Six days after Israeli and Palestinian forces brokered a ceasefire agreement, four kassam rockets fired from Gaza blasted the Western Negev. Islamic Jihad claimed credit for the attack, while Hamas, Palestine's ruling party, encouraged “all Palestinian factions to abide by the calm agreement,” asserting, “Hamas is keen to maintain the deal.”
Yuval Diskin, the director of Shin Bet, Israel's secret service, reported a marked increase in arms smuggled from Sinai, Egypt, during the first 72 hours of the ceasefire. He called the truce “a first-class strategic blunder.”
Bloggers React to Ruptured Agreement–
In an entry entitled, “Goodbye Fake Truce,” political blogger Carl in Jerusalem of the Israel Matzav blog writes:
“That didn't take long, did it now?.. Well, was nice while it lasted.”
Carl also reports on the Israel Defense Force's new ruling that prohibits soldiers from firing on those carrying arms unless there is proof that they intend to shoot.
He likewise echoes Diskin's findings on the smuggling of arms from Sinai, remarking that all southern crossings have been closed but for the Erez's pedestrian crossing on the Israeli-Egyptian border.
“The fact that Israel has apparently agreed to tie its hands behind its back and not respond to terror attacks is also astounding. Surely no one can actually believe that the Egyptians are going to risk their troops to enforce the ‘truce’ anymore than Hamas would risk theirs. The level of Egyptian inactivity in stopping weapons smuggling to this point ought to make it completely clear that Egypt is not willing to do what must be done.”
“The ceasefire that began last Thursday – the one that meant the two sides were not supposed to be firing at each other…was broken last night when Palestinians fired a mortar at Israel, and again today when four rockets were launched against Israel. And, since this blog is presenting Israel and how Israelis think, I have to be honest and tell you that the only thing that might surprise Israelis…is that it lasted this long. Sad, truly sad…but true.”
Aussie Dave, whose Israellycool blog expertly analyzes international media reactions to the news in Israel, comments:
“Now the thing about a ceasefire is that it comprises of two parts – “cease” and “fire”. Clearly, the terrorists are focusing on the “fire” part, while ignoring the whole “cease” thing.
And speaking of focus, the AP’s [Associated Press] is still on painting Israel as the villain. Here’s their headline for the story on today’s Qassam attacks: “Rockets hit Israel, which says truce broken.”
As if the firing of rockets into Israel does not really constitute a breaking of the truce; rather, it is merely an Israeli claim.”
In an entry entitled, “Not Rocket Science,” the usually mild mannered Lirun of East Med Sea Peace, a resident of Tel Aviv who enjoys music, surfing, and photography, posts:
“sorry but i have no other way to put it.. a pack of liars..
u sweep up gaza and terrorise your own people.. you control every single inch of that land.. and now you broker a deal for a cease-fire with us yet continue to dig tunnels to bring in weapons and tell us you wont be our policeforce as islamic jihad now do your dirty work?
what is it.. either you control gaza and run the strip or you dont! and if you do then do what you promised and if you dont then dont pretend to represent the people in negotiations and forget telling the world how you are a legitimate government! this is insanity.. it cant be both way..
this is the heart of our stalemate and hamas has just corroded our ability to reach peace with gaza that one extra mile..
i call on the palestinian people to wake up to this farce.. interesting to watch what their split may achieve..”
New Studies Reveal Strong Desire for Arab-Jewish Coexistence Inside Israel–
- 77% of Israeli Arabs would rather live in Israel than anywhere else in the world
- 68% of Israeli Jews support the teaching of Arabic language in schools to forward communication and coexistence efforts
- 73% of Jews and 94% of Arabs want Israel to “be a society in which Arab and Jewish citizens have mutual respect and equal opportunities”
Harvard's survey supports the results of the University of Haifa's February 2008 findings that:
- 75% of Israeli Arabs aged 16 to 22 support voluntary national service, although few people are familiar with it as an option
- Upon learning more about national service, 72% of men and 83% of women in the Israeli Arab sector would consider participating in it
- 80% of the members of Arab political parties oppose national service
(Read the article if you have time. Its assessment of the multi-faceted nature of Israeli Arab society is a must-read for those who strive to be well educated about Israel and the Middle East.)
Articles of Interest–
- Iranian Grad Missiles Hit Ashkelon Mall (May 2008)
- Ashkelon is on the Map (February 2008)
- Cyber-Activists Promote Sderot (February 2008)
- One Wall Down: A New Reality in the Middle East (February 2008)
- Israeli Bloggers React to Crisis in Palestine (January 2008)
- Rockets Hit Sderot: Flame the Israeli Blogosphere (December 2007)