Obama’s pledge of US troops to Sinai next week won Israel’s nod for ceasefire

Obama’s pledge of US troops to Sinai next week won Israel’s nod for ceasefire.

( Debka is the only news source reporting this so far.  If so, it would appear that operation Pillar of Defense was actually a success without too many lives being lost.  Of course, this is short term.  Americans are not going to sit on the Gaza border indefinitely.  But maybe they will long enough for the source of all the trouble in the Middle East, Iran, to be neutralized.  Obama gets to be Israel’s hero.  He also gets to keep the US involved in Egypt and perhaps help prevent it from following the Iranian model. – JW )

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2012, 3:11 PM (GMT+02:00)

Obama on the phone to Netanyahu with key pledge

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire for halting the eight-day Israeli Gaza operation Wednesday night, Nov. 21, after President Barack Obama personally pledged to start deploying US troops in Egyptian Sinai next week, debkafile reports. The conversation, which finally tipped the scales for a ceasefire, took place on a secure line Wednesday morning, just hours before it was announced in Cairo. The US and Israeli leaders spoke at around the time that a terrorist was blowing up a Tel Aviv bus, injuring 27 people.
Obama’s pledge addressed Israel’s most pressing demand in every negotiating forum on Gaza: Operation Pillar of Cloud’s main goal was a total stoppage of the flow of Iranian arms and missiles to the Gaza Strip. They were smuggled in from Sudan and Libya through southern Egypt and Sinai. Hostilities would continue, said the prime minister, until this object was achieved.
Earlier, US officials tried unsuccessfully to persuade Israel to accept Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s personal guarantee to start launching effective operations against the smugglers before the end of the month. The trio running Israel’s Gaza campaign, Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, were willing to take Morsi at his word, except that Israeli security and intelligence chiefs assured them that Egypt has nothing near the security and intelligence capabilities necessary for conducting such operations.
When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Jerusalem from Bangkok Tuesday, she tried assuring Netanyahu that President Obama had decided to accelerate the construction of an elaborate US system of electronic security fences along the Suez Canal and northern Sinai. It would also cork up the Philadelphi route through which arms are smuggled into the Gaza Strip. (The US Sinai fence project was first disclosed exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 564 on Nov. 9).
US security and civilian units will need to be deployed in Egyptian Sinai to man the fence system and operate it as an active counter-measure for obstructing the smuggling of Iranian weapons supplies.

The prime minister said he welcomed the president’s proposal to expedite the fence project, but it would take months to obtain Egyptian clearance. Meanwhile, the Palestinians would have plenty of time to replenish their weapons stocks after Israel’s Gaza campaign. It was therefore too soon to stop the campaign at this point or hold back a ground incursion.
Clinton was sympathetic to this argument. Soon after, President Obama was on the phone to Netanyahu with an assurance that US troops would be in place in Sinai next week, after he had obtained President Morsi’s consent for them to go into immediate action against Iranian smuggling networks.

Netanyahu responded by agreeing to a ceasefire being announced in Cairo that night by Clinton and the Egyptian foreign minister, and to holding back the thousands of Israeli reservists on standby on the Gaza border.
debkafile’s military sources report that the first air transports carrying US special forces are due to land at Sharm el Sheikh military airfield in southern Sinai in the next 48 hours and go into action against the arms smugglers without delay.
This development is strategically significant for three reasons:

1.  Once the missile and arms consignments depart Iranian ports or Libyan arms bazaars, Tehran has no direct control of their transit from point to point through Egypt until they reach Sinai and their Gaza destination. All the same, a US special forces operation against the Sinai segment of the Iranian smuggling route would count as the first overt American military strike against an Iranian military interest.

Netanyahu, Barak and Lieberman are impressed by the change the Obama administration has undergone since the president’s reelection. Until then, he refused to hear of any military action against Iran and insisted that Tehran could only be confronted on the diplomatic plane.
2.  President Morsi, by opening the Sinai door to an American troop deployment for Israel’s defense, recognizes that the US force also insures Israel against Cairo revoking or failing to honor the peace treaty Egypt signed with Israel in 1979.

3.  In the face of this US-Israel-Egyptian understanding, Hamas cannot credibly claim to have won its latest passage of arms with Israel or that it obtained guarantees to force Israel to end the Gaza blockade.
Indeed, Gaza’s Hamas rulers will be forced to watch as US troops in Sinai, just across its border, break up the smuggling rings filling their arsenals and most likely laying hands on the reserve stocks they maintain under the smugglers’ guard in northern Sinai, out of reach of the Israel army. This means that the blockade on Gaza has been extended and the focus of combat has switched from Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula.

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22 Comments on “Obama’s pledge of US troops to Sinai next week won Israel’s nod for ceasefire”

  1. Norm Says:

    Placing Americans, civilians and military, in this position is a very bad idea. If Israel allows a situation in which Americans are killed then support for Israel in the United States will greatly diminish. One major argument pro-Israeli American Jews make on behalf of Israel is that Israel can protect itself without American boots on the ground and American casualties. The unintended consequences of this plan will not be good ones.

    • josephwouk Says:

      Norm…

      You may be right. I see another possibility.

      For the first time, Israel and the US will be operating as allies in an operation. I think Americans’ support will only get stronger.

      It certainly won’t be siphoned off to Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • JJ Says:

      I think you are wrong. Obama is doing the right thing to help our ally in the ME.


  2. Mass rioting and protests in Egypt, Morsi has taken absolute power and will bring in sharia law some say.


  3. Keep yours eyes on this –

    ”­A group of warships from Russia’s Black Sea fleet is headed to the Gaza Strip, a Navy source told RIA Novosti news agency. The ships will evacuate Russian citizens from the troubled region should the Israel-Gaza conflict escalate.”

    Massive NATO/Russian build up


  4. The whole middle east may explode in a massive shitstorm, lets hope not.

    • Justice for israel Says:

      i doubt the Russian navy wont last tow days,it would be possible to halt them just by sinking there only missile tracking ship,hope it does not come to that,but Russia needs to understand that it is a loud mouth on top of a very short and weak thin stick,

      • Jac Says:

        MOSCOW, November 23 (Itar-Tass) — Fulfilling the orders, the convoy of warships of the Russian Black Sea Fleet arrived in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens from the Gaza Strip in case of escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli armed conflict, a source in the High Command of the Russian Navy told Itar-Tass on Friday.

        “The guards missile-carrying cruiser Moskva and the big landing ship Saratov have arrived in the designated area already on November 20, the border patrol ship Smetlivy and the big landing ship Novocherkassk joined the foresaid warships 1-2 days later, after the refuelling from the big sea tanker Ivan Bubnov. The full convoy of the warships of the Black Sea Fleet arrived in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea in order to evacuate Russian citizens from the Gaza Strip in case of escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” the Russian naval source said.

        “It is not ruled out that our warships will be assigned for another combat mission in case of deterioration of the regional situation,” the source in the High Command of the Russian Navy told Itar-Tass. However, the source did not specify what mission in concrete can be set for Russian warships.

      • Jac Says:

        Not to mention the current Cougar 12 deployment of Royal Navy ships: HMS Bulwark, HMS Illustrious, HMS Northumberland, HMS Montrose, RFA Mounts Bay and 45 Cdo RM, in addition to vessels deployed to Gulf, Suez and Malta.

        This includes 3+ squadrons of Royal Marine Commandos and unknown number of assault helicopters.

      • Justice for israel Says:

        You know the Russians may be about to try and invade Gaza,they planed and contemplated it before,i doubt it,but you never know,

      • Jac Says:

        And so, they move their rubbish navy. What for? Well, they’re not really going to stop anyone from attacking Iran, are they? Or even could they? Perhaps they’re just trying to look strong and upsell their arms to the locals?

        Invading/deploying to Gaza would be an overt challenge to USA/EU. They could deploy there in case of major crisis. But right now it seems that the Big Game is all about the “behind the scenes” so any overt action would be a rules-changer.

        Maybe their waiting for Americans to be deployed into Sinai. They could counter that by landing in Gaza (at Hamas’s request) or Syria (Assad’s request)? But that’d be mad… And it would “madly” divert the Western attention back into the region, away from Asia and Eastern Europe.

        And you know Russian strategic doctrine stemming from their fear of encirclement. Ultimately they really want to regain influence over their old buffer-states – that’s the theory anyways.

        And then, all you need is more UNSC neverending discussions and vetos. I can totally see the West deal with Gaza and Syria rather than Iran, Asia and Eastern Europe…

        Any thoughts?

      • Justice for israel Says:

        Dont underestimate the Russians,there equipment in inferior to NATO equipment,but they are well drilled and disciplined coherent force,any way it may well be Egypt thats the target,there deployment may well be a strategic bluff,as the Russians are fully aware thats NATO can sink the black sea fleet in minutes,or evacuating there citizens from Egypt,i hope there not as accident prone as in the past.

      • Justice for israel Says:

        I have to add that if the Russians try to deploy in gaza they wont reach the shore,they would need a 100.000 troops,israel can definitely sink them in a couple of hours without any help from america or the uk and france,,have you seen the specification of a dolphin class sub

  5. Isaac Says:

    I think USA has no friendly leadership so, now a military force under an unfriendly commander is going to be south of Israel.
    Maybe I’m paranoid 😀 but I see this as no good.

  6. Norm Says:

    I was told that a Pakistani general once said that the trouble with having America as an ally is that you never know when Americans are going to stab themselves in the back. Do not trust an American President who is really an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood. In less than 2 years I believe tha Israel will be totally surrounded by the Muslim Brotherhood or Hezbollah, and America will be gone. Do not let Americans near your border.


  7. Here is the original text on the White House site.

    Following that are three reactions – from the Weekly Standard, Jerusalem Post and debka.com.
    It would be nice if we could establish the truth

    Readout of the President’s Call to Prime Minister Netanyahu , November 21, 2012

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/11/21/readout-president-s-call-prime-minister-netanyahu

    President Obama spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu today and reiterated his commitment to Israel’s security.

    The President made clear that no country can be expected to tolerate rocket attacks against civilians.

    The President expressed his appreciation for the Prime Minister’s efforts to work with the new Egyptian government to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and a more durable solution to this problem.

    The President commended the Prime Minister for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal – which the President recommended the Prime Minster do – while reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself.

    The President said that the United States would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.

    The President said that he was committed to seeking additional funding for Iron Dome and other US-Israel missile defense programs.

    Obama Pledges to Help Israel Address ‘Smuggling of Weapons and Explosives Into Gaza’
    ttp://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-pledges-help-israel-address-smuggling-weapons-and-explosives-gaza_663791.html

    In a read-out of a phone call between President Barack Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the United States pledged to “use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.”

    Hamas: Ending Gaza arms smuggling not part of cease-fire
    http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=293231
    A senior Hamas official on Saturday claimed that the cease-fire deal it agreed to with Israel on Wednesday did not include an Egyptian guarantee to work with the US to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza.

    “It is not true, as some say, that the cease-fire agreement included that Egypt will work with special US units to prevent smuggling of weapons into Gaza. These are Israeli leaks aimed to ease the impact of their defeat,” Hamas’s Izzat al-Rishiq wrote on his Facebook page.

    Obama’s pledge of US troops to Sinai next week won Israel’s nod for ceasefire

    http://www.debka.com/article/22557/Obama%E2%80%99s-pledge-of-US-troops-to-Sinai-next-week-won-Israel%E2%80%99s-nod-for-ceasefire
    Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to a ceasefire for halting the eight-day Israeli Gaza operation Wednesday night, Nov. 21, after President Barack Obama personally pledged to start deploying US troops in Egyptian Sinai next week, DEBKAfile reports. The conversation, which finally tipped the scales for a ceasefire, took place on a secure line Wednesday morning, just hours before it was announced in Cairo. The US and Israeli leaders spoke at around the time that a terrorist was blowing up a Tel Aviv bus, injuring 27 people.
    Obama’s pledge addressed Israel’s most pressing demand in every negotiating forum on Gaza: Operation Pillar of Cloud’s main goal was a total stoppage of the flow of Iranian arms and missiles to the Gaza Strip. They were smuggled in from Sudan and Libya through southern Egypt and Sinai. Hostilities would continue, said the prime minister, until this object was achieved.

  8. josephwouk Says:

    Guys, this is nonsense, forgive me.

    The Russians are only interested in one thing. MONEY !

    There’s no way in hell they’re going to be attacking anyone. Their Navy is there for other reasons. Could be one or more of a long laundry list.

    The Russians are one of the lesser threats we have to deal with.

    • Jac Says:

      I concur, they’re just showing their presence to boost sales/help their defense industry. They try to fool everyone that they’re still part of the region’s equation.

      Though, they may well be gathering intel on Franco/British fleets as well as Iron Dome. For one, they would love to learn its radar specifics.

      After all, that’s what Americans did in Georgia just after the war, using the pretext of humanitarian aid – delivered by USS Mt Whitney command ship 🙂


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