#Israel: missing soldier was killed in combat – claims about #Hamas ceasefire breach and kidnapping fall apart

As Mondoweiss reported earlier, there is timestamped evidence that the battle in which Goldin was killed began before the ceasefire was due to start. If the IDF was launching an assault on Rafah at 7am on Friday morning, it’s hard to believe that they expected to implement a ceasefire one hour later.

Having initially claimed that Goldin had been kidnapped, the IDF has been surprisingly swift to conclude that he is dead. One would expect that such a conclusion would require some kind of physical evidence, yet the area in which he is believed to have died could hardly allow any kind of search. Moreover, the fact that this conclusion has been reached by a committee suggests that rather than being based on forensic evidence, this determination is more likely a logical inference. The inference being: the area of Rafah in which Goldin went missing was bombed so heavily by Israel that no human being could have survived and therefore he must be dead.

In other words, the Hannibal procedure was successful in preventing an Israeli soldier being abducted.

Israel has seized on yesterday’s events and decided to abandon efforts at reaching a ceasefire on the pretext that Hamas cannot be trusted to comply with any agreement. The basis for that accusation, however, now looks very sketchy.

What seems more plausible is that the failure of the ceasefire has either provided Israel with an opportunity or the ceasefire was indeed engineered to fail precisely because the Israeli government has no intention of negotiating an end to this war.

The Associated Press reports:

In a phone call with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Netanyahu vented his anger, according to people familiar with the call.

Netanyahu told Shapiro the Obama administration was “not to ever second-guess me again” and that Washington should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas, according to the people. Netanyahu added that he now “expected” the U.S. and other countries to fully support Israel’s offensive in Gaza, according to those familiar with the call.

The New York Times reports:

Israel will continue its military campaign in the Gaza Strip as long as necessary to stop Hamas’s attacks on Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday evening, but he added that once the army’s operations to destroy tunnels into Israel were completed, Israel would decide how to redeploy its forces, suggesting a de-escalation of the ground war in Gaza.

“From the beginning, we promised to return the quiet to Israel’s citizens, and we will continue to act until that aim is achieved,” Mr. Netanyahu said in a nationally televised statement with his defense minister beside him. “We will take as much time as necessary, and will exert as much force as needed.”

Israel was not ending its operation unilaterally, he said, adding: “We will deploy in the places most convenient to us.”

Mr. Netanyahu praised the United States for supporting Israel and asked for international help to rebuild Gaza and secure its “demilitarization.”

The current war is really nothing more than a continuation of the struggle that has lasted throughout Israel’s history. Its goal is to subjugate the Palestinian people, an effort that compels resistance, and so the struggle continues.

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