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Last Ditch Effort to Save Rafah, Move to End Gaza Slaughter

April 9—Yesterday, many of saw a rare solar eclipse. Well-placed intelligence sources in the U.S. and elsewhere report, that as of yet, we have not seen what they hoped would be a significant move toward ending the nightmare slaughter in Gaza by the bloodthirsty and racist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, as forces in various nations, including Israel, move to put a ceasefire in place as the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan comes to an end.

If successful, the moves will force Netanyahu and the leadership of Hamas, which he has cleverly manipulated for his own ends, to accept a lengthy ceasefire deal. The moves will result in the release most or all of the remaining hostages that Hamas took in their stupid Oct. 7, 2023 attack and slaughter of 1,200 innocent Israelis that Bibi used as a pretext to launch his war of annihilation, not against Hamas, but against the Palestinians in Gaza and to stop the creation of a Palestinian state, which he says must never happen.

It is hoped that during the 6-week or longer ceasefire that will allow massive aid to flow into Gaza for its stricken population, battered by more than 5 months of Israel’s relentless attack, moves will be made that will permanently end the war, steps will be taken to begin the reconstruction and improvement of life in Gaza, and motion forward accomplished toward a two-state solution. This will depend on actions being coordinated inside Israel, with broad international support, to remove from office the tyrant Netanyahu and his collection of dangerously insane religious zealots.

Such a prospect was offered this week by the hundreds of thousands of decent Israelis from all walks of life, including religious leaders and members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), who rallied in Jerusalem, demanding a just end to the Gaza conflict, freedom for the hostages, and an end to the nightmare of the Netanyahu regime. In an April 6 editorial, Israel’s leading paper Harretz demanded that the war end immediately and the IDF be brought home from Gaza; it has previously demanded an end to Israel’s tactics of starvation against the Gazans, and has called for the provision of necessary aid to the stricken Palestinians suffering under Israel’s attack. The paper also called for early elections and an end to the political life of Bibi the Tyrant.

But Bibi is not without means to fight back. He still has control over elements of the IDF, and he ordered the deliberately provocative April 1 attack on the Iranian consulate annex building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria which killed 16 people, among them Iranian military personnel, including Brig. General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior Quds Force commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and 7 other IRGC officers. This was immediately seen as an attempt to provoke an Iranian attack on Israel which could lead to a wider war, which Netanyahu believes will prolong his tyrannical rule. Meanwhile, the orders have been issued and plans made for an IDF assault on Rafah, the last city still standing in Gaza, whose population has swelled to more than 1.5 million with refugees displaced from the slaughter elsewhere in Gaza.

Suddenly, yesterday morning, one of the first steps in this multiply-coordinated effort to end the Gazan slaughter occurred, when Israel withdrew the majority of IDF ground forces from southern Gaza, leaving only a brigade in place to handle police activity. While some talking heads, including White House National Security Advisor John Kirby claimed that such action was a normal rotational measure aimed at resting troops who have been in combat for more than 4 months, the reality is that the move came after days of global castigation of the IDF for their murder of 7 workers for the aid group World Central Kitchen in a precision airstrike on an aid convoy. Two IDF officers were dismissed and 2 others reprimanded.

More importantly, the move toward a ceasefire deal, which sources report was opposed by Netanyahu, and is intended as a show of faith, was asked for by Hamas as a condition for release of hostages. It comes as negotiators gather in Cairo, Egypt for a new round of talks. Reportedly, U.S. representatives pressed such a deal on their Israeli counterparts in in discussions this week in a meeting of the Security Consultative Group.

In an April 5 phone call, ostensibly to express his outrage at the murder of the aid workers, which included an American citizen, President Sleepy Joe Biden according to sources with knowledge of the call, told Netanyahu that he holds him personally responsible for the unnecessary deaths of civilians in Gaza, and demanded a ceasefire and an end to the war. Biden warned Netanyahu against any all-out assault on Gaza. He told Bibi he was losing the support of the American people. It is not known what Bibi’s response was. The White House readout, which hardly ever reports on the actual exchanges,  does not offer any help there.

Biden has placed his most trusted and able diplomat, Director of Central Intelligence William Burns, in charge of securing a ceasefire and getting the hostages released. Burns was present at the last round of talks, which broke up without an agreement when the Israelis submitted a plan that they knew in advance Hamas would not accept.

Sources say that the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin is also involved in trying to calm the situation. Putin, sources report, has personally asked the Iranians to hold off on any retaliation against Israel, to see if negotiations can achieve a ceasefire in Gaza. The Russians, a source reported, are also putting what pressure they can on Hamas to accept a deal, and have been in discussion with the U.S. through back channels.

“There are a lot of moving parts here.” said a source. “Perhaps too many to make it work quickly enough. Think of Bibi as Hitler in the bunker. His time is coming to an end but he still clings to the belief that he is in charge and will be rescued; that the gods are on his side. As long as he holds on to command of the IDF and people don't rise up to remove him, he can maneuver to keep the slaughter going, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

“But the protests, in defiance of Bibi’s police state, show that he has lost his grip on the people, not just socialists and leftists: Labor and Likud party members, hostage families, members of the IDF, war veterans, women’s groups, religious leaders, academics. In other words, the Israeli people against their tyrant. In their demonstrations, they called him a butcher and a murderer. These were not Palestinians saying that. The CIA was all over this, and I am sure Burns had an accurate report for the White House. Biden was told he can both support Israel and be against this war and Netanyahu.

“Then you had the events of yesterday,” the source continued. “The soldiers marching home. Not as heroes. And they were being interviewed. They want to stay home. They don’t want to go back. Bibi had said the IDF would stay in Gaza forever. He is losing the military. So, maybe something can happen.

"People in Israel are not totally fooled anymore by Bibi," he pointed out. "He has not given them peace, except the false peace of the graveyard. Can Biden hold his ground? Is he willing to order a full cutoff of military aid? Here, he has the backing of leading Democrats in the Congress. That prospect scares the IDF,  and maybe could push them to move against Bibi. They have something in their quiver-- reportedly a scathing report on Oct. 7, that while it does not absolve the IDF, lays the blame for not taking proper precautions at the desk of the Prime Minister. 

"The deal will come and come soon, or this can all spin out of control," the source warned. "Then, there are the Iranians. Can the Russians hold them in place? Perhaps, if a deal is worked out. The next days will tell a great deal.”

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