p>• A ceasefire deal for Gaza is to take effect at 9pm local time (2pm EST). Text of the deal is here. The deal was announced by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Egyptian foreign minister Mohammed Kamel Amr in a news conference in Cairo. It was confirmed by Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
• The deal calls on Israel to "stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip, land, sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals." It call on "all Palestinian factions" to "stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border."
• Rocket fire and Israeli strikes continued after the announcement of the deal, in advance of the 9pm deadline.
• President Obama spoke with Netanyahu on the phone and 'commended' him for accepting the deal, the White House announced. Obama called Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and thanked him for his role.
So I guess the ground invasion is off? If so, thanks to the Arab Spring. I can't imagine what Israel thinks it achieved with any of this, unless the whole episode was a "Wag the Dog" thing.
The Israeli government is trying to pre-empt a publicity pounding over its Gaza offensive by aggressively pushing out its version of events, furiously tweeting and Facebook posting updates from a “media bunker.”
The Israeli military spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, a self-described Twitter addict, heads a two-month-old “Interactive Media” branch, staffed with around 30 soldiers trained in writing and graphic design. She plans to devote full time to the new effort next year.
Full of win!
Palestinian youth manifesto (January 2011):
Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA! ...
We are youth with heavy hearts. We carry in ourselves a heaviness so immense that it makes it difficult to us to enjoy the sunset. How to enjoy it when dark clouds paint the horizon and bleak memories run past our eyes every time we close them? We smile in order to hide the pain. We laugh in order to forget the war. We hope in order not to commit suicide here and now. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the earth. During the last years Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. We are a generation of young people used to face missiles, carrying what seems to be a impossible mission of living a normal and healthy life, and only barely tolerated by a massive organization that has spread in our society as a malicious cancer disease, causing mayhem and effectively killing all living cells, thoughts and dreams on its way as well as paralyzing people with its terror regime. Not to mention the prison we live in, a prison sustained by a so-called democratic country.
History is repeating itself in its most cruel way and nobody seems to care.