U.S. Blasts Hamas for Breaking Ceasefire and Seizing Israeli Soldier

Update: Hamas' military wing, al Qassam Brigades, has released this statement:

“The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades has no information on this soldier. We have lost contact with one of our combatant groups, which was fighting in the sector where the soldier went missing and it is possible that our fighters and this soldier were killed,” the group said in a statement
They also say:

"We have no idea about where the Israeli soldier is or what is the situation. "We lost contact with the group who made the suicide mission near Rafah after it was done. "We believe everyone in this group was killed by an Israeli air strike including the Israeli soldier who the Israelis are talking about having disappeared."


Yet another version:
"The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades has no information on this soldier. We have lost contact with the combatant group that took part in the ambush, and we believe its members were killed in the [IDF] strikes. Assuming they managed to capture the soldier during the battle, we believe he may have also been killed."
And another:
"We have lost contact with the group of fighters that took part in the ambush and we believe they were all killed in the (Israeli) bombardment. Assuming that they managed to seize the soldier during combat, we assess that he was also killed in the incident," the statement said.

Original Post

By all accounts except that of Hamas, Hamas broke the latest cease-fire 90 minutes after it began by seizing Israeli soldier, Second Lt. Hadar Goldin. The Obama Administration blasted Hamas for its actions and called for the unconditional release of the soldier.

"We have unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two soldiers, and capturing a third, almost minutes after a ceasefire was announced," Obama said. "That soldier needs to be unconditionally released, as soon as possible."

Under the terms of the cease-fire, Israel was still going to be searching for and dismantling tunnels. The agreement was for Israel to withhold firing into Gaza, not leave Gaza. Via the New York Times:

Under the terms of the temporary truce, Israeli forces were permitted to remain in place inside Gaza to continue destroying the labyrinth of tunnels that Mr. Netanyahu has said were the prime target of the Israeli ground operation. Both sides said they would respond if fired upon.

According to Israel and news reports, 90 minutes after the cease-fire began, Hamas militants, including a suicide bomber, emerged from a tunnel and attacked Israeli soldiers who were working on it, killing two soldiers and then grabbing a third Israeli soldier, dragging him into the tunnel and back to Gaza.

More here.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also blamed Hamas for breaking the ceasefire. The U.N. says it has not yet independently verified Israel's claims, but if true:

"This would constitute a grave violation of the cease-fire, and one that is likely to have very serious consequences for the people of Gaza, Israel and beyond....Such moves call into question the credibility of Hamas' assurances to the United Nations.

The Times of Israel has this primer on the tunnels and Hamas.

Hamas blamed Israel for breaking the ceasefire initially claiming its action occurred a few hours before the ceasefire by another group. It has not confirmed the capture of the soldier.

On Twitter, there is a lot of debate as to whether the soldier was "kidnapped" or "captured." If Hamas agreed to the cease-fire knowing Israel had announced it would continue searching for and dismantling tunnels, and that's what the Israeli soldiers were doing when attacked by Hamas, then I don't think "captured" is the right word. He was in a place he was expected to be under the terms of the ceasefire, and he was not on a battlefield or engaged in combat. But since the whole area is a war zone, I don't like the word "kidnapped" either. So I'm using the word "seized."

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    Look (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 09:00:53 PM EST
    I know its, like, you job to be ridiculous but to suggest I, 1000 channels or not, know more about a cease fire than the people in the tunnels is a reach.  Even for you.

    Let me be clear.  A few threads ago someone said "I am losing my affinity for the State of Israel."

    I never had an affinity for the state of Israel. Never.  I have bad mouthed them since the 70s.  In these threads and elsewhere.  
    I hate a lot of what they do and most of what they say .

    That doesn't change the fact that apparently Hamas broke the cease fire.  And I don't give a rats a$$ what you think of that opinion. Or any opinion for that matter.

    Rats A$$ (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 10:13:06 PM EST
    It is amazing to me that you would think that Bush was lying when he swore that Sadaam had WMD's, yet a even farther right wing lunatic says that Hamas broke the cease fire, and you believe it...

    and a Israeli ex military suggests that maybe the Hamas tunnel people did not know of the cease fire because they were entrenched ready to carry out a prearranged plan, which you de bunk because even you have heard of the cease fire?

    Well my thought is that the ex military person is FOS and is one more white person to bolster the certainty that Hamas broke the cease fire, but it may have been a mistake... hahahahahah..

    Seems to me that no one knows what happened but it did present a nice excuse to bomb and kill lots of women and children.

    Seems to me that the biggest problem Israel has is the Arab birth rate killing the women and children is a great way to level the 5 to 1 disparity of future arab citizens being born v future Israslie's

    I do not know what happened but I certainly do not trust the Israeli version, and am really not sure why you do.


    This article includes an (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 06:24:52 PM EST
    opinion that perhaps the Hamas in the tunnel were unaware of the ceasefire.

    But more interesting, IMO, is that NYT reporters working in Israel are subject to censorship:


    Nothing New (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:03:01 PM EST
    Journalists for foreign news organizations must agree in writing to the military censorship system to work in Israel.


    In 1966, the Censorship Agreement was signed between media representatives and the IDF. The media agreed to abide by the orders of the Military Censor, while the IDF agreed not to misuse its role.

    From Constitutional Rights Foundation:

    When U.S. military units went to Saudi Arabia in the fall of 1990, about 1,000 journalists eventually joined them. The Pentagon set ground rules for the press.

    The Pentagon accredited all American journalists and required them to observe the following battlefield press rules:

    1. No reporters could visit any U.S. military unit or travel outside of Dhahran or Riyadh except in a press pool.

    2. No pool was permitted in the field without an escort, usually a U.S. military public-affairs officer (PAO).

    3. No interviews of U.S. military personnel were permitted without an escort present.

    4. All pool dispatches must first pass through the "military security review system." (PAOs at each pool location reviewed all dispatches and could delete or change any "military sensitive information." Reporters could appeal any censorship to the military pool coordinating office in Dhahran and then to the Pentagon.)
    5. Violations of the above rules could result in arrest, detention, revocation of press credentials, and expulsion from the combat zone.

    Iraq War Embedded Journalists:

    On June 14, 2014, The New York Times published an opinion piece critical of embedded journalism during both the U.S. military occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. It was written by PVT Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst now serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking the largest set of classified documents in American history.

    At no point during his 2009-10 deployment in Iraq, Manning wrote, were there more than a dozen American journalists covering military operations--in a country of 31 million people and 117,000 U.S. troops. Manning charged that vetting of reporters by military public affairs officials was used "to screen out those judged likely to produce critical coverage," and that once embedded, journalists tended "to avoid controversial reporting that could raise red flags" out of fear having their access terminated.

    "A result," wrote Manning, "is that the American public's access to the facts is gutted, which leaves them with no way to evaluate the conduct of American officials." Manning noted, "This program of limiting press access was challenged in court in 2013 by a freelance reporter, Wayne Anderson, who claimed to have followed his agreement but to have been terminated after publishing adverse reports about the conflict in Afghanistan. The ruling on his case upheld the military's position that there was no constitutionally protected right to be an embedded journalist."

    Even if Hamas (none / 0) (#2)
    by MKS on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 06:31:33 PM EST
    violated the cease fire, that does not give the Israelis the right to wage a war against civilians in Gaza.

    Is the Hamas practice of... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 06:38:14 PM EST
    ...using schools as middle warehouses, a crystal clear war crime, in no way responsible for civilian casualties?

    You do (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by lentinel on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 06:41:55 PM EST
    not bomb schools or hospitals. No matter who is hiding there.

    So all Hamas has to do (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 10:31:39 AM EST
    is, as they have, put weapons where women and children are and Israel cannot try to destroy them??

    Look, war is nasty. It is terrible. But if you are being attacked then you have every right to respond.

    And your enemy does not have the right to hide behind its women and children.

    Israel left Gaza. Israel gave it to the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people then gave it to Hamas. Do you think that the "people" have any responsibility for what Hamas is doing??

    And the UN??? They didn't know that the tunnels were being built?? They didn't know weapons were being hidden in the civilian populace??

    Give me a fing break. The UN is very much a part of the problem.

    I ask again. Were we wrong when we bombed all over Europe and Asia during WWII?

    Some of you don't like my tone. So be it. My position is simple. The Muslim radicals have pledged to destroy Israel and kill all Jews.

    Israel is fighting for its life.

    This is just a warm up for them attacking Europe and the US as soon as they complete the development of a nuclear weapon.


    If weapons fire (none / 0) (#46)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:51:34 AM EST
    If weapons fire us directed at your people from a school or hospital, a soldier is duty bound to silence that fire but with minimum violence.

    To expect soldiers to allow weapons fire on their people to continue is both disconnected from reality and IMHO immoral.



    Sure, Hamas would be guilty of (none / 0) (#5)
    by MKS on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 06:44:22 PM EST
    War Crimes if they have done that.

    I would like more proof of that than just the word of the Israelis.

    Even if Hamas is guilty of War Crimes that does not give the Israelis the right to engage in War Crimes of their own.

    The issue is the kids and people in hospitals.  Don't bomb them.  Should be simple.


    Simple indeed (none / 0) (#47)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:54:39 AM EST

    When Hamas chooses to colocate military targets with hospitals, those military targets don't get immunity.  To imagine otherwise is just silly.

    Israel is not waging war against civilians (none / 0) (#6)
    by Green26 on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:00:45 PM EST
    Israel is taking steps to protect its citizens from indiscriminate rocket attacks and attacks through the tunnels. There have been several thousand rockets launched at Israel. The rockets can reach about 3/4 of the population of Israel. In many places, there are sirens and people go to the shelters several times a day. The Israeli rocket shield has been surprisingly, and is knocking down most of the rockets headed for population, at least so far. Imagine the civilian deaths in Israel if the shield wasn't working.

    Israel is relatively precise with its bombings from the air, but war on the ground is never precise. Tank shells are shot in a general direction, often when the tanks or related troops are under fire. Shells get away. War on the ground is an especially ugly thing. Civilians are going to die, especially if Hamas is going to store and shoot their weapons from where civilians are. There have been weapons, etc. found in each of the UN schools that were hit, which is not to say that Israel was intending to hit schools. Hamas, not Israel, deserves the blame for most of the civilian deaths and injuries.

    As Netanyahu has said, Israel uses their weapons to protect and shield their citizens. Hamas uses its citizens to protect and shield their weapons.

    Hamas is an awful organization. It deserves no support. It deserves to be destroyed. That's why Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and UAE are essentially lining up with Israel on this.

    I don't think Israel is backing down. It has 87% of its citizens supporting what Netanyahu is now doing. It has lost about 60 of its soldiers. The tunnels and rockets are going to be severely damaged or destroyed, and Hamas is going to be severely weakened.


    Of course they are not (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:39:27 PM EST
    But you are wasting your time as far as the regulars who are going to pile on you.  Israel is bad Hamas is persecuted.  That is all you need to know.

    I was just called blasé for suggesting it's pretty clear Hamas broke the cease fire.  (Which it seemed to me  Jeralyn did as well).  Don't be cowed.

    I don't agree with your take on this.  But I also don't agree with the other one.


    No one has said Hamas (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MKS on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 09:00:21 PM EST
    is perscuted.

    What a distorted straw man.

    It is about the people, not Hamas.  Don't kill kids and don't bomb hospitals and schools.  


    What You Said (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:54:50 PM EST
    Really silly to hide behind Jeralyn's skirt to defend your statement.

    What you said and what Jeralyn said is not even close.

    What was interesting is that someone who is progressive can have the same tone as ppj when he writes about Native American deaths or Muslims..  


    Really? (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:59:43 PM EST
    By all accounts except that of Hamas, Hamas broke the latest cease-fire

    Save it.  I really don't care what you think.


    This is ridiculous (none / 0) (#14)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 08:05:37 PM EST
    What the Capt has said and what Jim has said are not even close.  No idea what the "same tone as ppj" or "as blase as ppj" is supposed to mean, but I guess it's easier to attack an imaginary "tone" or "blase" attitude than to address actual statements.



    Thank you (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 08:08:03 PM EST
    It's ok.  I expected it when I posted the comment.  

    Israel is acting retchedly here (none / 0) (#19)
    by MKS on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 08:58:54 PM EST
    I no longer believe much of what they say.

    If what the UN has said is correct--that they gave the Israelis the GPS coordinates of their facility and begged the Israelis to not bomb it, and the Israelis bombed it anyway, then it is lookig like a war crime to me.


    That 87% of the Israelis (none / 0) (#18)
    by MKS on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 08:56:00 PM EST
    support this war is very disappointing.  It makes me lose any desire to help them.

    The Israelis are leveling entire neigborhoods--there is no precision.

    The UN gave the Israelis the GPS coordinates of it location and begged the Israelis to spare it.  The Israelis went ahead and bombed it.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 09:02:41 PM EST
    See comment #21

    There is increasing pressure from (none / 0) (#30)
    by Green26 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 01:20:45 AM EST
    the Israeli people and politicians to intensify and expand the military incursion. Over 3,000 rockets fired at Israel. At least 63 Israeli soldiers dead.

    While I, of course, don't endorse killing civilians, why is Hamas intentionally putting their people in harms way and using them as shields? Why is Hamas storing rockets in the UN schools?

    Is Israeli supposed to jump at new cease fire proposals, knowing that Hamas may not abide by them?

    Is Israel supposed to just sit tight while Hamas lobs rockets at population centers and pops out of tunnels?


    Netanyahu is a right wing creep (none / 0) (#23)
    by MKS on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 09:12:43 PM EST
    Bibi almost single handily started the Intifada when he bullied his way onto the Temple Mount years ago.

    He violated a long held custom of who goes where on that site.  He did it as a deliberatly provocative ploy to stick it to the Palestinians.

    And, no, Netanyahu did not coin that little diddy about the Hamas using people to protect weapons--that was Krauthammer.

    What differences exist between Hamas and the Israelis are becoming fewer.  Israel is a democracy--so is Gaza.  Okay, next, what makes Israel different?  They  bomb hospitals and UN facilities and say the civilians are casualties of war.  Israel bombs entire neighborhoods to try to punish and influence Hamas.   That is getting closer to what al Qaeda says about killing civilians.

    It is not militarily necessary to level Gaza to protect against rockets that are largely ineffective.  And, with respect to the tunnels, if they know where they are, then just destroy them from the Israeli side.


    If Israel cared at all (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 09:31:14 PM EST
    what the rest of the world thought, they would've stopped letting racist, end-times lunatics expand the settlements on the West Bank.

    Speaking of provocations..


    I agree (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 09:42:14 PM EST
    I have b!tched about the settlements for years.  It outrageous.  It should not be allowed but no one does anything to stop it.

    There you go (none / 0) (#26)
    by MKS on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 10:03:41 PM EST
    That is so true and revealing of Israel.

    I used to think it was just a right winger government.  But 87% polls say that it is more than that.


    Biggest Problem Demographics (none / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 10:16:48 PM EST
    Is that should the Arab population continue reproducing at a rate of 5x the Jewish population there will soon be no more Jewish state.

    That fear may account for the 87% pro war stance of Israelis.


    Do you suppose the Israeli heirarchy is (none / 0) (#31)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 01:26:09 AM EST
    Intentionallt to diminishing the number of women of child-bearing age in Gaza?

    Yes (none / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:30:30 AM EST
    For one I do not think that the Israelies see the Palestinians as human, or 100% human.

    That sort of thinking, makes atrocities possible.

    We have seen white supremacist groups and the politicians who fear monger about America no longer being a white country.

    Imagine if your land is seriously limited and your mandate to exist is dependent on being a homogenous country.

    The fear that Israel will no longer be a Jewish state, even if it is a stretch, is real in the minds of the majority of the population. Arabs citizens are having babies at at 4x or more than Israelis.

    So, given that this war is all about land and citizenship, it seems that targeting a major source of the problem, women and children, would not be surprising.


    Whats your evidence to support (none / 0) (#35)
    by Green26 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 10:56:20 AM EST
    these views, squeaky?

    What's your view on organizations, like Hamas, (none / 0) (#36)
    by Green26 on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 11:05:06 AM EST
    that use civilians as shields for protecting weapons/rockets and "soldiers"? How do you think Hamas views the civilians it puts in the line of fire by doing this? Does it not seem that Hamas is setting up civilian deaths and causing "atrocities"?

    For the life of me, I don't understand how some people support Hamas, which has fired over 3,000 rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers and used their people to protect their rockets, over Israel for trying to protect itself and get at the rockets and the tunnels. If a country like Cuba fired 3,000 rockets at Miami, do you not think the US would respond and that there might not be some civilian deaths in Cuba?

    If Hamas cared about its civilians, it would not store rockets in schools and other civilian areas, and would not have "soldiers" firing at Israel from places close to civilians.


    Are you aware of ... (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by Yman on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:16:11 PM EST
    What's your view on organizations, like Hamas,that use civilians as shields for protecting weapons/rockets and "soldiers"? How do you think Hamas views the civilians it puts in the line of fire by doing this? Does it not seem that Hamas is setting up civilian deaths and causing "atrocities"?

    ... the IDF's use of well-documented use of human shields?


    Reality is quite a bit (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 11:34:03 AM EST
    More nuanced than the good guys-bad guys, cowboys and indians paradigm pushed by you and Jim, Green.

    I understand Jewish and Isamic mythology and paranoia, but I don't excuse it as a basis for rational behavior.

    The human race has to come together. Tribalism equals war nd death forever. Mighty Jehovah is going to reward anyone for that.


    Yes jondee (1.00 / 2) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 01:06:49 PM EST
    you do excuse Hamas' use of women and children.

    Yes, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 01:14:07 PM EST
    Just as much as your mouth waters at Israel's killing of them.

    isn't going to.. (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 11:37:03 AM EST
    If they did not (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:10:09 PM EST
    If Hamas agreed to the cease-fire knowing Israel had announced it would continue searching for and dismantling

    They were not trying very hard because I knew those were the terms last night

    If you want to discuss this topic (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 08:19:31 PM EST
    due it without insulting other commenters, or referring to your perceptions of commenters who haven't even replied to this post.

    Quite the vivid imagination (none / 0) (#27)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 10:09:41 PM EST
    But I guess it's easier to argue against an imaginary claim, "tone" or attitude than to address what someone is actually saying.

    "use" (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 02:02:27 PM EST
    Did England use human shields during the Battle of Britain? Did Bush use the death of 3000 people to galvanize support for regime change? Does the Holocaust get "used"?

    Where, exactly, in Gaza... (none / 0) (#42)
    by unitron on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 05:48:34 PM EST
    ...would acceptable locations without civilians nearby be for Hamas to store and conceal weapons and missiles and such?

    Setting aside the question of whether they deliberately arrange things so that they can make Israel look bad for killing civilians, are there any locations where they wouldn't be endangering civilians from Israeli counter-measures?

    Outside of the cities (none / 0) (#43)
    by Green26 on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 07:44:25 PM EST
    and not in UN schools would be a good start. Go look at satellite maps. There's open space in the gaza strip. There is much less density outside of the cities.

    Question for you. Why does Hamas store rockets in UN schools?


    Don't ask me.... (none / 0) (#48)
    by unitron on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 01:47:54 AM EST
    ...ask them.

    I'm not the one doing it.