Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gaza: Talks in Egypt

The Israelis are sending an official from their Defense Ministry to talk to the Egyptians about a cease fire in Gaza. Depending on the outcome of the talks, the Israelis, so goes the AP story, will decide whether to "move towards" a cease-fire, or intensify their offensive.
Meanwhile, there's street fighting in Gaza, within a mile and a half of the center of town, where the criminal Hamas leaders are believed to be holed-up (under a hospital). (Hamas bosses are clearly not cast in the George Patton mold of leadership, eh? Hitler, Stalin and Saddam are more their speed). Haaretz reports that Hamas rockets are still going into Israel from Gaza.
Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, says that the offensive will continue while Israel "monitors" diplomatic efforts to end the conflict. Commentary in the J Post by Yaakov Katz indicates that the Israelis don't think that they have engaged the major Hamas forces yet -- Hamas is apparently dug-in deeper into Gaza City.
Clearly the Israeli Defense Ministry official visiting Cairo has been instructed not to hurry too much. That's to the good, but the Israeli ground forces may want to pick up the pace. Bush will give the Israelis the diplomatic cover they need. However, his successor is going to be another story.

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