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Netanyahu spouts off / JP says only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza and doubts arise about evidence in the 'captured' soldier event.

Latest: We are not sending a delegation for talks in Cairo. No point in talking to Hamas about a ceasefire anymore, according to reports on Twitter, (will confirm) Confirmed.

I have unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third minutes after a ceasefire was announced,” [President] Obama said.

But evidence supporting Obama’s claim of Hamas responsibility has been difficult to come by. Indeed, even the Israeli Army news desk was unable to provide AlterNet with a clear narrative or substantial evidence regarding the incident in question. Moreover, accounts published in Arabic by Hamas’s military wing along with details provided by the PLO indicate that the killing of two soldiers and disappearance of another actually occurred before the ceasefire went into effect — when Israel was assaulting

(emphasis mine)
“They aborted the ceasefire from the beginning,” said Nabil Shaath from the PLO’s Central Committee.

A veteran negotiator, Shaath has become the de facto liaison between the PLO and Hamas. He confirmed to AlterNet that PA President Mahmoud Abbas received a briefing from Hamas this morning on the incident near Rafah. Shaath’s account reflects details provided directly by Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip.

According to Shaath, at after 6 AM, Hamas fighters engaged Israeli forces in Rafah. He maintained that it was then — almost two hours before the ceasefire went into effect — that the two Israeli soldiers were killed and the other went missing.

Shaath’s account was supported by dispatches published before the ceasefire went into effect by the official Twitter account of Hamas’s Qassam Brigades military wing. In a tweet published at 7:34 AM on August 1, the Qassam Brigades stated, “At 7 AM a group [of Hamas fighters] clashed with [Israeli] forces east of Rafah and caused many injuries and death to them.” </blockquote>

Granted, in the fog of war, conclusive evidence can be hard to come by, but this is disturbing. If a reporter can uncover these apparent discrepancies about the "capture" event, why didn't our multi-billion-dollar intelligence enterprise?

If this proves to be true, the White House's rush to judgement will have contributed to the widening destruction of Gaza that we are witnessing on livestreams as I write; truly making a 'ceasefire harder to come by.'

PS This is an excellent read:

2:14 AM PT: Humm?

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a phone call with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro about the breakdown of the short-lived UN- and US-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vented his anger, according to people familiar with the call.

Netanyahu told Shapiro the Obama administration was “not to ever second-guess me again” and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to people familiar with the conversation. Netanyahu added that he now “expected” the US and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter by name.

Read more: US must 'never second-guess me again' on Hamas, Netanyahu tells Shapiro | The Times of Israel

2:46 AM PT: Into the fray: Why Gaza must go

Mowing the lawn’ won’t cut it

The only durable solution requires dismantling Gaza, humanitarian relocation of the non-belligerent Arab population, and extension of Israeli sovereignty over the region.

4:02 AM PT:

Another great read from the New Yorker

Closer to his ideological core is an unswerving conviction that the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem might as well relinquish their hopes for a sovereign state. The Green Line, which demarcates the occupied territories from Israel proper, “has no meaning,” he says, and only a friyer, a sucker, would think otherwise. As one of his slick campaign ads says, “There are certain things that most of us understand will never happen: ‘The Sopranos’ are not coming back for another season . . . and there will never be a peace plan with the Palestinians.” If Bennett becomes Prime Minister someday—and his ambition is as plump and glaring as a harvest moon—he intends to annex most of the West Bank and let Arab cities like Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin be “self-governing” but “under Israeli security.”

“I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state,” he says of the Palestinians. No more negotiations, “no more illusions.” Let them eat crème brûlée.

6:48 AM PT: The security cabinet decided after a five-hour meeting Friday night that Israel will no longer attempt to reach a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip via negotiations with Hamas, senior Israeli officials said, adding that Israel does not intent to send a delegation to the Cairo truce talks as previously agreed in the course of the last cease-fire, before it was violated by Hamas.

The cabinet also agreed that instead of seeking a cease-fire, Israel will consider ending the operation and retreating from the Gaza Strip unilaterally, relying on the restored deterrence.

"If we feel that deterrence has been achieved we'll leave the Strip based on the principle of calm for calm," a senior official said. "If we feel deterrence has not yet been achieved, we'll continue the operation in the Gaza Strip, or leave and press on with aerial strikes."

Israel will also seek to reach understandings with Egypt, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the international community regarding the reconstruction of the Strip, demilitarizing Hamas and the supervision of goods entering the Strip.  

8:18 AM PT: Sweet ironies:

Originally posted to smiley7 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 01:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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