Olmert throws towel, Hamas declares victory, shoots more Kassam's into Israel…

* Well, the last 2 items quoted above haven’t happened yet, but how much do you wanna bet that is exactly what will happen?

Translation – Prime Minister’s Office

Breaking NEWS

Olmert Declares Unilateral Ceasefire “Because of Popular Opinion”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Statement

at the Press Conference on January 17, 2009

* Reuters: Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire

Citizens of Israel,

Exactly three weeks ago as the Sabbath ended, we sat here before you – my 

friend Ehud Barak, the Vice Prime Minister Tzipi Livni and myself – and 

detailed the considerations and goals which guided us in launching a 

military operation in the Gaza Strip.  Today, we face you again and can say 

that the conditions have been created so that our targets, as defined when 

we launched the operation, have been fully achieved, and more so:


·        Hamas was badly stricken, both in terms of its military 

capabilities and in the infrastructure of its regime.  Its leaders are in 

hiding.  Many of its members have been killed.  The factories in which its 

missiles were manufactured have been destroyed.  The smuggling routes, 

through dozens of tunnels, have been bombed.  The Hamas’s capabilities for 

conveying weapons within the Gaza Strip have been damaged.  The scope of 

missile fire directed at the State of Israel has been reduced.  The areas 

from which most of the missiles were launched are under the control of IDF 

forces.  The estimate of all the security services is that the Hamas’s 

capabilities have been struck a heavy blow which will harm its ability to 

rule and its military capabilities for some time.


·        The IDF and the General Security Services have succeeded in 

conducting an outstanding operation, utilizing all the elements of Israel’s 

force – on land, at sea and in the air.  The military operation was 

characterized by determination, sophistication, courage and an impressive 

ability in intelligence and operations, which led to significant and 

numerous achievements.  The current campaign proved again Israel’s force and 

strengthened its deterrence capability vis-à-vis those who threaten us.


·        The reserves soldiers, who are the foundation for the IDF’s 

strength, proved that the spirit of volunteerism and a willingness to 

sacrifice still very much exist.  These forces were made ready in a thorough 

manner, equipped with all they needed and thus could demonstrate their 

professionalism and fierceness of spirit.


·        During all the days of fighting, the Israeli home front 

demonstrated its strength, despite hundreds of rockets and mortar shells 

indiscriminately fired at a population which numbers one million residents; 

it was the home front that created an unshakable foundation which 

strengthened us and gave us the ability to continue fighting.  Two years of 

preparation on the home front proved that we learned our lessons and were 

properly organized.  The Government and the heads of the regional local 

authorities under attack demonstrated the patience, endurance and that same 

strong spirit which allowed the political echelon to make the right 

decisions, knowing that the home front could withstand the consequences of 

those decisions.


·        As a decision-making body, the Government of Israel demonstrated 

unity with regard to goals, and acted professionally and in coordination to 

achieve those goals.  The decisions were all made in a responsible and 

educated manner, following clarification and in-depth discussions.  As an 

executive branch, the Government met the demands and needs of the population 

and the fighting forces.


·        Alongside the successes, we must also remember the fallen and those 

who sacrificed their lives to achieve a better reality in the South.  The 

campaign claimed the lives of three residents of the South and ten of our 

soldiers.  Tonight our hearts are with their families.  We send our wishes 

for a speedy recovery to the residents of the South and to the IDF soldiers 

injured during the operation.


·        Today, and in large part due to the success of the military 

operation, the entire international community is ready to mobilize in order 

to achieve maximum stability, and knows that, for this to occur, the process 

of Hamas’s strengthening must stop.  To this end, we reached a number of 

understandings – the importance of which cannot be underestimated – which 

will ensure that the strengthening of Hamas will decrease.  We formulated 

understandings with the Egyptian government with regard to a number of 

central issues, the realization of which will bring about a significant 

reduction in weapons smuggling from Iran and Syria to the Gaza Strip.


·        On Friday we signed a memorandum of understanding with the American 

government, in the framework of which the United States will mobilize to 

take the necessary steps, together with the other members of the 

international community, to prevent weapons smuggling by terrorists in Gaza. 

I wish to thank and express my great appreciation to the Minister of Foreign 

Affairs and Vice Prime Minister for her efforts to reach this agreement, for 

her contribution to the diplomatic steps and for the widespread diplomatic 

effort she made over the past several weeks, which were an important 

contribution to the international backing given to the Israeli effort 

against the terrorist organizations headed by Hamas.


·        Today I received a letter from the Prime Minister of Great Britain, 

Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, the Chancellor 

of Germany, Angela Merkel and the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, in 

which all four expressed their profound commitment to assisting in any way 

in order to ensure that weapons will not succeed in reaching the murderous 

terrorist organizations in Gaza.


I have no doubt that were it not for the determined and successful military 

action, we would not have reached diplomatic understandings, which together 

create a full picture of impressive accomplishment.


Citizens of Israel,


The Government decided to launch the operation in Gaza only after long 

thought and great consideration, and only after all attempts through other 

means to stop the firing and other acts of terror by Hamas failed.  Israel, 

which withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the last millimeter at the end of 

2005 – with no intention of returning – found itself under a barrage of 

missiles.  Hamas violently took control of the Gaza Strip and began 

attacking the communities in the South more intensely.  Hamas’s methods are 

incomprehensible.  It placed its military system in crowded residential 

neighborhoods, operated among a civilian population which served as a human 

shield and operated under the aegis of mosques, schools and hospitals, while 

making the Palestinian population a hostage to its terrorist activities, 

with the understanding that Israel – as a country with supreme values - 

would not act.  The external Hamas leadership, which lives in comfort and 

quiet, continued to set extremist policies while ignoring the population’s 

ongoing suffering and out of a conspicuous unwillingness to ease its 



Hamas in Gaza was built by Iran as a foundation for power, and is backed 

through funding, through training and through the provision of advanced 

weapons.  Iran, which strives for regional hegemony, tried to replicate the 

methods used by Hizbullah in Lebanon in the Gaza Strip as well.  Iran and 

Hamas mistook the restraint Israel exercised as weakness.  They were 

mistaken.  They were surprised.


The State of Israel has proven to them that restraint is an expression of 

strength which was exercised in a determined and sophisticated manner when 

that which we had avoided became unavoidable.


During the operation, the State of Israel demonstrated great sensitivity in 

exercising its force in order to avoid, as much as possible, harming the 

civilian population not involved in terror.  In cases where there was any 

doubt that striking at terrorists would lead to harming an innocent civilian 

population – we abstained from acting.  There are not many countries which 

would act thusly.


We have no disagreement with the residents of Gaza.  We consider the Gaza 

Strip a part of the future Palestinian state with which we hope to live a 

life of good neighborliness, and we wish for the day when the vision of two 

states is realized.


During the operation, we made widespread and concerted efforts to see to the 

humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population.  We allowed for the 

transfer of equipment, food and medicine to prevent a humanitarian crisis. 

In addition, I appointed Minister Isaac Herzog, the Minister of Social 

Welfare and Social Affairs, to head up this effort, and tonight the Cabinet 

instructed him to invest all his efforts in preparing a comprehensive plan 

so that in the next few days, we will be able to provide an appropriate and 

comprehensive answer to the civilian population’s needs in the Gaza Strip. 

I wish to express my great appreciation to the international organizations 

which acted and continue to act tirelessly to assist us in providing the 

Palestinian population with appropriate living conditions.  Israel will 

continue to cooperate with them, especially in the coming days and weeks on 

behalf of the Gazan population.


Citizens of Israel,


Today, before the Government meeting, I spoke with the President of Egypt, 

Hosni Mubarak, who presented Egypt’s initiative to me, along with his 

request for a ceasefire.  I thanked the President for Egypt’s commitment to 

finding a solution to this crisis and for the important role it plays in the 

Middle East.  I presented the President’s statement to the Cabinet, along 

with the totality of our achievements in the operation, as well as the 

completion of the goals.  The Cabinet decided to accept my proposal to 

declare a ceasefire.


Beginning at 2:00 a.m., Israel will cease its actions against the terrorist 

organizations in the Gaza Strip and will remain deployed in the Gaza Strip 

and its environs.


It must be remembered that Hamas is not part of the arrangements we came to. 

These are agreements involving many countries, and a terrorist organization 

like Hamas is not and need not be a part of them.  If our enemies decide 

that the blows they have already suffered are not enough and they wish to 

continue fighting, Israel will be ready for that scenario and will feel free 

to continue responding with force.


Hamas was surprised a number of times during the past several weeks.  It did 

not predict the State of Israel’s determination or the seriousness of its 

intentions to bring about a change in the reality in the region.  Hamas’s 

leaders did not believe that the State of Israel would launch a military 

operation on such a scale on the eve of elections; it did not predict the 

force of the military attack and moreover – it did not predict the outcome.


Hamas still does not fully appreciate the difficult blow it received.  If 

Hamas decides to continue its wild terrorist attacks, it may find itself 

surprised again by the State of Israel’s determination.  I do not suggest 

that it or any other terrorist organization test us.


This statement tonight would be incomplete if I did not mention the 

kidnapped soldier, Gilad Schalit.  One hundred meters from here, there is a 

demonstration for his release, and I respect each and every one of the 

participants.  The intensive efforts to secure Gilad’s release began long 

before the operation, continued during it and will continue after as well. 

The Government of Israel is working on many levels to bring him home, and 

during the operation we carried out various actions to bring us closer to 

this goal.  Due to the sensitivity of the matter, I will not go into detail. 

I will only say that Gilad is at the top of our agenda, and we do not need 

any prodding or reminding in this matter.  I am hopeful tonight as well that 

we will soon see him in his family’s embrace.


On a personal note:


For weeks I have been watching the people of Israel day and night as we make 

the unprecedented effort to fight for and realize our right of self-defense. 

I saw the brave soldiers, our dear and beloved sons; I saw their commanders 

and the spirit which buoyed them; I saw the residents of the South, their 

fierce sprit; and the leadership of the mayors who took care to provide for 

the needs of their residents; I also saw the actions of the Home Front 

Command, which quietly and efficiently coordinated the assistance campaign 

for the southern region; and I heard the bereaved families.


Dear families, the things you said, the pain you expressed, the fierce 

spirit you demonstrated – these are the foundation for the people of Israel’s 

strength.  On behalf of the entire nation, on behalf of the Government of 

Israel, I share your profound pain and thank you for the encouragement, the 

strength and the inspiration your strong stance has granted the entire 



I also wish to say something to the people of Gaza: even before the military 

operation began, and during it, I appealed to you.  We do not hate you; we 

did not want and do not want to harm you.  We wanted to defend our children, 

their parents, their families.  We feel the pain of every Palestinian child 

and family member who fell victim to the cruel reality created by Hamas 

which transformed you into victims.


Your suffering is terrible.  Your cries of pain touch each of our hearts. 

On behalf of the Government of Israel, I wish to convey my regret for the 

harming of uninvolved civilians, for the pain we caused them, for the 

suffering they and their families suffered as a result of the intolerable 

situation created by Hamas.


The understandings we reached with Egypt, the international backing of the 

United States and the European countries – all these do not ensure that the 

firing by Hamas will stop.  If it completely stops – the IDF will consider 

withdrawing from Gaza at a time which it deems right.  If not, the IDF will 

continue to act in defense of our residents.


This is the time to convey our appreciation and gratitude, first and 

foremost to you, Mr. Minister of Defense, for your work, for the tremendous 

effort you made, for your skill, professionalism and the understanding you 

demonstrated throughout he operation – thank you very much.  I wish to thank 

the soldiers of the IDF, their commanders, the Head of the Southern Command 

Yoav Galant, and the Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi; to the General 

Security Services, its fighters and its head, Yuval Diskin; to the Mossad 

and its hidden fighters, headed by Meir Dagan; to the Israel Police and the 

emergency services, Magan David Adom and the Fire Department.


Blessed is the nation with such an army and such security and rescue 



I wish to express my hope that tonight the first step towards a different 

reality, one of security and quiet for the residents of Israel, will be 

taken.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank the people of Israel, its 

fighters and their commanders for the fierceness of spirit and the social 

solidarity they demonstrated over these past weeks.


This is the secret of our strength – it is the foundation for our power and 

it is the hope of our future.


Thank you. 


2 thoughts on “Olmert throws towel, Hamas declares victory, shoots more Kassam's into Israel…”

  1. This is sooo b****y depressing! Had Israel been properly supported by the Rest of the West, and left alone with a tacit briefing – Hammer those Hamas genocidal jihadi assassins into the ground until none of them are left alive, *all* of their war materiel is turned to dust, and Gilad Shalit has been found, dead or alive; had every mosque in Gaza been reduced to rubble; had every Gazan Muslim jihadist and jihad-enabler and jihadi-in-training been booted out into the Sinai as per Geert Wilders’ instructions (all Gazan Christians permitted to remain and their full civil and human rights, which had been destroyed by Hamas, restored under Israeli rule), and Gaza resorbed into Israel and settled with Jews, Arabic-speaking Christians, Samaritans, and those Sudanese non-Muslim refugees who have lately fled to Israel; then all around the world other countries also faced with jihadist insurrections and violent, threatening-to-invade Jihadist neighbours, would have gained heart to do what they need to do, to defend humanity against the horrors of Jihad, dhimmitude and sharia.

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