It seems, as of this writing, that it was PM Olmert who stopped the incursion into northern Gaza, ostensibly to await the diplomatic breakthrough regarding our kidnapped Gilad Shalit. Egypt’s President Mubarak has been active in this regard and reports are that Hamas made an offer that Israel has rejected as unacceptable. Mubarak is said to be communicating to Hamas that they had better drop their "extremist" demands so that the crisis can be resolved.
There is a suggestion coming from some quarters that Israel might consider release of the PA legislators and ministers just arrested in return for Shalit.
Mubarak’s request that we hold off on entering northern Gaza while he is working on this, however, weakens our ability to do what needs to be done with regard to the Kassams.
There is considerable criticism of the government for proceeding without a strategy with regard to Israel’s entry into Gaza. The questions I’ve raised in the last couple of days regarding preventing Kassam attacks reflect that confusion: Will the incursion be very limited, is the focus exclusively on the kidnapping, will Palestinian ability to launch Kassams be severely weakened, will forces remain.
Aaron Lerner makes the point today that Israel has a window of opportunity for taking constructive security action, but that this window will shortly close; a speedy ceasefire, he notes works against our security needs. http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=29861
Avigdor Lieberman, of Yisrael Beitenu, says that the security forces know what needs to be done but are being prevented by the political echelon from doing it; their morale is being undermined, he charges. We are shooting at empty fields and buildings and not killing the terrorists.
As noted previously, part of the problem is Olmert’s reluctance to admit that the "disengagement" was a mistake (which is what is tacitly admitted if re-entry is necessary). This admission makes Olmert’s breathtakingly stupid goal of doing more of same in Judea-Samaria more difficult. And so, while Olmert has given no interviews and made no definitive statements as to what we will be doing and what our goals are, he has enlisted allies to speak publicly about how the "disengagement" was a good thing. On a major radio show, Interior Minister Roni Bar-On said: "…of course we don’t regret disengaging from Gaza, just imagine what it would be like if all this would be happening with 8,000 settlers still inside the Strip."
Can’t believe the Israeli public is foolish enough to take this nonsense (Hebrew: shtuyote) seriously. If we hadn’t pulled out of Gaza, "all of this" wouldn’t be happening. We strengthened the terrorists ability to function by withdrawing.
There is a great deal more to explore with regard to projected withdrawal from Judea-Samaria, and the current position of the Palestinians with regard to the "Prisoners’ Document." Further information and analysis to follow after Shabbat.
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/6/30/posted-june-30-2006.html