Crossfire War – Rapid Fire News=Tehran – Gaza – Damascus Watch – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: COUNTDOWN TO GAZA ESCALATION – Hamas States Six Month Cairo Negotiations with Israel “Fruitless” – Says Palestinians Should Prepare for “The Coming Battle of Breaking the Siege”
Night Watch: GAZA – Friday, as instructed by Tehran-Hamas, nearly ten thousand Palestinians demonstrated at the Sufa Terminal in south Gaza demanding an end to the eleven month Israel blockade and were met by Israeli troops under strict orders to let no one penetrate the crossing. Several Palestinians were wounded. That same day Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri declared the six month negotiations in Cairo with Israeli officials on lifting the siege were “fruitless” and had achieved nothing. Xinhua quoted him as explaining, “Hamas presented all the needed conveniences to render the truce efforts successful but Israel is still delaying and rejecting the conditions.” Zuhri then concluded his remarks by calling on Palestinians to prepare themselves for “the coming battle of breaking the siege.” Hamas’ last negotiated position is to blame Israel. [XINHUA]
Sinai – Under no circumstances did Zuhri have any faith in the negotiations since he is fully aware Tehran used them as a publicity smokescreen as Iran-Syria arranged more shipments of weaponry to Gaza for the final preparations to expand the war which Tehran-Damascus will enter. As a minute example of those on going preparations Debka reports the Egyptian police have discovered a massive arms cache in a mountain 48 miles (60 km) south of the Gaza Strip that contained 30 anti-aircraft missiles, rifles, 2,000 rounds of rifle ammunition, sacks of hand grenades and rocket-propelled-grenades (RPG). This was intended to be smuggled into Gaza through tunnels. And that is why Saturday’s warning from Hamas official Mahmoud A-Zahar should be taken seriously, “The Palestinians will resort to all means at their disposal including armed force.” Iran-Syria have prepared the 20,000 Hamas members, as well as other Palestinian militant units, almost as heavily as they have armed Hezbollah. About the only difference is Hezbollah has longer range missiles. [DEBKA]
And that is why Israel’s offensive will encounter heavier resistance on both fronts than even in 2006 a reality the Israeli government has delayed attacking even as the rocket-mortar fire not only continues but more cities in Israel are within the range of rockets from Gaza. In so many ways Israel’s decisions are being controlled by the enemy which is also true of U. S.-Western Europe. Jerusalem is left with no other choice but to respond with an offensive in a desperate attempt to take the initiative away from units armed by Iran. As Hamas is admitting they will use all means at their disposal Israel will be forced to do the same including whatever they have in their nuclear arsenal though I will be surprised if they have time to use any against Iran due to the enormous amount of ballistic missiles that will be fired by Hezbollah-Syria. While Israeli armored columns are involved in intense combat in Gaza-Lebanon and with the Israel Air Force (IAF) threatened by what could be effective anti-aircraft missiles the Israeli government will be forced to use nuclear bombs against Syrian bases and perhaps mass formations of troops.
The disturbing truth Jerusalem is faced with is as powerful as Hamas has now become they are Israel’s weakest enemy. Since Israel is faced with powerful enemies to its north and south the Israel Defense Force (IDF) may be limited to attacks designed not to reach any objective but just to disrupt any invasion attempt by Syria or Hezbollah. Perhaps the IDF will establish defensive lines beyond Israel’s border into southern Lebanon and into Syria beyond the Golan Heights. Concerning Iran Israel will concentrate on landing and staging areas Iran will attempt to use for its brigade size Rapid Deployment Force, an expendable unit Tehran will give spectacular publicity as a magnanimous military gesture of support for Palestinian people. This unit is designed to inspire more Islamic radicalism than for any victory and it is a radicalism Tehran will direct at the last Islamic head of state with close relations with the West-Egypt President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak has always hated Islamic fundamentalism even more so when his predecessor Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated by them in Oct. 1981. Iran named a street in Tehran after the assassin. Mubarak will declare war on Iranian forces in the area and on other militant units all of whom have close working (military) relations with Egypt’s main opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood and that will take some pressure off of Israel. Washington and the Pentagon’s role could be limited to air strikes against Hezbollah-Syria from carrier based aircraft in the Eastern Mediterranean since U. S. forces in Iraq and Persian Gulf will be under attack from Iran.
Sunday- Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is due to meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni to discuss the latest developments in Gaza with the fallout from the breakdown in the pretense negotiations conducted with Hamas through Cairo. Israel was fully aware Hamas is not an independent entity and that Iran did not establish them or Hezbollah for peace and stability. Monday- Prime Minister Olmert is scheduled to begin a week long visit to Washington and I doubt if it will be a week of peace, which is why his Sunday meeting may be to outline the military response to any escalation of rocket-missile fire from Gaza.