Emerging Gaza ceasefire allows Hamas to restock rockets – and fire them

debkafile‘s military sources sum up the Egyptian-Hamas ceasefire accord presented to Israel as no better than a repeat formula of last year’s failed informal truce, which led to the outbreak of the current Gaza fighting. One senior officer told us: For this we didn’t have to go to war.”
Now as then, Egypt is fashioning separate understandings with Hamas and Israel. While tying Israel’s military hands, these deals permit Hamas to claim it has come out of the fighting ahead, after Israel refrained from either toppling its Gaza government or extinguishing its missile capabilities.
Thursday, Jan. 15, two Israeli envoys headed out – the foreign ministry’s director general Aharon Ambramovich to Washington and the defense ministry’s political adviser Amos Gilead to Cairo – to hear about the proposed American and Egyptian ceasefire mechanisms for controlling weapons smuggling through Sinai and the Philadelphi Corridor. Hamas took this as a signal to intensify its assaults on the southern Israel population: 20 missiles and rockets were launched before 10:00 a.m.Thursday; 23 Wednesday, one of which landed more than 70 km from Gaza – the furthest distance ever reached by a Hamas rocket.
debkafile‘s military sources note that even if the two mechanisms are agreed between the US, Egypt and Israel, it could be a year or more before they are in place. Only then, can their efficacy begin to be tested. All that time, Hamas will be free to restock its arsenal through the Philadelphi smuggling tunnels and calibrate its missile fire – in exactly the same way as Hizballah replenishedd its armory from Syria and Iran after the 2006 war and still shoots rockets at will under the noses of UN monitors.
Therefore, although easily vanquished on the battlefield, the Hamas terrorists are winning the diplomatic war against a compliant Israel.

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