All this comes as the Israelis are allowing sick Palestinians, including known terrorists on watch lists enter Israel for medical care. Erez Crossing is where Palestinians have been coming to escape the hellhole that is Gaza for the safer confines of Israel or the West Bank.
Conflict Blotter recounts stories of Hamas war crimes:
The 22-year-old presidential guardsman and 11 other soldiers had been sent on a mission from Abbas’ compound to the Preventative Security headquarters on the last day of the fighting to rescue some 30 officers who were holed up inside the besieged compound. Once inside the compound they called for the armoured car they had been promised but it never came and they wound up pinned down by Hamas militants.Foreign nationals in Gaza are also getting out of Dodge.
They surrendered. A Hamas gunman shot one of the 12 soldiers in the leg and told the rest to run away. As they fled, they opened fire, Iki said, shooting them all in the legs as they tried to run away. A Hamas gunman came up and executed each wounded soldier, continued Iki. Iki was lucky, the execution bullet hit him in the side of the neck and he didn’t die. He lay semi-conscious on the street for an hour and a half bleeding. The bus driver who had driven the Hamas militants to the fight checked his pulse at one point and found he was alive. He started to help him.
“Leave him or we’ll shoot you,” a masked militant said. The driver obeyed and left Iki to bleed.
Much of the Arab world is based on a honor/shame culture, and the Palestinian civil war should highlight this to the extreme, but the diplomats seem to ignore the implications. Hamas won and its power is greatly enhanced as a result. Fatah's loss was not only stunning because it supposedly had the greater numbers, but it had the backing of the likes of the US, Israel, and the rest of the West. Palestinians on the fence are going to consider backing Hamas, despite its terrorist background, because they'll back the winning horse. Fatah is at a greater disadvantage now, even with more US and Western aid pumped in because Fatah is the losing horse.
Hamas claims that the US and Israel is blackmailing the Palestinian people. Throwing people off rooftops is far more effective at blackmailing than throwing money to a bunch of kleptocrats in Fatah. Hamas is whining that they aren't getting money from the US and Israel so that they can use that money to attack Israel.
Of course, Fatah isn't shying away from killing Israelis either. Meryl Yourish reports the following:
Two armed Palestinians were killed in a gunfight with an IDF force in a village near Jenin Tuesday night, eyewitnesses reported.The AAMB is part of Fatah, Abbas's terrorist organization. All this goes on as the diplomats delude themselves into thinking that Fatah is the moderate among the Palestinian terrorist organizations and can be dealt with.
According to the report, local gunmen opened fire at the force that entered the village accompanied by a military bulldozer. An al-Quds Brigades commander and an al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members were killed in the incident.
The US has finally issued a statement slamming the UN's Human Rights Council for once again singling out Israel for condemnation all while ignoring human rights violations elsewhere, including in Gaza and the West Bank by the Palestinians against other Palestinians.
Hamas is once again trying to assert that it is doing all it can to secure the release of journalist Alan Johnston. Right.
Hamas said that it was making intense, round-the-clock efforts to secure an imminent release of kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston, on the eve of the newsman’s 100th day in captivity.They can make the claims without having to actually supply any proof. And the media will take them at their word. Hamas is also calling on the media to return to Gaza, despite the fact that being a journalist in Gaza is perhaps the most dangerous job in the world. Journalists are purposefully targeted for kidnapping and killing precisely because of their high profile positions, and the likelyhood of ransoms to be paid.
"When it comes to Alan Johnston we are multiplying efforts to secure his release, and we hope they will succeed and that he will be released in the coming days," senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya told a news conference.
This is just delusional: the Syrians think that some Israelis in the Golan might prefer to live under Syrian rule.
Iran is announcing that it has finished manufacturing a domestically produced fighter jet.
Iranian news agencies Maher and Fars have reported that Iranian army commander Ataollah Salehi announced that in the next few months the Iranian army is scheduled to hold maneuvers during which they will present, for the first time, Iranian-made fighter aircraft – Azarakhsh.The Iranians claim that the fighter jet is on the same level as the American made F/A-18 but FAS suggests that the fighter is cobbled together from a variety of reverse engineered older aircraft in its inventory. Meanwhile, Russia is denying that it has deals to sell fighter jets of its own to Iran and Syria.
Meanwhile, another scoop too good to check - about the situation in Lebanon, fed to Sy Hersh by none other than Robert Fisk, turns out to be less than accurate. Go figure.
The NYT opened up it's op-ed page for yet another shill for Hamas, which ignores basis details:
Sadly, it became apparent that not all officials from Fatah were negotiating in good faith. There were attempts on Mr. Haniya’s life last week, and eventually we were forced into trying to take control of a very dangerous situation in order to provide political stability and establish law and order.Let's just ignore all the assassination attempts by Hamas on Fatah's Abbas and other top leaders, both in Gaza and the West Bank. Let's ignore the Hamas thugs throwing Fatah thugs off rooftops or executing them in hospitals or firing on crowds of Fatah thugs seeking to flee Gaza to Israel.
The streets of Gaza are now calm for the first time in a very long time. We have begun disarming some of the drug dealers and the armed gangs and we hope to restore a sense of security and safety to the citizens of Gaza. We want to get children back to school, get basic services functioning again, and provide long-term economic gains for our people.
Hamas isn't providing political stability. It's enforcing its brand of law and order according to Islamist precepts. If you're a member of Fatah, you're toast. Law and order consists of Hamas thugs doing what they do best - cowing those without the guns into doing their bidding. As for getting basic services going, perhaps the Palestinians should consider using piping for sewage rather than rockets. As for the economics, perhaps they should consider growing agriculture in greenhouses instead of looting them and then using the remnants as rocket launching facilities or terror training camps.
Oh, as for the food situation - Hamas claims that the food will run out in 2-4 weeks.
The Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip could start running out of flour, rice, edible oil and other commodities in 2-4 weeks unless Israel reopens the border crossings, the United Nations said Wednesday.Here's a novel idea. Grow some in greenhouses as opposed to using 'em as rocket launching platforms. Oh wait. They looted the greenhouses and instead have to hold their hand out to the Israelis for food aid shipments. The irony is quite thick, especially as the UN repeatedly claims that Israel is violating Palestinian human rights. Yet, Israel is there providing humanitarian aid on a daily basis, ordered to in fact by Israeli courts, despite the fact that many of those receiving food and medical assistance are terrorists who would just as quickly shoot Israelis as each other.
Gaza's crossings with border countries Israel and Egypt, including the Rafah Crossings in the south, the Karni commercial passage in the center and the Erez Crossing in the north, have been closed since late last week when Hamas assumed full control over the Strip after five days of fighting with the rival Fatah party.
Concerned Gazans have been stocking up on essentials, fearing the crossings with remain shut. The World Food Program estimates flour prices have risen 40 percent.
The Washington Post also engages in quite a bit of moral relativism in pushing for Hamas to be drawn back into a diplomatic process. Ahmed Yousef, who's a flack for Haniyeh wrote the piece. And the editors think nothing of letting terrorists and their shills write their demands on the editorial page of its newspaper.
Abbas calls Hamas's actions a bloody coup. What a way to state the obvious, though Palestinian civil war is also fitting. Also, quite a bit of hand-wringing over the situation at Erez Crossing, where Palestinians are hoping for the opportunity to get out of Gaza and go to Israel or the West Bank.
Israel is also going after kassam rocket launchers and the Palestinian terrorists are finding time to get into gunfights with Israel:
Elsewhere Wednesday, Israeli aircraft pounded two rocket launchers in northern Gaza after two Qassam rockets were fired toward southern Israel, an Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman said.As I repeatedly note, the AAMB is Fatah and there is no reason to distinguish between the two. Fatah gives its marching orders to the AAMB, which acts as a 'military' wing of Fatah.
It is the first Israeli airstrike since Hamas took control of Gaza last week.
There were no reported casualties from either strike.
Israeli soldiers killed six Palestinian gunmen during firefights in Gaza and the West Bank early Wednesday, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.
In Gaza, Israeli forces pushed several hundred yards into the Palestinian territory, near Kissufim Crossing, to battle militants, the sources said. During the exchange, two Palestinian gunmen were killed and three others were wounded. Two of the wounded later died. An Israeli army spokesman said one Israeli soldier was wounded.
Overnight, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian militants in the West Bank town of Kafr Dan, near Jenin, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.
According to residents, the gunmen were members of Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Syria has closed its border with Lebanon, with no reason given. (Via Haaretz). Hamas doesn't consider itself to be a protector of Israel's border, as terrorists continue to fire rockets into Israel. Of course, the world will soon find its voice to condemn Israel's reprisal attacks on those firing those rockets.
Meanwhile, Olmert and Abbas are set to meet in the next week. What I wouldn't give to be in that room to give them both a piece of my mind. Abbas and Fatah keeps making demands on everyone without even bothering to pay lip service to any of its prior obligations that it never fulfilled, and yet makes ever more extravagent demands on Israel for concessions. Olmert and Israel's government continue to give Fatah lifelines, despite no reason to continue doing so.
The New York Times considers Israel's attack against terrorists firing rockets into Israel an escalation of the violence. Excuse me?! Palestinian terrorists firing rockets against Israel is the escalation; Israel's response is completely appropriate and within its rights as a sovereign nation to defend itself against attacks.
Jay Tea at Wizbang points out that Gazans have gotten exactly what they asked for. They're now hostages of Hamas. Be careful what you wish for? Indeed.
So, five more kassams struck Sderot today. Those rockets hit a power pole, knocking out power for a bit, and injured two Israelis. The media takes a powder, and instead will focus on Israel's response (which might come sooner than the terrorists had thought). The NY Times thinks that Israel's response is an escalation when it goes after the terrorists firing rockets against Israel.
Wonder what they'll come up with next? I don't. They'll simply recycle the same articles. It's far easier to recycle (and is good for the environment) than trying to report the facts as they are - that Hamas and Fatah are two sides of he same coin of terrorism, the terrorists continue to try and kill Israelis, and Israel has no choice but to eliminate the terrorists trying to kill Israeli civilians at every opportunity.
This is just rich with irony. Abbas is calling Hamas "murderous terrorists." Fatah is no different, mind you, but Fatah wouldn't have a problem with Hamas if Hamas was busy killing Israelis and not Fatah leaders and thugs.
Abbas has also said that Hamas tried to assassinate him. I don't have any sympathy for him as he's had no problem letting terrorists run amok in Gaza and West Bank who sought to kill Israelis. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he doesn't like it one bit.
As for why I continue to hammer away at the NYT and other media outlets that are shilling for Hamas and the terrorists, someone has to do it. These newspapers are attempting to shape public opinion by pushing an agenda that only an anti-Western leftist could love.