|Some Assembled Israeli Troops - Sunday Nov 18, 2012|
There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity. Secretary General of the U.N. Ban-Ki Moon has become involved, a joint French-Qatari truce proposal was presented to both sides and various other countries have been meeting in Cairo with Egypt acting as the lynchpin to most of these discussions. The German foreign minister just completed a meeting with Israeli officials. U.S. Secretary of State Clinton in en route to Israel. In a televised interview yesterday, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal taunted the Israelis to begin a ground invasion and made various threats about the damage that Hamas would cause if such an invasion were to incur. He insisted that Israel had "requested" the cease fire talks even though Israelis spokespeople stated that this comment was about as accurate as Hamas claims that it had attacked Israel's parliament or shot down F-16s (neither of which have occurred). Of course, this may have been posturing to try to claim victory on behalf of Gaza residents, who have faced some very serious attacks from the Israeli air force and have suffered heavy losses.
Nevertheless, there is no cease fire in place at this point. This morning, Hamas ramped up its rocket attacks. More than 60 rockets were fired at Israel between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. alone, with 20 of these rockets fired at Beersheva. Although many of these missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome, three rockets hit targets in Beersheva, causing significant damage. A shopping mall was hit, a home was destroyed and a passenger bus (with passengers) was hit. There are reports of numerous injuries, some of which are apparently very serious.
|YNet News Photo - Beersheva Nov 20, 2012|
Meanwhile. the IDF continued its attacks on different parts of Gaza overnight, aiming at military targets, weapons storage facilities, missile launching sites and Hamas military leaders. Reports from Gaza have indicated that more than 100 Gaza residents have been killed since the start of these hostilities, at least 20 of whom have been civilians. It is hard to imagine that a continued battle with Israel is really a good thing for the people of Gaza. It seems that it would be much better to negotiate a longer term deal that would address concerns that both sides have. However, at this point, there is little indication that the two sides have been able to reach this type of deal. It remains to be seen whether talks will progress today and tomorrow or whether the situation will deteriorate further.