armed groups violate the international humanitarian law prohibition on indiscriminate attacks because they are highly inaccurate and cannot be directed at a specific military target...
And what happened that day?
The clashes began late Tuesday after Israeli forces burst into Gaza to destroy what the army said was a tunnel being dug near the border to kidnap Israeli troops. [actually, they began after Hamas attempted another terror operation]
Despite the outbreak of violence, both the Israeli authorities and officials with Gaza's Hamas government said they wanted to restore the calm that has largely prevailed for five months.
After the Israeli incursion, Hamas gunmen battled Israeli forces and Gaza residents reported hearing explosions, gunshots and helicopter fire. One Hamas fighter was killed, prompting a wave of mortar fire at nearby Israeli targets.
An Israeli airstrike then killed five Hamas militants who the army said were preparing to fire mortar shells. Hamas responded with the rockets.
So, there was a lot of hype over at Harper's?