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Israel-Gaza Ceasefire Fails

Hillary Clinton meets with Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday to work out a peace deal for Israel and Gaza.

A reported ceasefire in the week-long battle between Israel and Hamas fell apart Tuesday night, even as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to the region to hammer out a settlement.

The ceasefire was announced Tuesday afternoon by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who claimed it would take effect that evening. Hamas, the democratically-elected government in Gaza, said they had agreed to the deal. Israel kept mum, although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted earlier in the day he would be agreeable to ending, or at least pausing, Operation Pillar of Defense.

That deal never came to be. As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Israel to met with Netanyahu, Israeli air and sea attacks increased to a rate of one every 10 minutes, reports NBC News.

According to the UK Guardian, the ceasefire was broken down into three parts: a temporary lull, followed by a truce where grievances on both sides would be addressed.

The agreement began unraveling almost immediately, with internal pressures in both the Hamas and Israeli sides complicating a scenario where accusations of not adhering to the ceasefire proposals and being “out of the loop” meant nobody stop firing missiles.

Israel Radio quoted an Israeli official saying a truce was held up due to “a last-minute delay in the understandings between Hamas and Israel.”

A cabinet split in Israel saw Defense Minister Ehud Barak prepared to accept the original ceasefire offer while PM Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman were opposed.

“That split, some analysts have speculated, may have as much to do with Israel’s internal politics, with an election on the horizon, as the substance of any deal,” reports the UK Guardian.

The argument was even more complicated on the Palestinian side. Factions within Hamas who were happy to accept a ceasefire were pitted against hardliners who wanted an immediate lifting of the blockade and opening of the Rafah border crossing.

Missiles from Gaza lessened overnight, with only 30 launched since midnight. Ashkelon and Saar Hanegev were reportedly hit, but there no reports of damage or injuries.

The IDF website claimed to have struck more than 100 “terrorist sites” overnight, including Hamas’ Ministry of Internal Security, a police compound and a “military hideout” used by “senior operatives.” Another article from the IDF website claimed that more than 12,000 rockets had been fired by Hamas and “Gaza’s other terror groups” over the last 12 years, “deliberately target[ing] civilians.”

The situation turned for the worse on Wednesday, after a passenger bus in Tel Aviv exploded, injuring 10 people, three seriously. A spokesman for Netanyahu declared the explosion to be a “terrorist attack.”

A bomb goes off on a passenger bus in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

The explosion marks the first time a serious bomb blast has hit Israel’s commercial capitol since April 2006, when a suicide bomber killed 11 people.

In the week since Operation Pillar of Defense was started, more than 130 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed.

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  1. MuckrakerW says

    Hillary Clinton: Nobel Prize for Peace

    Hillary Clinton was called up once again by the Obama administration to try an calm the hostilities between the Gazans and Israelis. This is a formidable undertaking and the Secretary of State is used to and up to the task.

    The Secretary’s steady four years in office here at home in the U.S. and abroad has been rife with constant interaction with our Middle Eastern foreign allies and their external or internal conflicts in the region. Her tireless efforts have gone unmerited due primarily to an election year, moreover because America has instinctively come to rely on this female powerhouse to represent the country, specifically its principles and values, as only she could.

    Both former President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton, deserve the utmost respect and appreciation for the ongoing work which they have done and is doing for America and her people.

    I am of the mindset that Secretary Hillary Clinton deserves to win the Nobel prize. Not for what she has done so far in the Middle East, which is to bring peace to the region and subsequently throughout the world, but what she tried to do in the past when former President Bill Clinton, her husband, was in the Oval Office. During which time Mrs. Clinton attempted to bring comprehensive universal healthcare to U.S. congressional lawmakers, which was met with outrage.

    Unfortunately she failed because hardline Republicans claimed such a proposal smacked of socialism and they would have none of it. Let the rest of the world do what they want but not in America. Were they right? At the time… they might have been partially correct. But Mrs. Clinton’s political undertaking, to provide every citizen in the nation with free healthcare, could have meant in 2010 to today, that this problem would have been resolved. Nonetheless, she did all she could do, with the support and backing from President and husband Bill Clinton, in fighting healthcare lobbyists, who were dead set against socialized medicine, as they framed it.

    In any event she [Secretary Hillary Clinton] should receive the Nobel prize, she deserves it.

    As far as their contribution to the Democratic Party, I hope that she and her husband continue to be major role players in the American dream for all Americans. Moreover, for all their efforts in the past 30 years in public service untiringly, I salute them both and wish, or ask, that THEY never give up on the country or its vital purpose in the world….

    © 11/21/2012 MuckrakerW

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Israel and Gaza Agree To New Ceasefire linked to this post on November 21, 2012

    [...] Israel and Gaza have agreed to a new ceasefire, according to reports, a day after a first settlement never took hold. [...]

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