Israeli officers: Hamas hurt but will fight on; Fatah Silently Watches Gaza, Waiting to Take Over
In an edgy, emotional speech over Damascus TV, Hamas' Damascus leader Khaled Meshaal dropped a bomb on the Cairo ceasefire talks attended Saturday, Jan. 10, by the heads of Gaza's embattled Hamas faction, just when they were on the point of unconditionally accepting a ceasefire based on Egyptian and European proposals. He declared Hamas must fight on until Israel ended its 15-day military offensive and lifted its blockade against the Gaza Strip. International monitors would be deemed "an occupation force."
DEBKAfile reports concern in Jerusalem that Meshaal may have received pledges from Iran and Hizballah to rescue Hamas from its straits in Gaza. But by shutting the door on a ceasefire, he has forced the Israeli cabinet to opt for escalation.The Hamas leader spoke amid spreading Hamas desertions in Gaza and a senior Israeli military source's disclosure that Hamas has lost 550 Hamas fighters. DEBKAfile
If speculation is true, that Hamas' Damascus leader Khaled Meshaal has received pledges from Iran and Hizballah to rescue Hamas, could this lead to Hizballah opening up a new northern front?
If there is any military action from Hizballah it will only be for the purpose of keeping Israel busy and the world glued to the the Israeli/Hamas (and possibly Hizbullah) war just long enough to usher in new US President Obama. It is widely believed that Mr. Obama is keen on face to face negotiations with Iran and will put a stop to any Israeli attempt to attack and destroy Iranian nuclear sites. Just recently, it has been reported that the Bush administration turned down an Israeli request for bunker buster bombs and clearance to fly over Iraqi airspace.
Mr. Obama has pledged to immediately engage in Middle East diplomacy on day one of his presidency making it a top priority.
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