I suppose John Kerry is doing what he considers his job in pressing for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. But Israel at this point is right to reject any extended halt in hostilities that leaves even one of the attack tunnels from Gaza into Israeli territory intact. It’s a matter of the most basic self-defense.
You can watch the IDF doing its job here:
There will be time later to inquire into why the Israel’s leaders failed to deal with the tunnel threat years ago and, one hopes, to hold those leaders accountable. The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff writes:
The failure is that of the political echelon, which preferred to ignore the threat growing under Israel’s southern border for five years. Decision makers knew about the tunnels, and about Hamas’s 9,000-10,000 rockets, but it was easier for them to shut their eyes for convenience and quiet’s sake. It was easier for them to butt heads with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over his dire request to join UNESCO bodies (which clearly poses an existential threat to the State of Israel, forgive my sarcasm), and to expand the settlement enterprise in the West Bank, than it was to deal with an armed and dangerous guerrilla army that maintained the quiet only for as long as convenient.
In an encouraging sign, dozens of Hamas fighters have chosen to surrender to the IDF rather than to martyr themselves– thus defying their leader Mashaal (living comfortably in a luxury hotel in Qatar).
And here is a report about a temporary hospital to treat Gazans, opened and run by the IDF:
Memo to George Galloway: During the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the Nazis did not set up a field hospital to treat Polish Jews.
Update: 800,000 tons of concrete for 18 tunnels.
Further update: Kerry says there was never a formal ceasefire proposal on the table for Israel to accept or reject. So who knows?