By most indications, there has been an end to major combat operations. Given that, this will likely be the last "Operation Cast Lead (Day _____)" post. There will be a final thoughts post regarding Operation Cast Lead at some point soon.
Hamas has vowed to rearm in direct defiance to Israeli and international efforts to the contrary. Anyone else have a sickening feeling of Déjà vu? (More at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3658534,00.html.)
Israel has promised that it will launch another offensive if Hamas renews the rocket and mortar attacks. (More at http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1056778.html.)
Both sides declared victory; no surprise there. Hamas is trying to play around with the numbers claiming to have lost significantly less then is generally accepted and claiming to kill many more IDF personnel then have been reported. Iran congratulated Hamas on the victory. (More at http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ioi_0jtO9RjMwPNRoXNCndRPRq3gD95Q5V780, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3658364,00.html, and http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292901985&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.)
Fatah's armed wing (the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades) announced that they were fighting in Gaza against Israel They claim reproducibility for firing 102 rockets and 35 mortars, as well as wounding three IDF soldiers with snipers fire and detonating six explosive devices. Are they telling the truth (perhaps with some exaggeration) or is this some sort of face saving measure? It seems unlikely that we will ever know for sure, but what is probobly more important is that the moderate Fatah was fighting side by side with Hamas presumably with the same goals. Would that make Hamas moderate or reveal that Fatah is not? Rational observers would lean towards the second explanation. (More at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292907174&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.)
Despite the reported help fighting Israel, Hamas has been rounding up hundreds of Fatah members for interrogation, torture, maiming, and murder. They are being accused of collaborating with the Israelis. In one particularly gruesome episode, a few members of Fatah had their eyes put out by Hamas interrogators. Reports indicate that Hospitals and Schools have been converted into torture chambers. The Hamas efforts against Fatah have increased since the cease-fire. (More at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1232292907998&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.)
Israel plans to withdraw from Gaza before Obama is sworn in as President as a gesture of sorts. As long as the cease-fire holds up they should be able to withdraw in time. (More at http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090119/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians.)
Please note that unlike the news stories above, not all the videos are from today. That does not mean that they are not worth watching, which indeed they are. They are also not present anywhere else in this serious of posts, meaning no repeats.
Where can you get with 15 seconds of warning? Imagine living your life knowing that at any moment you could here a siren or announcement giving you 15 seconds to get your family to safety. That is every day, every hour, every minute, and every second of your life. Imagine watching your spouse leave to go grocery shopping, or seeing your child leave to go play with a friend, knowing at any moment the alarm could sound. How long could you live like that before you demanded action; eight Years? SderotMedia.com put together a video to let you see what the people of Sderot have been dealing with on a continuous basis for nearly a decade now. It is less then two minutes and well worth watching. (http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/01/proisrael-in-toronto.html)
Video embedded below.
This video shows how Hamas uses civilians as human shields. It is on the long side, but worth a watch if you have the time.
Video embedded below.