–updated–


Hamas press conference on the event.

It really could have only ended this way after the Egypt brokered peace exploded recently. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was in Egypt on Christmas Day, warning President Hosni Mubarak that Israel wasn’t going to allow Hamas’ continuous attacks inside Israel without a response.


Livni told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that Israel’s patience was exhausted after days of rocket barrages into Israel from Gaza, and that the Israeli government would no longer accept the status quo.

“Hamas needs to understand that our aspiration to live in peace doesn’t mean that Israel is going to take this kind of situation any longer,” Livni said. “Enough is enough and while we are working with the pragmatic leaders, trying to change the situation on the ground in the West Bank, we cannot tolerate a situation in which Hamas continues to target Israel, Israel’s citizens, and this situation is going to be changed.”

Egypt had been hoping to broker a new ceasefire between the Israel and Hamas, after the last one expired six days ago. […]

This story was in the TM headlines all day yesterday. Just call it foreshadowing of today’s events.

The AP reports Israel stuck Hamas targets after weeks of rocket and mortar fire into Israel from Hamas:


Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing nearly 200 people and wounding 270 others in the single bloodiest day of fighting in years.

Most of those killed were security men, but civilians were also among the dead. Hamas said all of its security installations were hit and responded with several medium-range Grad rockets at Israel, reaching deeper than in the past. One Israeli was killed and at least four people were wounded in the rocket attacks. With so many wounded, the Palestinian death toll was likely to rise.

The air offensive followed weeks of intense Palestinian rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel, and Israeli leaders had issued increasingly tough warnings in recent days that they would not tolerate continued attacks. […]

I actually heard the MSNBC host Alex Witt ask about the possibility of a peace agreement before Bush leaves office. It was surreal. Nobody has done less in the last two decades than the Bush administration to make the Middle East more unstable. That anyone could offer with a straight face any possibility of peace at this point shows the lack of rational deduction utilized when speaking of the Israeli – Palestinian reality we face.

The problem Israel faces is that international public opinion is against them, especially after the blocking of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. The reality of national self defense is lost on Israeli critics right now, because of what is seen as heavy handedness over the aid issue. Israel is losing the public relations war, even as it fights to protect its own citizens, something that is the first priority of any country’s leaders.

Barack Obama certainly has his hands full when he comes in to office. That’s the real legacy George W. Bush leaves the new president. Is the world any safer after Bush-Cheney? is the real question that should be asked. The answer is obvious.