US-Israel arms smuggling memorandum signed Friday offers no US guarantees

The Memorandum of Understanding – MOU – signed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni Friday, Jan. 16, provided a US commitment of “the resources, wherewithal and technology” necessary to “inhibit the ability of Hamas to rearm” – but no guarantees to stop the flow.
At a joint news conference – the outgoing secretary of state’s last at the State Department – Rice said: “This we see as part of a broader international effort on the information sharing on how to deal with weapons shipments.” She cited Iran as a primary Hamas supplier.
Israel’s security cabinet convenes Saturday night to hear briefings from the foreign minister and Amos Gilead of the defense ministry, who returned from his second trip to Cairo to discuss a ceasefire terms, on which Egyptian officials are working separately with Hamas leaders.
debkafile reports that Gilead came home empty-handed.
Hamas, as its politburo chief Khalad Meshaal declared at the Doha meeting Friday, is adamantly opposed to accepting Israel’s conditions.
On the cabinet’s agenda is an Egyptian proposal for a unilateral Israeli ceasefire which Jerusalem is anxious to achieve before Barack Obama’s inauguration next Tuesday, even though Operation Cast Lead has not yet achieved its objectives of ending Hamas rocket fire and its rearming.
Hamas is still launching tens of heavy Grad rockets and missiles day by day. Friday, six people were injured, including a seriously hurt child, by the three rockets hitting Ashdod, three more fired into the center of Kiryat Gat for the first time and two more at Netivot. The Israeli air force hit back at launching sites in Gaza.

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