Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Operation Cast Lead (Day Eleven)

[Continuation of post series "Israel vs Hamas (Day ___)". Changed because a real count of Israel vs Hamas would be decades worth of days, and it better reflects the topic. Operation Cast Lead is what Israel is calling the current round of fighting.]

As the fighting continues, it seems that Hamas is sending out some feelers to get a cease fire while promising to turn Gaza into a graveyard for the IDF. The logical reason must be that Hamas is getting destroyed and knows it. Still, they need to be able to point to some sort of military success.

Meanwhile, the backlash against not only Israelis, but Jews as well, is happening across the globe. Protests derailed a basketball game in Turkey (read at http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/01/07/2460812.htm?section=sport). Venezuela has expelled the Israeli ambassador (read at http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSN06444577). Perhaps most disturbingly, Danish school officials are refusing to admit Jewish children into their schools (read at http://www.cphpost.dk/index.php/news/national/88-national/43930-schools-caught-up-in-palestinian-conflict.html). This is just a cursory overview, and only includes things that have happened today.

Back to Gaza; their is evidence that Hamas has set up a hospital for gunman only (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167266926&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull). This hospital is taking a significant portion of the humanitarian aid meant to ease the suffering of the civilians. The rest of the aid; Hamas appears to be taking it and selling it to the civilians for a profit (http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3651783,00.html). Any guesses on what Hamas is going to spend that money on?

Israel continues to be pounded in the media. The latest round of criticism focused on the bombing of a UN school. It turned out that Hamas was using the area to fire at Israel. A significant stash of weapons was found as well. In all likelihood, Hamas used the area hoping for the Israelis to respond killing some civilians. That is indeed what happened (in part), and as Hamas expected Israel is getting blamed for the civilian deaths.

Obama has broken his silence on the conflict. All he said was that death of civilians on both sides was a concern to him. Unlike the air attacks which I have said that Obama did not need to comment on because the conflict would have likely been over before he took office, the ground offensives could last until he becomes president. Obama should comment and give some sort of indication on where he stands. This would give Israel some warning.

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