World View: Hamas Furious at Egypt's Cease-Fire Proposal as Violence Escalates

This morning's key headlines from

  • Israel signals escalated military attack on Gaza on Wednesday morning
  • Hamas furious at Egypt's cease-fire proposal, as violence escalates
  • Turkey's prime minister Erdogan makes vitriolic attack on Israel

Israel signals escalated military attack on Gaza on Wednesday morning

On Tuesday, Israel ordered thousands of Palestinians in eastern and northern Gaza to leave their homes before 8 am on Wednesday. Israel is using recorded telephone messages and leaflets to notify Gaza residents. It's not known whether the new action will be an escalated missile attack or whether Israeli troops will be involved. BBC

Hamas furious at Egypt's cease-fire proposal as violence escalates

Hamas rejected, and Israel accepted, the cease-fire proposal offered by Egypt on Monday evening. The proposal called for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel to begin early Tuesday morning. Israel held off bombing Gaza for six hours to give Hamas a chance to consider the proposal, but during that time dozens of rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel. When it became clear that Hamas would not accept the proposal, Israel resumed bombing military targets in Gaza. 

According to Hamas in a statement: 

To avoid confusion and to be clear with our people, al-Qassam Brigades confirm that we haven't been contacted by any official or unofficial entities about terms of this alleged initiative.

If what has been circulated is true, this initiative means kneeling and submissiveness and so we completely refuse it and to us, it's not worth the ink used in writing it.

This is not surprising. As we wrote yesterday, Hamas has been humiliated by the fact that they've launched hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory and accomplished almost nothing, mainly thanks to Israel's sophisticated Iron Dome anti-missile system. For the Hamas leadership to agree to a cease-fire now would probably cause violence between the militant factions within Gaza itself, as the more extreme factions turn against Hamas leadership for allowing itself to be further humiliated. 

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement: 

We accepted the Egyptian proposal in order to present an opportunity for Gaza to be disarmed of its missiles, rockets, and tunnels through political means, but if Hamas does not accept this proposed cease-fire – and this is how it appears at present — Israel will have full international legitimacy for an expanded military operation to return the necessary quiet.

Hamas is infuriated by this situation because it appears that the entire cease-fire proposal was a setup to further humiliate Hamas, while giving Israel legitimacy to escalate its missile attacks on the military targets in Gaza. 

According Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to Washington: 

If Hamas rejects the very public diplomatic offer here, then if the fighting renews, Israel can then pursue its military goals with a tremendous amount of international legitimacy behind it – something that was lacking prior to the outbreak of the hostilities.

However, along with this legitimacy comes a great deal more tension between the two sides, with substantially more fury on the Hamas side and substantially more nationalism on the Israeli side. 

Appearing on the BBC on Tuesday, Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said that the probability of an Israeli ground invasion into Gaza has increased substantially in the last 24 hours, and that the current conflict is "dangerously different" from the conflicts that occurred in 2012 and 2008: 

It is. What's worrying me now is not simply that you have Hamas against the Israelis, but there's a tribal element, because of the three Israelis who were killed, then the one Palestinian in the revenge killing. So you now have this taking place at multiple levels and it's not just organized violence, it's unorganized violence, and the two are potentially truly dangerous.

Generational Dynamics predicts that the Arabs and the Jews are headed for a war characterized by exactly this kind of unorganized "tribal" violence. It may happen this time, or in two years, or in five years, but it's coming, and the outcome will almost certainly not be favorable to Israel. International Middle East Media Center (Gaza) and Jewish Telegraphic Agency and CS Monitor

Turkey's prime minister Erdogan makes vitriolic attack on Israel

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday accused Israel of "terrorizing the region" with its bombardment of Gaza: 

With utter disregard for international law, Israel continues to terrorize the region, and no country but us is telling it to stop. It has sprayed bullets and caused deaths, as it does every Ramadan.

No tyranny is everlasting; sooner or later every tyrant has to pay the price... This tyranny will not remain unaccounted for.

Erdogan also criticized an Israeli member of parliament, Ayelet Shaked of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, for saying that "mothers of the martyrs" should also be killed. "What is the difference between this mentality and Hitler's?" asked Erdogan. Zaman (Ankara)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Israel, Gaza, Hamas, Benjamin Netanyahu, Michael Oren, Richard Haass, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan Ayelet Shaked, Jewish Home party 

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