Kerry and Netanyahu during press conference
On Friday US Secretary of State John Kerry failed to achieve a cease fire between Israel and Hamas.
Full details of the proposed truce have not been released, but the government official, who declined to be named, said Israel wanted modifications before agreeing to any end to hostilities. Hamas has yet to respond to the proposed ceasefire, according to a Reuters report.
Earlier Friday, Channel 10 cited sources in the diplomatic-security cabinet who said that Israel viewed Kerry’s bridging proposals as “a Qatari proposal with ornaments.” Qatar has been accused by Israel of providing financing and political support to Hamas.
According to Channel 10, senior Israeli ministers have ruled as “out of the question” a cease-fire in which the IDF would be prevented from fully rooting out the threat of underground tunnels built by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
...After Kerry left the Middle East for Paris where he will try to enlist European support for his proposals he again blamed Israel for his failure.
The Washington Post reported:
Kerry, speaking alongside U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Arab diplomats, said he will leave the region after five days and head next to Paris to try to enlist European help.
Kerry claimed progress, but acknowledged that Israel “has some questions.” With evident irritation, he said the Israeli cabinet vote was engineered to make “mischief.”
On the same day that Kerry made this remark Moshe Greenberg, an Israel aviation expert, delivered the evidence that last week’s FAA decision to ban US carriers from flying to Ben Gurion Airport was in fact political blackmail by the US administration.
By ordering the ban the US might have expected that it could pressure Israel into accepting Kerry’s ceasefire proposals. Below is Greenberg’s letter which was published by the Jerusalem Post.
Sir, – I am an airline industry professional and a Federal Aviation Administration- licensed pilot.From Greenberg’s letter it is clear that the Obama administration was behind the FAA decision, thereby creating a severe additional problem for Israel. Ben Gurion Airport is Israel’s most important economic life line and its sole gate to the world.
The mechanism by which the FAA issues such directives is called a NOTAM.
For the sake of fairness, the NOTAM issued for Ben-Gurion Airport was not entirely unprecedented. After the recent downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, the FAA banned US operators from flying over the eastern Ukraine cities of Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk.
The main difference is that in Ukraine an airliner was actually shot down.
In other problematic areas of the world with “significant risk to civil flight operations,” including the Sinai Peninsula, North Korea, Yemen and Afghanistan, FAA NOTAMs direct US operators to “obtain current threat information” and then decide for themselves whether or not to fly. The NOTAM issued for Ben-Gurion did not use the word “risk” at all, referring only to a “potentially hazardous situation,” yet it declared: “All flight operations to/ from Ben-Gurion International Airport by US operators are prohibited.”
The FAA and/or the US Department of Transportation overstepped their mandate in issuing such a NOTAM. It appears to have been a political tactic, probably with the goal of pressuring Israel into accepting a US-sponsored cease-fire agreement with Hamas by crippling the flow of passengers and cargo into and out of Israel.
It once again showed the hostility towards Israel by the current US administration.
Kerry and Obama must have known that Israel could not accept a ceasefire at this moment. As long as the Hamas tunnel network underneath Israel’s border is not destroyed Israel will not accept a ceasefire. This has everything to do with the discovery of a plot for a mega terrorist attack via these tunnels on the eve of the coming Jewish High Holidays.
Israeli security sources, citing information acquired in interrogations of captured Hamas fighters, described a scenario under which hundreds of heavily armed Hamas fighters would have spilled out into Israel in the dead of night and within 10 minutes have been in a position to infiltrate several sparsely populated and lightly guarded Israeli communities. Palestinian terrorists would then – per an assessment conveyed by i24news – have sought to “kill and kidnap as many Israelis as they could.”
Details of plot, which were first published by the Hebrew-language Ma’ariv, described it as set to take place when Israelis would have been celebrating the Jewish New Year, on or around September 24. Observers noted that attack scenarios lined up with recently revealed data about the scope and nature of the offensive tunnel network.
The IDF recently published a map showing that the tunnels were created to empty out on both sides of nearby communities. Israeli military officials had already reported that the tunnel entrances are stocked with tranquilizers, handcuffs, ropes, and other materials useful for subduing abducted civilians and soldiers. And the known cost of the infrastructure – with each tunnel costing roughly $1 million – implies that Hamas leaders were planning a coordinated mega-attack, since use of even one of the tunnels was likely to trigger an Israeli retaliation against the entire network.
Revelations regarding the magnitude of the planned tunnel attack are thought to have played a critical role in the Israeli government’s rejection of a ceasefire proposed late Friday by Secretary of State John Kerry, which would have prohibited the Israelis from degrading remaining attack tunnels.