UPDATED 12:44 PM EDT -- SMALLPOX CONFIRMED --Developments: Water Turned Back On in Gaza; Rafah Border Crossing Re-Opened for US

Overnight in Israel there have been developments.  First, water mains were turned back on from Israel into southern Gaza.  Next, Egypt has re-opened the Rafah Border Crossing to AMERICANS to exit Gaza.  A ground invasion has **not** begun.

It is also very clear there have been Few attacks on Gaza in the last 36 hours, and few missile from Gaza too. I'm sensing that there might be serious reconsideration by Israel of the existential reality facing them.  

Iran was not kidding when it said "Unless the offensive against Gaza stops, we will intervene."   Hezbollah in Lebanon is not kidding, they're making small incursions into northern Israel, hitting IDF Troops, then retreating.   

Syria is clearly arming-up its regular army since last night's Israeli missile attacks on Damascus and Aleppo Airports - again - the second time within days.

The fact that Israel had not gone in last night spawned RUMORS the fighter jets had to wait because . . . . get this . . . . thunderstorms were coming to the area, and they affected pilots ability to hit ground targets.   Most know that's complete bullshit - fighter jets operate in all weather and in full nightfall.  

So clearly something is "up" with what's taking place over there.

Most obvious (to me) is that Israel seems to be waiting for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft Carrier and its Strike Group to arrive on-station along with the USS Gerald R. Ford and its Strike group which is already there.

Once the Eisenhower arrives, the US will have, off Israel's coast:

- 2 aircraft carriers

- At least 160 aircraft.

- Two guided missile cruisers,

- Six destroyers

Once the NATO Maritime Surface Group #2 arrives, the TOTAL firepower off Israel's coast will include:

- 2 Aircraft Carriers
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)

- 2 Ticonderoga-Class Cruisers
USS Normandy (CG-60)
USS Philippines Sea (CG-58)

- 7 Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyers
USS Thomas Hudner (DDG-116)
USS Ramage (DDG-61)
USS Carney (DDG-64)
USS Roosevelt (DDG-80)
USS Laboon (DDG-58)
USS Mason (DDG-87)
USS Gravely (DDG-107)

- 1 Type-45 Air Defense Destroyer
HMS Duncan (D-37)

- 5 Frigates
ESPS Méndez Núñez (F-104)
FS Surcouf (F-711)
ITS Carlo Margottini (F-592)
TCG Yavuz (F-240)
HS Psara (F-454)

- 2 Landing Support Ships
RFA Lyme Bay
RFA Argus

These vessels and their enormous firepower are in addition to:

- Additional F-35s, F-15, F-16s and A-10s. (And that's what's been added to already present aircraft assets.)

Recall, too, the USS George Washington and the HMS Prince of Wales (A Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier) both pulled out of Norfolk, VA last week, at least two days BEFORE the Dwight D. Eisenhower departed.   And no one is revealing where the Washington and the Prince of Wales are heading.

Factor-in that NATO revealed two days ago that it's Maritime Surface Group 2 was heading toward the Mediterranean Sea as of Friday as well.

Ships can't  move very fast relative to the distances they must cover; it takes time to get these enormous fleets into position.

Which begs the question: In position for what, exactly?

GAZA is smaller than the City of Chicago.   Israel has its regular Army and another 360,000 reserve troops already called up.  In addition to the above, the 101st Airborne Division was shuttled from the Ukraine area to Jordan last week.

How much manpower and firepower does Israel need for a place that's smaller than Chicago?

Unless, of course, this isn't just about Gaza at all.   Perhaps this is about Iran and Syria as well?

If we add those two countries into the mix, all of a sudden, the naval power being brought to the region starts to make more sense.

Israel has had it in for Iran for decades, and has whined, moaned, complained and accused about Iran to anyone and everyone, for years.

Syria is still blocking proposed construction of a Gas Pipeline from Qatar to Europe, and the west still wants that pipeline, so in the West's minds, Bashar Assad has to go.

Then, too, public opposition to ISRAEL has been a very sharp, well-placed political jab that has knocked the elite onto their back foot.  The public outpouring of opposition to Israel (and to a lesser degree, support for Gaza) has been startling to the elite.  They've never seen anything like it before.  The elite's "narrative" about the ongoing fighting, is **not** being believed by the general public.

That fraud about "40 babies beheaded" fell like a lead balloon because everyone remembers the phony "Babies taken from incubators and thrown on the floor" lie during the Iraq invasion of Kuwait.  That lie was exposed, albeit very late, and nobody is falling for that propaganda crap anymore.

Some people are saying "Oh look, its the same tactics and lies they used during the Iraq war" and those people are right!

Threats aren't working for the elite, either.  The French Interior Minister is threatening five years in prison for anyone "supporting" HAMAS or displaying "Pro-Palestinian" flags, signs, etc.   Yet the French people have taken to the streets by the hundreds-of-thousands, doing exactly what the French Interior Minister says they cannot.

In the UK, it's worse.  No less than King Charles himself has publicly threatened UK citizens with "14 years in prison for supporting Hamas."  The general public in the UK is - even today - pouring into the streets with Palestinian flags, signs, and banners of support, in direct defiance of His Majesty.

So the "elite" are stupefied; the public is not listening to them or to their narrative.  The general public is rebelling.  The police are trying to enforce these new rules, but even the cops are afraid because the crowds are so big and quite unruly.

This combination of developments over the past couple days, was absolutely **not** expected by the-powers-that-be (TPTB) and they have to fall back and re-think their strategies.

Turning the water back on in Gaza is part of the re-think. 

It turned out that over the past five years, GAZA installed de-salination plants, and numerous . . .get this . . . solar-powered private wells!   When the water mains were turned off, Israel had only been supplying about six percent (6%) of Gaza water.

So they took a huge public relations (PR) hit over shutting off water, but in reality, what they did achieved almost nothing.   

So the decision to turn the water back on is now seen as a PR stunt because their initial effort totally failed, but got them gigantic PR trouble and they're hoping to get some of the PR pressure off them by turning the water back on.

The other variable here is the one that is **not** supposed to be said out loud:  Israel isn't nearly as tough as they want everyone to think.

500,000 troops!  Merkava tanks!  Armored Personnel Carriers! . . .  but to date, the Israelis have only used fighter jets to bomb apartment buildlings, and artillery to fire shells from a very safe distance away.  Why is that?

Why haven't they gone in?  

The IDF says publicly they're ready.  They say publicly they are "in-position" and await a political decision to begin.

Yet that decision does not come.   Why not?

Is it because they aren't nearly as tough as they would have everyone believe?  Are they afraid?

Afraid of what traps may await them inside Gaza?

Afraid of Hezbollah - which kicked their butts back in 2005 - coming into the fight?

Afraid of Iran and Syria entering the fight?

Afraid that even moderate partner-in-peace, Egypt, has warned "Israel has brought our relationship to the breaking point?"

Whatever the facts, the immutable fact is that Israel has **not** entered Gaza for an invasion - yet.

Or is it something other than fear.  Is it arrogance?  Are the Israeli's waiting for American and NATO firepower to arrive so that the "Goyim" will do the fighting FOR THEM?


 There is, of course, one other possibility that I have not touched upon:

It could be that the ground offensive is 100% happening. But we aren't going to see a massive battle charge because GAZA is one big booby trap.

The IDF may have decided to take it very slowly and clear GAZA piece by piece. That will also show the world they are being careful and methodical and not just slaughtering.

This morning, they are also slowly pushing the population of Gaza to the south for the same reason - turning the water on there could be to both lure people in that direction and also give the impression they're not going to wipe out Gaza in one go.

Once they've got what's left of Hamas pushed up against the southern border it will get very hard.

Basically, this may be a measured pressure build-up rather than the "shock & awe" head-on charge a lot of us are expecting.

Whatever will be, I still have a terrible sense of foreboding over this situation - and Ukraine.   The stakes are very high and if these things go wild-weasel, we will ALL be in a world of hurt.

Prep.  Get your emergency food, water, medicines, fuel, generator and communications gear like CB or HAM radio.  Better to prep and not need it, than to need it but not have it.

 And get right with God.  That's most important of all.


***** FLASH *****

UPDATE 12:44 PM EDT --

URGENT --  The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) confirms the first case of smallpox was recorded among the displaced people in Gaza.  Where the HELL did THAT come from?   They wouldn't use biological weapons, would they?


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