Security Cabinet: Rules of the game have changed

Posted October 18, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Security Cabinet: Rules of the game have changed

Air strikes against terror targets in Gaza, intensifying IDF’s response to breaching attempts and launching of incendiary balloons while showing containment are presented as operational plans at Cabinet meeting; DM Lieberman’s suggestion to take more aggressive approach is rejected.
After concluding a five-hour meeting, the Security Cabinet decided Thursday to change its handling of the rampant violence on the Gaza border fence and the kite terrorism, implying that the rules of the game have changed.Nevertheless, the political echelon still views reaching a ceasefire agreement with the mediation of Egypt and UN envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov as an option.

Gaza border violence    (Photo: AP)

Gaza border violence (Photo: AP)

The Cabinet—which convened following a rocket attack launched from Gaza on a Be’er Sheva home and in the sea off the shores of a city in central Israel—instructed the IDF to gradually exacerbate its retaliatory actions to violence along the security fence and to demonstrate a zero-tolerance approach.

The new policy will come into effect on Friday, during which Hamas-led mass riots are expected on the border.

During the overnight meeting, the military brass presented two operational plans to tackle the violent border clashes and to handle the incendiary balloons launched from the strip into Israel, with the first being air strikes against terror targets in the strip, while the second is containment of the violence while gradually Intensifying the army’s response to breaching attempts and launching of incendiary balloons.

House in Be'er Sheva hit

House in Be’er Sheva hit

Nevertheless, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested implementing a more aggressive approach against Hamas, as could have been expected in light of his remarks over the past few days.

Lieberman’s plan was rejected.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Cabinet ministers no to speak with the media about the decisions taken at the meeting.

 (Photo: AP)

(Photo: AP)

Construction Mnister Yoav Galant addressed the recent escalation Gaza, saying, “I’m not going to talk about decision taken by the Cabinet. However, I can explicitly say that the rules of the game are about to change.

“We won’t accept violence on the Gaza border fence and the continuation of the kite terrorism,” Galant concluded.

 

Iran calls latest US sanctions an ‘insult’ to world order 

Posted October 18, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Iran calls latest US sanctions an ‘insult’ to world order – Israel Hayom

 

Egypt outraged by Gaza rocket launch amid truce mediation efforts

Posted October 18, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Egypt outraged by Gaza rocket launch amid truce mediation efforts – Israel Hayom

 

Restore deterrence, but bet on mediation

Posted October 18, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Restore deterrence, but bet on mediation – Israel Hayom

Dr, Eran Lerman

Who would benefit from a wide-scale military conflict in the Gaza Strip? And who would lose? What does weighing interests in the balance mean for Israel?

The smaller terrorist organizations in Gaza – Islamic Jihad, which operates as a satellite of Iran, and radical Sunni groups inspired by the Islamic State group – are the primary ones who want to ratchet up the violence into a full-scale war. For them, a major war in Gaza could be an opportunity to build themselves up on the ruins of Hamas. It also looks like Iran has an interest in escalating the situation in Gaza and pulling Israel into a war that will take away from its ability to focus on its main defense activity right now: keeping Iran from digging down in Syria.

The third player that is consistently working to worsen the situation in Gaza and torpedo Egypt’s efforts to broker a cease-fire is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, for whom – as he once said in Jenin – “the worse things are, the better.” Some in Israel see value in assisting the PA’s attempts to regain control of Gaza, but even if that were the right thing to do in principle (and that’s doubtful), it is not feasible without a full-blown war that would end with the IDF occupying Gaza for many years to come. What a war would not do would be to create a moderate, effective Palestinian leadership there.

All these considerations are counter-balanced, paradoxically, by Hamas’ interest in continuing to dictate the terms of any cease-fire with Israel while refraining from a war, which the Hamas leadership knows would be self-destructive. Its moves to escalate the conflict – arson balloons, breaches of the border fence – have been intentionally selected as ways of taking things to the brink without toppling over into the abyss.

Egypt also seems to have an interest in avoiding a war, despite the deep-seated mutual hatred between Hamas, who are the flesh and blood descendants of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the government of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Slowly, Cairo has come to realize that it is better to contain and deter an organization like Hamas while gradually delegitimizing it than to take it on directly.

And Israel? A harsh, well-defined blow is vital for it to maintain its mechanism of deterrence. A missile hitting Beersheba is not a trivial occurrence.

However, as far as possible, given the broader considerations of the regional balance of power as well as Israel’s fundamental interest in avoiding a ground war, it would be best to make the most of Egypt’s mediation.

Col. (ret.) Dr. Eran Lerman, former deputy director of the National Security Council, is the vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies.

 

Is Iran trying to drag Israel into a war in Gaza? 

Posted October 18, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Is Iran trying to drag Israel into a war in Gaza? – Israel Hayom

 

Report: Hamas agrees to curb Gaza border violence to facilitate truce with Israel 

Posted October 18, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Report: Hamas agrees to curb Gaza border violence to facilitate truce with Israel – Israel Hayom

 

The storm before the storm 

Posted October 18, 2018 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: The storm before the storm – Israel Hayom

Prof. Eyal Zisser

It did not take long for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to ‎deny any involvement in Wednesday’s rocket fire on ‎Israel, and the two Gaza Strip-based groups rushed ‎to express their commitment to Egypt’s efforts to ‎broker a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza. ‎

Hamas could be lying – it wouldn’t be the first time ‎‎– and its operatives may have been the one to fire ‎two Grad rockets at Beersheba and central Israel. At ‎the very least, Hamas probably encourage the rogue ‎groups in Gaza to fire on Israel. ‎

One must remember that while Hamas has no real ‎interest in provoking a full-fledged war with ‎Israel, it has every interest in improving its ‎position in the Egyptian-led mediation and maybe ‎even forcing Israel to accept a reality in which ‎sporadic rocket fire is a part of any future deal in ‎Gaza.‎

What is particularly troubling, however, is the ‎possibility that Hamas had nothing to do with ‎Wednesday’s rocket fire and that the attack was ‎mounted contrary to its direct orders.‎

This would mean that Hamas has lost its notorious ‎iron grip on the situation on the ground in Gaza. ‎Moreover, it would mean that any deal Israel signs ‎with it may not be worth the paper it is written on, ‎as it will not guarantee any calm on the border. ‎

Achieving some form of quiet on the border is a ‎prominent Israeli interest, as it wants to focus its ‎attention on the northern sector, where efforts to ‎curtail Iran’s attempts to cement its presence in ‎Syria and curb Hezbollah are paramount.‎

Iran, we must remember, is the only one that stands ‎to gain from a conflagration in Gaza, as it would ‎divert everyone’s attention from what it is doing in ‎Syria and what it is trying to do in the region.‎

Reaching a cease-fire is also in Hamas’ interest, as ‎it would grant it legitimization and all but ‎guarantee that it will rule Gaza for many years to come. ‎This is why Israel must ensure that in return to any ‎concessions offered Hamas, it would be guaranteed ‎absolute calm on the border. ‎

Israel will most likely choose to contain ‎Wednesday’s incident both because it did not result ‎in fatalities and over Hamas’ denouncing it. ‎But this does not bode well for the efforts to ‎achieve a cease-fire, as one cannot survive if one ‎of the parties involved has no intention of meeting ‎it. ‎It is important that Israel not lose sight of this ‎when it comes to the Gaza Strip, but also when it ‎comes to Judea and Samaria. ‎

The Trump administration is gearing up to present ‎the “deal of the century,” for the Israeli-‎Palestinian conflict, which would undoubtedly ‎require not only Israeli concessions but also a ‎demand to contain and tolerate the Palestinian ‎Authority’s incompetent counterterrorism efforts. ‎

Experience, however, has taught us that any deal ‎that does not guarantee security will not last.

Eyal Zisser is a lecturer in the Middle East History Department at Tel Aviv University.