World View: Israel Rejects 7-Day Ceasefire, Agrees to 12-Hour Ceasefire
- Israel rejects 7-day ceasefire, agrees to 12-hour ceasefire
- Ebola victim escapes from hospital, putting Freetown at risk
Israel rejects 7-day ceasefire, agrees to 12-hour ceasefire
US Secretary of State John Kerry has been running around from country
to country in the Mideast trying to sell a 7-day "give peace a chance"
plan. The plan has already been rejected by both Hamas and Israel.
The details of the plan were not published, but the issues are being
- Hamas cannot agree to a ceasefire without being able to show a
tangible benefit to the Palestinian people. As we reported yesterday, Hamas has become so
weakened that it may not survive without being able to demonstrate
some success. Without that, its legitimacy and authority would be
seriously undermined at home, and it would be displaced by Islamic
Jihad or another more radical group in Gaza.
- In particular, Hamas is insisting that any sort of ceasefire or
peace agreement must involve lifting Israel's "siege" or blockade of
Gaza. ("24-Jul-14 World View -- Palestinians harden demands for agreement to a Gaza cease-fire".) Neither Egypt nor Israel is willing to permit
free flow of people and materials in and out of Gaza, as both
countries consider Gaza to be a security threat.
- Israel has said that its major objective is to destroy Hamas's
tunnel system, as well as its supply of rockets. According to some
reports, Israel has already destroyed about 6,000 of Hamas's supply of
about 10,000 rockets and wants to complete the job as quickly as
- Hamas will not consider any ceasefire agreement unless Israel's
military withdraws completely from Gaza. Israel will not consider any
temporary ceasefire that requires such a withdrawal, so that the
military would effectively have to start over when the ceasefire ends.
In fact, reports indicate that even in a ceasefire, Israel would
insist on continuing to blow up border tunnels that run underground
from Gaza into Israel. This is completely unacceptable to Hamas.
- Any agreement would almost certainly require Egypt to be involved.
Egypt was a principle mediator in the last Gaza war in 2012, when
Mohamed Morsi was president. But Morsi has been ousted, and relations
between Egypt and Hamas are now extremely tense.
- Hamas might agree to a 7-day ceasefire, but Israel believes that
this would only give Hamas time to import more powerful weapons from
Iran. (Iran sends weapons to Sudan; the Sudanese transport them to
the Bedouins in Egypt's north Sinai; and the Bedouins smuggle them
into Gaza through underground tunnels.)
- In particular, the Israelis are using tank technology called
"Armored Shield Protection-Active Trophy missile defense system,"
known as the Windbreaker. Hamas has no anti-tank missiles that defeat
these tanks. Israel believes that Hamas would use a 7-day ceasefire
to import Iranian missiles capable of defeating the tanks.
Israel did not want Kerry to leave the Mideast empty-handed, so it
agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire on Saturday.
Both Hamas and Israel have taken very hard positions. The logic of
the situation is that neither side can agree to a cease-fire without
the humiliation of backing down, so it appears most likely that this
war will continue until Israel can claim to have achieved its
objectives -- destroy the tunnels and destroy the rockets. Israel
probably has one or two more weeks to do that. Jerusalem Post and Debka
Ebola victim escapes from hospital, putting Freetown at risk
The deadly Ebola virus continues to spread rapidly in western Africa.
Since February, there have been 1,093 Ebola cases to date in Sierra
Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, including 660 who have died. Sierra Leone
officials are extremely concerned that a woman with Ebola in Freetown,
the capital city of Sierra Leone, densely populated with about 1
million inhabitants, escaped from the isolation ward of a hospital when her family stormed the hospital and forcibly removed her. Ebola
is not airborne, but it's spread through physical contact, and it's
feared that this woman might start a chain reaction that spreads the
disease rapidly through Freetown.
Another possible emergency situation is occurring in Lagos, the most
populous city in Nigeria with 5 million people. On Tuesday, a
40-year-old man from Liberia arrived by plane in Lagos and passed out
in the airport. He was taken to a hospital and diagnosed with Ebola.
He died on Thursday. It's feared that he might have infected other
people on the plane, and those people might be roaming Lagos affecting
other people. An infected person may not show any symptoms for up to
two weeks, but can still infect other people before showing symptoms.
Reuters and Nigeria Guardian News
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, John Kerry, Israel, Hamas, Gaza,
Egypt, Iran, Sudan,
Armored Shield Protection-Active Trophy missile defense system,
Ebola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria
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