‘CAST LEAD’ – DAY 6 – SHEIKH NIZAR RAYYAN
* Sheikh Nizar Rayyan, 52, no. 3 in Hamas political leadership in Gaza, the military commander of Northern Gaza Strip, including Gaza Town, and a cleric, was killed along with 11 members of his family members and 3 aids, on Thursday 01/01/2009 afternoon, when an IAF aircraft dropped a bomb on his eight-story Jabalya apartment building where he lived, the IDF said. He was warned few days earlier, by phone, that Israel’s IDF know his house is used as a large store for rockets and ammunition in the basement and another store is used as a command post manned with Hamas military personnel and was warned to leave his home. Nizar Rayyan, as response, deliberately gathered his family, 4 wives and 8 of his children, in his home on the roof hopping that the presence of women and children will prevent Israel from attacking his home. Indeed Israel waited for the moment that Nizar Rayyan himself was at home and a large part of his family out of the site to attack the compound. Secondary explosions from the ammunition that went off in Nizar Rayyan’s home added to the collateral damage.
Nizar Rayyan was arrested several times by Israelis and then by Fatah Authorities. In 03/1996 Fatah security apparatus shaved half of his beard in order to humiliate him.
On 10/02/2001 Nizar Rayyan sent his 17 years old son, Ibrahim Rayyan, to commit a suicide attack against the Jewish settlement of Aley-Sinai in Southern Gaza Strip. On 09/23/2005 his brother Assad Abdel Kader Rayyan, was killed in a ‘work accident’ during a Hamas military parade in Gaza town to celebrate the “victory’ – the total withdrawal of Israel from Gaza Strip.
Nizar Rayyan managed to leave Gaza to Syria for instruction and coordination with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, in Damascus, in 01/2006. Nizar Rayyan was admired by his men and a unique combination of a political, religious and military leader at the same time.
* Israel also bombed 3 Mosques used as warehouses for ammunition and rockets.
* In the Arab world the Arab Foreign ministers failed to reach a common understanding due to profound disagreements between the Pro Iranian block, led by Syria, and the moderate block led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Eventually the Arab league decided to send the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Maazen), a Hamas rival, to New York to “explain” the crisis in the UN headquarter. Egypt already said that it will open Rafa crossing from Gaza Strip to Egypt only under Palestinian Authority control, led by Hamas opponent – Fatah. The fact that Hamas is an ally to Shiite Iran, eventually, isolated the organization from Arab Sunni regimes.
* In the Muslim world and all over the Western Democracies there was, on day 6 of operation Cast Lead, a sharp decline in anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish demonstrations. Saudi Arabia even banned any public gatherings, which refer to the recent Gaza violence. Some commentators and publicists in the Arab media even blame the Hamas and not Israel for the crisis.
* Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, succeeded to prove in Paris to the French, as well as to other European foreign offices, that there is no Humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that each request of any humanitarian organization operating in Gaza is fully fulfilled. Therefore it is premature to speak about “cease fire” and certainly not on Humanitarian crisis. Furthermore negotiation with Hamas legitimizes the organization, which is devoted not to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but to the total destruction of Israel.
* After the Hamas managed to recover from the Israeli initial surprise, to mobilize political and public pressure on Israel, to return fire to Israel’s heartland and to score points – the Hamas found himself, on day 6, isolated from the Sunnite Arab world because of its alliance with Iran, without any political initiative in its favor, with growing Arab support to Hamas opponent – Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement. Day six was a bad day for Hamas in which the pendulum swayed toward Israel.
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