Netanyahu: More Action If Ceasefire Fails


netanyahuAfter more than 1,500 airstrikes on terror targets in Gaza and more than 1,000 rockets launched toward Israel, Operation Pillar of Defense has come to a close: A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect at 9 p.m. tonight. In the last-minute burst of fire, Palestinian terrorists fired several bursts of rockets at south Israel, while the IDF responded with airstrikes and artillery fire on Gaza.

Rocket were fired toward Beer Sheva and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council just seconds before the truce took effect, and some projectiles were launched after the truce took effect.

IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai confirmed that the ceasefire had taken effect at 9 pm in accordance with the political echelon’s instructions. “The IDF has stopped firing at the Strip and will open fire only if our forces are put in danger,” he said.

The IDF spokesman added that a decision on whether to release the reserve forces would be made on Thursday.

“The operation’s goals have been achieved. Hamas suffered a serious blow and is in a great amount of distress. After the organization’s leaders come out from their hiding places, they will see the extent of destruction. We understand from intelligence sources that Hamas is in distress.”

According to Mordechai, time will tell what the deterrence did to Hamas. “We’ll know within weeks or months. The chief of staff is in the south, issuing orders to the forces. We are alert and ready.”

Hamas said that it has officially ordered its military wing to stop firing projectiles on Israel, but rockets continued to be fired from Gaza towards the south of the country after the ceasefire took effect.

Earlier, Egypt announced that a ceasefire had been reached to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Heavy rocket barrages on south Israel followed the announcement, but there were no reports of injury.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr made the announcement in a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The ceasefire would come into effect at 9 pm, Amr said.

“These efforts … have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen,” Amr said.

The deal was brokered by the new Islamist government of Egypt, solidifying its role as a leader in the quickly shifting Middle East. Under the agreement, Egypt will play a key role in maintaining the peace.

Clinton said the ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza had come at a crucial time for countries of the Middle East.

“This is a critical moment for the region. Egypt’s new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone for regional stability and peace,” she said at the joint news conference with her Egyptian counterpart.

She also thanked Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi for his mediation efforts and pledged to work with partners in the region “to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, provide security for the people of Israel.”

US President Barack Obama spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and commended him for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. The American leader reiterated the US’ commitment to Israel’s security and pledged to seek funds for a joint missile defense program.

The Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu told Obama that Israel is ready to give the ceasefire a chance, but warned that more forceful action might be needed if it fails.

“(Netanyahu) spoke a short while ago with President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give the Egyptian ceasefire proposal a chance, and in this way provide an opportunity to stabilize the situation and calm it before any more forceful action would be necessary,” an Israeli statement said.

Israel launched the fierce Israeli offensive in Gaza on Nov. 14 to stop months of intensifying rocket attacks. Even after the deal was announced, air raid sirens continued to wail in southern Israel.

Israel launched well over 1,500 airstrikes and other attacks on targets in Gaza, while more than 1,000 rockets pounded Israel. In all, more than 140 Palestinians, including dozens of civilians, were killed, while five Israelis died in the fighting.

According to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press, Israel and all Palestinian militant groups agreed to halt “all hostilities.” For the Palestinians, that means an end to Israeli airstrikes and assassinations of wanted militants. For Israel, it brings a halt to rocket fire and attempts at cross-border incursions from Gaza.

After a 24-hour cooling off period, it calls for “opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods, and refraining from restricting residents free movement.”

Hamas members said details on the new border arrangements would have to be negotiated.

Israel imposed its blockade of Gaza after Hamas, a terror group sworn to Israel’s destruction, seized control of the territory five years ago. It has gradually eased the closure, but continues to restrict the movement of certain goods through Israeli-controlled crossings. Among the restrictions: a near-complete ban on exports, limited movement of people leaving the territory, and limits on construction materials that Israel says could be used for military use.

The deal was vague on what limits Israel would lift, and whether Gaza’s southern passenger terminal on the Egyptian border would be expanded to allow cargo to pass through as well. The deal was also unclear about a key Israeli demand for an end to arms smuggling into Gaza in tunnels underneath the border with Egypt.

Under the agreement, Egypt will play a key role. It said “Egypt shall receive assurances from each party” that they are committed to the deal.

“Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would break this understanding,” it adds. “In case of any observations, Egypt – as the sponsor of this understanding – shall be informed to follow up.”


{ Israel}


  1. Red Alert to Klall Yisroel in the name of HaRav Moshe Sternbuch, shilita
    The Jewish people are witnessing miracles in Israel. The missiles fired at us have the power to level buildings, yet miracles are taking place and we were spared from mass destruction. Even the most secular newspapers report that there is no way to explain these events according to natural law.

    While the word “miracle” has been liberally splashed around by the media, neither the secular nor the religious press grasped the vital message of the hour. The situation arouses an urgent and critical obligation for each Jew to ask himself: “Why is Hashem performing these miracles for us? How should I be conducting myself in these extraordinary times?

    If we do not deal with these questions immediately, this current security crisis could – Chas Veshalom – escalate into the most dangerous period in Jewish history. Hashem performs miracles for the Jewish people so that we will become more aware of His Presence in our lives. In recent days, He has made perfectly clear that He alone wields power in the world and that no missile can harm so much as a hair on the head of a Jew without His consent. Every rocket has an address that He predetermines, though the terrorists may believe that they can aim at a particular target.

    Miracles are Hashem’s alarm bells, “a red alert” that we must wake up and become truly conscious of Hashem’s hashgachah in our daily lives. If we ignore these messages and conclude that miracles are just a natural part of living in Israel, the tables w could – Chas Veshalom – quickly turn.

    We could – Chas Veshalom – in fact be handed over to natural law, and the missiles inexplicably could – Chas Veshalom – begin to hit their targets with greater frequency. And that means that the lives of our fellow Jews – our brothers and sisters living in Israel – could – Chas Veshalom – be in mortal danger.

    We must learn this lesson from the story of the meraglim (spies). When they returned from Eretz Yisrael they claimed this land was a place where miracles were apparent on a daily basis, and therefore an extremely high spiritual level would be demanded of those who dwelled there. There was no way that Klal Yisrael as a nation could maintain such a level, and therefore the spies, who were all Gedolei Yisrael, ruled that the people should not enter the land.

    The opinion of the meraglim was brought before the Sanhedrin, and they concurred with their ruling. It may seem, on the surface, that their reasoning was sound, and logic dictated that it was unwise to enter Eretz Yisrael. Yet we see from the grave punishment incurred by that generation that they could not have been further from the truth. What was the mistake in their reasoning?

    The answer is simple. If Hashem told us to enter Eretz Yisrael, He obviously knew that we would ascend to the spiritual level necessary for a nation that sees miracles on a daily basis. For this reason, the claim of the meraglim was heresy, and we suffer from its bitter consequences to this very day.

    In more recent times, Rav Yechiel Yaakov Weinberg once told Rav Sternbuch about a meeting of secular non-Jewish and Jewish professors to discuss the authorship of the Torah. Their conclusion was that while the Torah was far too complex to be man-made, they were not ready to attribute it to a Divine source that they knew nothing about. Like the meraglim, they perceived the significance of the Divine influence, but refused to follow through by accepting the full import of this conclusion.

    During the current military operation, we are facing the very same challenge. Hashem is sending us a message that we must make real changes in our lives and raise our level of consciousness of His Presence, to the point where we are worthy of such supernatural treatment. If we rise to the occasion and raise our level of emunah as a result of these miracles, then we will pass the nisayon (test), and it is very likely that Moshiach will arrive shortly.

    Chazal offer us practical advice in this area, and write that reciting a hundred brachos every day and saying Amen yehei Shmei Rabba has the power to annul decrees. Reciting Tehillim is important, but we need to make sure that our tefilah is also said with the proper kavanah. Everyone should take upon themselves to do something small to raise their level of emunah.

    We must consider ourselves warned by the lessons of our history: If Hashem shows us miracles and we do not respond by strengthening our emunah, His mercy could – Chas Veshalom – turn to fury and we are handed over to the forces of natural law. We dare not speak about what this could could – Chas Veshalom– lead to, but we all understand the ruthless nature and implacable hatred of the enemy we face.

    Now is the time, while Hasehm continues to shower His miracles upon us, to recognize His hand in our lives on a national and individual level, to turn to Him in tefilah and teshuvah, and eagerly watch the redemption unfold before our eyes.

  2. Can someone answer a simple question: If the medina cannot finish off little Hamas in Gaza, how on Earth could they do any damage to either Hizbullah and Iran? And if little Hamas could strike a few missiles in Tel Aviv, what do they think would happen from missiles now from Hizbullah?!

  3. ????? ??? ???? ?????
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    Yidden world wide are asked to please recite Tehillim and learn Torah as Zechus for the famous Magid of the generation Harav Shlomo Brevda Shlita, “Shlomo Leib ben Miriam” who is in urgent need of a Refuah Sheleimah. Again He has been hospitalized under stressful conditions currently in the ICU. The situation is so that only Tehillim & T’efilos can still help save his life.

    Before being hospitalized: Rav Brevda requested that we increase the intensity of our Tefillos during Dovening and say Tehillim (day and/or night) whenever the opportunity arises. He feels in very dire straights. Please request that a Misheberech to be said for the Rav during Kryias HaTorah.
    Thank you.