60 thoughts on “Gaza Ceasefire Collapses, Israel Fails in Fifth Attempt to Assassinate Mohammed Deif – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. According to all the news accounts I’ve read (granted, from Western sources), the ceasefire was broken when Hamas — or a splinter group within it — fired three rockets into Israel an hour or so before the ceasefire was due to elapse. Israeli attacks, including the bombing of Dief’s family home, were supposedly the response to resumption of hostilities. Do you have any evidence to suggest, as you seem to be saying, that Israel broke the ceasefire with this attack first?

    1. Hamas denies there were any rockets fired from Gaza, and Hamas has shown itself tobe trustworthy. Something that can’t be said about Israel. Israel violated the ceasefire several times before that anyway. Israel has always violated every ceasefire, even the one they signed in November 2012 which Haas never violated.

  2. You forgot one small point – while Hamas were negotiating ‘in good faith’ a cease fire agreement, THEY broke the truce by firing missiles at beer sheva at about 13:00 before the assassination attempt which was Israel’s response. But then Hamas can do no wrong in your eyes even at the expense of the truth.

    1. “THEY broke the truce by firing missiles at beer sheva at about 13:00 before the assassination attempt which was Israel’s response”

      That would be a neat-o trick, considering the Haaretz timeline shows the rockets being launched at 12:06am, and Hamas stating at 12:08am that those rockets were in response to the IDF bombing of that house.

      All of which would mean that the IDF “retaliated” (and the Hamas spokesman was briefed on that “retaliation”) within two minutes of that rocket-fire that provoked that “retaliation”.

      And that sounds plausible to you?

      Really? Isn’t it far more likely that the assassination attempt came first, and by 12am both the Hamas spokesman and the Hamas rocket-crews were ordered to reply.

    2. The rockets were fired before the assassination attempt. But those who fired them may well have been operated by someone who was ultimately an Israeli intelligence asset (probably not directly but through a chain of intermediary ranks). With less than tight subordination in the terrorist organizations, and a measure of franchising-like modus operandi (i.e., at least some cells in Gaza and WB receiving money and directives from some people outside the historical Palestine), it is not rocket science for the Israeli intelligence to insert or recruit their moles in order to provoke violence each time it suits the Israeli govt. and security apparatus.

    3. Ostensibly, rockers were indeed fired prior to the attempt on Deif…

      Given the IDF PR Rep’s record of veracity, it is hard to believe that the were rockets, that they we’re fired or that they were exploded in uninhibited areas. It is simply impossible to believe the IDF PR, after their dismall record of prevarication, inveracity and calumny.


  3. Shmuel,

    You and everybody else knows that Hamas immediately after the sirens rang put out a statement saying “we are not firing” but Israel’s response was. We are done talking and have been called home and before they even left the building twitter had reported 2 dead in Gaza. Israel is on a war path to flatten Gaza and those not willing to move out of it. The Palestinian Resistance will never allow it…so thing fight will be to the bitter end.

    Regardless of who started it. Remember, who subducates whom, who besieges whom, and how imprisoned whom?

    Israel even goes as far as ‘rationing’ food to an entire nation.

    For that…most humans would join the resistance…much like the Warsaw Ghetto.

  4. And under this justification ,israel used a bunker buster to kill a pregnant woman and her daughter.
    The most moral and ethical army in the world.

    1. Adriana – can you name a more “moral and ethical army” who is engaged in a such a war or anything similar?

          1. It’s literally impossible for the IDF to engage in a moral and ethical war against the Palestinians while they run an apartheid state in the WB and impose a siege on nearly 2 million people in Gaza. These acts are wrong in themselves and enforcing them requires the use of violence against innocent people even during “ceasefires”.

            So you’re basically asking if other colonial wars have been conducted with greater humanity. Hard to say. It’s like having a contest for the nicest brutal dictatorship.

      1. Israel is itself not a moral nation and most certainly, its military, the so-called I “D” F has no morals when it comes to humiliating or killing Palestinians. Besides, saying something brainless similar to “We are better than the Nazis”, is hardly a mark of a moral or ethical people.

        Israel began its “Strangulation” (their word) of Gaza when the people of Palestine voted for Hamas and that Strangulation has only grown more and more brutal as time passes. Even today, 94% or more of all Israeli Jews and probably the same numbers of Diaspora Jews, support thsi “right” of Israel to be as brutal a butcher as it can be.

        I supose, as long as Uncle Sam continues it blind, blank-check support of everything Israel does (while mouthing whispers of discontent), Israel will do everything it can to emulate Der Fuhrer’s Germany. It is worthy of note that Germans during WWII, felt that Jews were an existential threat to Germany so, anything done to contain them (including extermination) was a patriotic and righteous thing to do; today, Jews of Israel and Diaspora believe the same thing about Palestinians except they don’t want to witness death-camps. Israeli Jews have a solution to this, who needs death camps when you can exterminate people at will? Literally, like shooting fish in a barrel.

        1. Well, forcing people to concentrate in a restricted area, controlling their movements, their trade, their calories even and periodically indulging in reckless murder sprees in order to terrorize and diminish the population ….this sounds very like the ghetto practices of Germans against Jews in mid century. There are no “death camps” as such, but then Nazi policy evolved as such camps were not quite envisioned when the ghettos were being formed. As long as Palestinians exist, Israel’s legitimacy will be challenged unless it agrees to settlement and reparations.

  5. I don’t like using the phrase “the most moral and ethical army in the world” as I don’t think you can compare such measurements. I do, however, believe the IDF has high moral standards that it follows in most cases.

    The usage of 5 GBUs is no surprise: having failed to kill Deif numerous times was at times due to the fact that not enough firepower was used, to avoid harming civilians, and now they had to make sure that he wouldn’t survive.

      1. It appears they haven’t failed…

        The alternative would be to use a special forces unit, which would lead to more casualties on both sides.

  6. If the point is to get someone they coisider a terrorist, why doesn’t Israel use a SWAT like team?

    1. Why mind about this subtle detail if they can use a bunker buster, kill 2000 thousand civils, majority children and women and never be accountable of crimes ?

  7. As far as I can make out from the reporting in Haaretz it is unclear what came first: the murder of Mohammed Deif’s wife and little daughter or the rocket attacks. Haaretz speaks of that murder as having taken place on Tuesday and of the rockets as coming over on Tuesday evening. Also it is not quite clear whether Hamas as such is responsible for these latest attacks. At any case there is a grotesque disparity between attacking with bunker busting bombs and operating with “rockets” that, after years of a blockade of all possible “war materials”, can’t be much more than upgraded fire crackers that persistently fail to have any other than propaganda effect (for Israel). The myth that the “Iron Dome” held all these terrible things at bay is strictly for domestic consumption there.
    For Hamas these rockets are mainly morale boosters – hey, we are still there though you have tried to pulverise us under your iron heel.

    It is exactly this disparity in death dealing equipment that makes this conflict unlike almost any other military conflagration taking place in the world right now. Israel’s boasting about being the “most moral army” in the world can therefore only invite ridicule.

    I think that Israel’s unwillingness to give up the blockade of Gaza is the main obstacle to a long lasting truce right now. It seems to me that the ball is now in the court of the US. The position of the EU is clear: a return to the situation before the latest conflict is not an option, it has said. It is prepared to play a role in monitoring border posts provided there is a U.N.Security Council Mandate for such a mission. So the US has to forego, for once, its habit of vetoing Security Council resolutions that are unwelcome to Israel.

      1. I have feared (and do fear) that the next nuclear bomb to be used will be by Israel, but not on Gaza.
        Rather on larger regional powers, not on the totally powerless and not at all dangerous Gazans. (Car accidents take more lives than those ‘rockets’ from Gaza.)

        1. I don’t doubt it. The Zionists have corralled their enemy in ghettos, restricted their movements and calories, launched murderous sorties into the ghetto repeatedly, killing and terrorizing the inhabitants…what’s next given this familiar sequence? A nuke might be just the ticket! What is there to stop them? Almost nothing except maybe concerns about fallout.

          Bunker Busters. Your tax dollars hard at work.

  8. Israel took delivery of the GBU-28s in 2009 – 100 were ordered and 55 delivered. They would be almost totally useless against concrete reinforced underground Iranian targets because their penetration capacity is only 30 meters (100 ft) of earth or 6 meters (20 ft) of solid concrete. Even Hamas tunnels are deeper than that. The photo you provided shows a fiery external explosion. Bunker Busters penetrate and then explode – what you see when they explode is mostly earth, not fire as the explosion takes place underground. I tried to get confirmation regarding the reported use of 5 (!!) GBU-28s and all I got was a tweet by Rajai abuKhalil who actually lives in East Jerusalem, just a few minutes away from me. I have no idea how he managed to identify the exact munitions used here. Just my two cents here.

    1. Obama’s Red Line

      In 2011 the White House told Netanyahu not to use them on Iran, the Israelis kept their word.

      The first GBU-28s were delivered to Israel in 2006:

      The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said. ….

      An announcement in 2005 that Israel was eligible to buy the “bunker buster” weapons described the GBU-28 as “a special weapon that was developed for penetrating hardened command centers located deep underground.” The document added, “The Israeli Air Force will use these GBU-28’s on their F-15 aircraft.”

      Rice in Beirut – Did Our Bunker Busters Arrive On Time?

  9. Richard – Israel is claiming that Deif is dead, while Hamas is claiming the opposite. I tend to believe Hamas.

    What does your source say?

    If Deif hasn’t been killed, and only his wife and baby son have (along with the requisite bystanders), then we can chalk up yet another humiliating defeat for the IDF. At this point, I don’t think this war can be described as anything other than a resounding failure for Israel, one that should make every Israeli understand that his country is clearly on the decline and that he or she should, if they want to live in peace and security, seek foreign passports and get the hell out of Dodge.

    1. Just got to read the transcript of Netanyahu’s press conference tonight. He sounds like a man who is becoming unhinged. I think he is suffering from some form of mental breakdown (it seems like he is more afraid of Bennet and Lieberman than Hamas). I think he understands that he has effectively tied a noose around his own neck and that the floor is about to cave in under his feet.

      Hamas is now free and clear to fire as many rockets as they wish, and I don’t think even Obama will bother to denounce them anymore. In less than two weeks a new school year is supposed to begin in Israel. We will see some serious shit hitting the fan when parents in the south realize that their kids are going to miss significant school time this year.

      Richard – I would be very curious to hear your Israeli source’s take on Netanyahu’s predicament. How does he plan to extricate himself from it? Could he be forced to quit the government?

      1. What difference would Natanyahu’s resignation make for the Palestinians? I don’t recall a single regime in Israel that was open to FAIR peace talks with Palestinians and would stop killing them at will even while “negotiations” were in progress.

  10. Elad, Shmuel,

    There were numerous opportunities for comprehensive peace agreements throughout Israel’s history, and especially in the 2000s. Non were accepted ** by Israel ** and Israel alone. The current fighting shouldn’t be happening at all! It is only the Zionist Israeli **reality displacement** that allows you to continue to argue as if nothing ever happened. There is a consequence to rejecting peace. You lose credibility . People don’t trust you anymore. Hamas is now understood to be a defensive force, fighting occupation.

    1. [comment deleted: go right now and read the Comment Rules. If you do not, or you post another comment violating them, you will be moderated or banned.]

      1. Walla. I can tell you that I exist and will continue to exist until the death takes me away, as it did and will do to everyone else. I hope you will not read a death wish of mine into the above sentence.
        Of course, one can find much more offensive statements in the Hamas charter. They are a terrorist organization, for heaven’s sake. But history is full of terrorist organizations which fought against foreign occupation. Sometimes, terrorism is the only way a people can overthrow an occupying force (and sometimes it isn’t).

        1. Let’s see…Hamas is a “terrorist organization” because it targets and kills civilians…
          Israel is NOT a “terrorist organization” because it is FORCED to kill civilians (Hamas’ fault).

          Yep. I can see it all now, thanks for helping me understand this complex thought

          1. Hamas is no more “terrorist” than the “Minutemen” at Concord or the Viet Cong were terrorist or any others fighting for rights in the country, the ground, in which they live and have lived against imperialist forces. Do not concede the term “terrorist.”

      2. [comment deleted: you can spin your comment any way you like, but if you read the comment rules (which I doubt) & still don’t understand how you violated them you’re so far submerged in Islamophobia you don’t know which way is up. Next Islamophobic comment earns you banning.]

        1. You can call me names as much as you want. Again, I used the term “Muslim extremists” which is the same as your last words in your next post – “Islamist extremists”

          If you delete this comment I’d know you don’t really want to have a conversation.

          1. Elad. You seem to be okay with using “Muslim Extremists’, but do you also use the term “Jewish Extremists” when you refer to Israeli settlers, Israeli military (I “D” F), Israeli border Police or, Israeli politicians?
            If yes, then I suppose you would be justifed in using “Muslim Extremists”.

          2. This is a reply to Jafar’s comment below (the comment thread is too long to continue):
            Yes, I do use the term “Jewish Extremists” when referring to some settlers and some politicians. I also use this term on other Israelis. For examples those who call “death to Arabs” in demonstration.

            You know, there are different kind of extremists…

          3. Elad. [“Some” settlers and politicians]. Given that Settlers are ALL terrorists because of their occupation of Palestinian lands by force (Oops! I guess that includes almost ALL Israeli Jews!) and given that almost ALL Israeli politicians are involved in the brutalities being perpetrated upon Palestinians, I wonder how you decide which Muslims fall in your “terrorist” category.

          4. Jafar,
            Somewhere above I gave links to governments declaring Hamas as a Terrorist Entity but Richard deleted them “being off-topic”.

            BTW, following your logic that almost all Israeli Jews are terrorists I guess almost all Americans are Terrorists too since the USA is supporting Israel…

            I think we can end the discussion here. Thanks.

          5. Elad. The trouble with fashionable terms like “terrorist” is that they are what the speaker wants them to be. There is actually no universal acceptance of “terrorism” definition indeed, there is not even a US-wide term definition that all agencies can agree on.

            You say Hamas is a “terorrist” organization because some countries have listed them as such. I would infer from that, that you also consider Begin and the founding fathers of Israel as terrorists, because Britain decided they were such

            As for the US, It is not only providing Israel with a blamk check for anything they do, the US is actually killing more civilians than Israel is and so, yes, the US is involved in war crimes on a massive scale and yes, it is terrorism.

            On the other side of the coin, you Israeli Jews are supposedly fighting for your existence by blowing Palestinians out of existence and the US is defending Democracy by installing dictators.
            Good going.

  11. IAF uses new US-supplied smart bunker-buster missile GBU-39 – Dec. 28, 2008

    Although only weighing 250 pounds, its ability to strike is comparable to much heavier bombs, and its small size (180 centimetres long and 19 centimetres wide) means a large number can be deployed during a single sortie: Israeli Air Force F-15Is will typically carry up to 20 at a time.

    Like the USAF experience in comflict zones, the IAF will also use Strike Eagles as SDB launch platforms. Israel operates modified Strike Eagles known as F-15I Ra’ams (Thunders), while the official IAF designation for the SDB is the ‘Sharp Hail’. For the future, the IAF may team the SDBs up with its F-16 Fighting Falcon combat jets, too.

    The Israeli Air Force is a major Middle Eastern military power, with a fleet of 750 aircraft. Established in 1948, it has been involved in numerous combat engagements over the past six decades including Yom Kippur and the 1982 Lebanon War. [Excuses, info from the Boeing website – Oui]

    Raytheon / Texas Instruments GBU-28 Bunker Buster

    These are the so-called “pin-point” bombs from a new development. Focused Lethality Munition (FLM) , a derivative of the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), uses a multiphase-blast explosive compound along with a carbon-fiber-composite warhead case to minimize fragmentation, as well as an anti-jam GPS aided by inertial navigation.

    A carbon-fiber-composite warhead maims and causes the most horrible injuries that can’t be treated in a emergency room in Palestinian hospitals. Many limbs: arms and legs go missing. First delivered in time for the Dec/Jan 2009 Gaza War by the Bush administration. The war ended days before Obama’s inauguration.

    Dr Abu Shabaan is more concerned by evidence of new, mysterious weapons and appeals for an impartial international investigation into Israel’s use of new weapons. Palestinian and foreign doctors who’ have treated the war-wounded at Shifa suspect the injuries may be caused by Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME), also known as Focus Lethality Munition, a weapon invented through Israeli-American cooperation.

    The “Focused Lethality Munition” is a variant of the 250 pound Small Diameter Bomb I that changes its casing and internal fill, in order to produce more devastating effects within a smaller area. A carbon-fiber bomb body disintegrates instead of fragmenting, which adds explosive force nearby, but largely removes sharpnel issues farther away.

  12. “It makes my blood boil to hear anonymous Israeli officials claiming they recognize the obligation they have to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. ”

    Yeah, in general when hasbarists make arguments like this, what they are really saying is that Gaza is a prison camp, but not a death camp. They keep 1.9 million innocent people in prison, but they don’t starve them to death or prevent all forms of aid from getting through.

    So by that logic, if a repressive regime holds political prisoners but doesn’t kill them, this is something to brag about.

  13. 1. Hamas says he is alive, although in one interview one of Hamas spokesmen reffered to him as shahid and immdiately said he misspoke and that he is actually alive.

    2. “5 GBUs” seems funny that minutes after the attack a writer from east jerusalem knows the exact armor used in that attack.

    3. You forgot to mention that a couple of hours prior to this attack Hamas actually fired several rockets at Israel.

    1. @ Nimrod: 1. Israeli officials conceded they missed him. Did you miss that?
      2. Actually, Hamas said that bunker busters were used. And they actually live in Gaza where the bombing occurred. Or did you miss that as well?
      3. Hamas didn’t fire any rockets at Israel. In fact, minutes after those missiles were fired Hamas announced it had not fired them. And you missed that as well?

      You’re a bit off on the hasbara tonight, Nimrod.

  14. It is highly suspicious that Hamas would break a cease-fire just when Israel received some pinpoint information as to the location of Deif. That is of course in addition to the fact that Hamas has no interest in breaching the cease-fire while Netanyahu does as it (a) gives him an excuse to leave the talks and (b) show a victory picture and satisfy his disappointed constituency’s blood thirst.

    Most reasonable what happened is that IDF reported rockets launched into the Negev, even though no sirens were heard and their landing location is unknown – nobody would bother checking anyway and Western media is quick to print any IDF version with a hint of skepticism. Then used that as a pretext to attack Deif, knowing very well the expected response which would enable Netanyahu to pull out of the talks.

    Of course one would answer why would Netanyahu would leave the talks – after all cease fires and agreements are most often agreed during the war, not after a war. So apparently when the spoiled brat-bully says he’s not playing anymore, everyone is supposed to blame Hamas, as if it’s not in Israel’s interest to reach an agreement for a long term cease fire.

  15. I am concerned about the willingness of even the most enlightened commentators to continue the language of the oppressor even in critical pieces. I am thinking here of “terror plot” and referring to Israel’s murder spree as “war.” The use of these phrases, regardless of the outrage expressed, serves the colonizing power. The “terror plot,” real or not is rightly just homespun defense against an occupying power which has stolen the property of the native people. When world power was perceived as distributed between the Soviets and the Americans, we had no problem naming those pushing back as “freedom fighters” (from either side.) Now, they are “terrorists” if they oppose the world order specified by the US. The violent arm of the defending natives was “rebellion” or “resistance” not “terror.” Think of how differently this Gaza fight would be viewed if Palestinian violence directed at Israel were termed “resistance,” which is what it is. I can’t expect world controlled mass media to oblige me, but I think that we here could choose our terms more carefully.

    (It’s a difficult choice, but I think that biggest disaster of modern history will likely be seen as the dissolution of the Soviet bloc, the offsetting power which assured something close to peace generally for decades. Now the US/Israel new imperialists have carte blanche.)

  16. The point that always seems to get forgotten is that all of Israel is built on land stolen from the Palestinian people. That Israel, which ethnically cleansed 700,000 people to steal that land, has no legitimacy. 80% of the people who reside in Gaza are refugees from that expulsion. Racist, settler-colonialist Israel has no right to control Gaza or the West Bank or Jerusalem or any other part of Palestine. These are thieves. Every inch of that land belongs to the Palestinian people. One can’t talk about their right to do X or Y or Z. The millions of Palestinian refugees must be permitted to return, the state must cease being a racist Jewish state and become a democracy. The BDS movement is the beginning of forcing the real issue. But let’s not think Israel has any rights in this matter whatsoever.

  17. Netanyahu’s ‘mindset’ reminds me of vide, I saw, of an interview with Golda Meir. Unfortunately, I don’t have the link.

    “Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!” G. Meir
    “We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon – no alternative.” G. Meir

  18. Hamas says Israel killed three top Gaza commanders

    Aug 21 (Reuters) – An Israeli air strike killed three senior Hamas military commanders in the Gaza Strip.

    In an update details were given:

    Hamas named the men as Mohammed Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum and said they were killed in a bombing of a house in the southern town of Rafah.

    Palestinian police and health officials say that six people were killed in the Rafah strike and that dozens of others remain trapped in the rubble of a four-story building targeted by Israel.

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