All-Star Panel: Why does Israel, Hamas ceasefire remain elusive?

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," July 24, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, a ceasefire remains elusive in the Israeli-Hamas conflict, and some people are pointing to the countries of Qatar and Turkey for one of the reasons why it's elusive, their support for Hamas. We're back with the panel. Charles, this comes on a day that Israel shelled a shelter, at least 16 people killed, including three U.N. teachers. Israeli the military said they blamed Hamas for using innocent human shields. This doesn't seem like it's ending.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: But there was some ambiguity in that report. The head of UNRWA, which is the U.N. agency which administers the schools, a man called Robert Turner, said and is quoted in the New York Times online this afternoon, that they are uncertain who actually hit the school. They are still investigating, and the initial reports that it was Israel was, of course, what you would expect from eyewitness -- from Palestinians on the scene and in other areas of Gaza. And he said, this is a U.N. spokesman who isn't exactly a pro-Israel guy, they are still investigating and is not clear whether it was Israelis or whether it was rocket fire from Gaza, which has hit -- sometimes it lands in Gaza -- it's actually hit some areas, Palestinian areas in the West Bank. So we are not sure who did it.

Assuming it was Israeli fire, let's understand what was discovered earlier this week on two instances. There were rockets found in U.N. schools in Gaza, supposedly smuggled in, but it's not easy to smuggle in a missile.  This is everywhere. It's in hospitals, and mosques. An Israeli was killed today by an antitank rocket from a mosque. The Israelis, of course, attack the mosque. How else can Israel respond? And there is one other factor.  Israel accepted a ceasefire a week ago, none of this would ever have happened. Hamas refused.

BAIER: What about these countries supporting Hamas? And, you know, Qatar, obviously, has a close relationship with this administration. The emir went to the West Point speech.

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Certainly. I think the sad fact is this is a huge propaganda war going on. What happened today is a coup for Israel's enemies. There is some reporting that Israel didn't even intend to hit it. There was just a misguided missile or whatever that hit this school. But when you have 15 people dead, when you have lots of people injured, it just looks bad.

And then you hear some of these comments, oh my gosh the Turkish prime minister, he is out of his mind. So, you know, the point is though that Hamas is waging a guerrilla war against a far superior military outfit.  There is no way that Hamas can beat Israel. So instead of simply saying, oh, gee, anything Israel does is OK, we have to look at it in terms of how Israel can get the best deal and stop this fighting and, therefore, not surrender the moral high ground.

BAIER: But what about negotiating with Qatar who clearly is supporting Hamas?

JONAH GOLDBERG, AT LARGE EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Right. And lots of reports say that basically what Hamas is holding out for is for Qatar to pay the salaries for all the Hamas fighters and Hamas civil servants who are running Gaza, they just want paychecks.  And that's what they're fighting for, not this glorious struggle against the Zionist entity, but as a payday.

And I think the -- much like our relations with Central America on the immigration thing, there is so much stuff that could be done at the diplomatic, peer to peer level among these leaders. If Barack Obama and these guys were actually interested in pressing that, more forcefully, maybe there could be some progress made here.

On the Turkish prime minister thing, I'm glad Juan spoke out about it.  There is this unbelievable effort and so much of the mainstream media and certainly in the international press to confuse arsonists and firefighters as at least morally equivalent. And it is outrageous how much air it gets.

BAIER: That is it for the panel, but stay tuned for some creative local news reporting.

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