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Bill Collier

gaza strip

A 5-hour “humanitarian cease fire” had been agreed to between Israel and Hamas in order for Gazans to stock up on needed supplies and bring aid supplies into Gaza from Israel. Three rockets were fired, however, ending the scheduled six hour cease fire.

Earlier reports by the BBC that a comprehensive cease fire was expected to take place as of 6AM (local) Friday were strongly denied by both Israel and Hamas. At present Hamas and Israel do not talk directly, but the Egyptian Government, which has relations with both parties, is hosting teams from Israel and Gaza who are housed in the same hotel in Cairo, but in different rooms. The Egyptian negotiators are going back and forth between the rooms, sharing proposals and counter proposals.

In response to Hamas firing three rockets at Beersheba, Israel warplanes were seen attacking targets in Gaza, although further attacks by either side have not materialized.

The truce’s end could very well be a prelude to a “ground invasion” with Israeli forces first driving armored wedges between the various towns and Gaza city to divide the Gaza strip into 3-4 manageable slices and then send in infantry to occupy cities after locating and destroying armed Hamas and other units.

We have been warning that Hamas believe they have the means of inflicting serious casualties on ground forces, including enemy armor, and that their objective is to lure Israel in to a ground fight. Whether or not Hamas is correct remains to be seen, it is possible that they are deceiving themselves and would be humbled by a ground invasion.