18:30 EDT: The IDF called on residents of east and north Gaza to evacuate their homes. The warning was also given to residents of the Sajaiya and Zeitoun neighborhoods of Gaza city. The IDF left recorded voice messages for residents telling them to, “evacuate for the sake of your safety by 8am Wednesday.”
16:30 EDT: The Israeli cabinet has been in session for over an hour discussing approval for an invasion of Gaza.
BREAKING NEWS 14:00 EDT: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired far right extremist deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon on Tuesday evening. Netanyahu has been seeking an excuse to rid himself of Danon for a long time as part of the internal Likud power struggle.
Danon has challenged Netanyahu’s leadership of the Likud over the past year as head of the party’s Central Committee. Despite his removal from his position as a deputy minister, Danon will remain a Likud MK and chairman of the Likud Central Committee.
The United States approves Israeli Gaza invasion. The White House said that Israel has the right to take whatever actions it deems necessary to ensure the security of its citizens.
UPDATE 10:20 EDT:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he expects “full support” from world leaders for Israel’s military operation to end rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, after Hamas rejected ceasefire proposals and fired a barrage of rockets at Israel Tuesday. For this we expect full support from the responsible members of the international community,” Netanyahu said, while thanking world leaders “who unequivocally condemned Hamas” for targeting Israeli civilians and “supported Israel’s right to self-defense.”
Gaza Ceasefire Charade Provides Israeli Legitimacy for Invasion
Egypt in consultations with the United States and Israel, declared a ceasefire for the purpose of conducting negotiations for a permanent deal to end the recurring Gaza conflict.
This ceasefire was declared by Egypt without any consultations with Hamas and met none of the Gaza militants conditions. Therefore it was rejected outright by the Gaza militants. Instead Hamas has sent its representatives to Cairo to restate their conditions for a ceasefire.
In reality the conditions for a ceasefire by the two sides are irreconcilable:
Hamas and the Gaza militants are demanding:
1. The release of all persons arrested in the recent West Bank Israeli roundup.
2. The end of the siege on Gaza
Israel is demanding:
1. The full demilitarization of Gaza
2. The imposition of an international forces to control the strip and guarantee demilitarization
3. The elimination of the militants and a full restoration of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority.
Seeing that the positions of the two sides to establish a ceasefire are irreconcilable at this point; the ceasefire call was a contrived propaganda display to blame the coming invasion by Israel as solely the fault of Hamas.
Hamas rejected the ceasefire as none of its concerns were met, they were not even consulted; and after the Hamas rejection Netanyahu adroitly accepted the ceasefire and threatened an invasion of Gaza if Hamas [which had already rejected the ceasefire] were to reject the ceasefire.
This ceasefire was arranged by the United States in consultation with Israel and announced by Egypt.
It was nothing more than a propaganda exercise to justify an Israeli invasion of Gaza.
Hamas rejected the Egyptian proposal, saying Cairo did not consult the group over the deal.
The organization’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, rejected the offer completely, saying it was “a surrender” and “wasn’t worth the ink it was written with.” “A ceasefire without reaching an agreement is rejected. In times of war, you don’t cease fire and then negotiate,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told AFP.
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zahri reiterated this Tuesday morning
According to the IDF, at least 35 rockets have been fired on Israel since 9:00 am. Egyptian declared ceasefire deadline.
Three hours after the hour set for the ceasefire passed, and the rockets were still falling Netanyahu said that “If Hamas rejects the ceasefire, we will have full international legitimacy to restore the needed quiet,”
“We heeded the Egyptian offer in order to give a chance to achieve demilitarization of the Gaza Strip [unthinkable to the Gaza militants] by diplomatic means. If Hamas rejects this – and it looks that way – Israel will have all the legitimacy needed to restore quiet,” he added.
At about 14:00 local time this afternoon, the Israeli Cabinet instructed the IDF to hit back at Gaza with full force; The IDF began hitting Gaza at about 15:00 local time.,
During a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Hatnua leader Livni added that a severe Israeli response will be dealt (to Hamas) for not accepting the ceasefire.
Israel now has an apparent political legitimacy for an invasion of Gaza, to destroy the militant factions and demilitarize the strip by destroying all weapons.
Meanwhile the United States, certain Allies and Israel, are preparing to begin talks on the aftermath of the Gaza campaign.
The purposed plan after destroying all the Gaza militants is to:
1. Bring in foreign administrators and peace keepers to complete the demilitarization of the strip and restore and maintain order.
2. To begin a rebuilding process and economic revival of Gaza through massive funding,
3. and ultimately to include Gaza in a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Operation Protective Edge in numbers as of midnight Monday:
As of Monday night, the IDF hit 1,535 targets in Gaza.
The Israeli air and naval attacks killed 180 Palestinians and wounded about 1,200 people. According to the IDF, nearly half of those killed were Hamas affiliated terrorists.
The UN had a similar figure of dead at 177 as of Monday, but included that 1/4 of that figure was children. Health officials in Gaza said that 1,280 Palestinians had been wounded over the seven days of military action.
According to Maan, as of Tuesday morning, at least 192 were killed and 1,400 injured.
There were 9000 in Gaza according to IDF [far less than the 40,000 claimed by the Israeli propaganda machine], some 1,000 were fired at Israel, while nearly 3,000 were destroyed by Israel. Of the remaining 5,000, most are short-range, but a few hundred are thought to be medium-range. About half of all known rocket-production facilities in Gaza have been destroyed.
No Israelis were killed. [Number of injured not listed, but I estimate about a dozen or less. – OH]