When I heard parts of John Kerry’s news conference today, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He was talking as if he’s trying to create a way to bolster Hamas when the fighting is over.

Sure enough, Barak Ravid, a well-regarded reporter for the left-wing Israeli Haaretz newspaper presents a chilling tale of John Kerry’s complete incompetence in the Gaza ceasefire negotiations, Kerry’s latest cease-fire plan: What was he thinking?

The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers not only because it was the opposite of what Kerry told them less than 24 hours earlier, but mostly because it might as well have been penned by Khaled Meshal [the political head of Hamas who lives in Qatar]. It was everything Hamas could have hoped for.

The document recognized Hamas’ position in the Gaza Strip, promised the organization billions in donation funds and demanded no dismantling of rockets, tunnels or other heavy weaponry at Hamas’ disposal. The document placed Israel and Hamas on the same level, as if the first is not a primary U.S. ally and as if the second isn’t a terror group which overtook part of the Palestinian Authority in a military coup and fired thousands of rockets at Israel.

It gets worse, as I suspected Kerry is seeking to make Hamas a post-war power, Ravid reports:

On Saturday, the State Department distributed photos of Kerry’s meeting with Qatar and Turkey’s foreign ministers in Paris. [See video above] The three appear jovial and happy-go-lucky. Other photographs show Kerry carousing romantically with the Turkish foreign minister in the pastoral grounds of the U.S. ambassador’s home in Paris, as if the Turkish official’s prime minister didn’t just say a few days ago that Israel is 10 times worse than Hitler.

The secretary of state’s draft empowered the most radical and problematic elements in the region – Qatar, Turkey, and Hamas – and was a slap on the face to the rapidly forming camp of Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, who have many shared interests. What Kerry’s draft spells for the internal Palestinian political arena is even direr: It crowns Hamas and issues Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with a death warrant.

This is consistent with reporting from The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff, another well-regarded reporter, ‘Kerry told Hamas many of its demands would be met under ceasefire deal’:

US Secretary of State John Kerry informed Hamas via Qatar last week that under his proposal for a ceasefire with Israel, based on the original Egyptian initiative, the US would guarantee the fulfillment of many of Hamas’s demands for an end to the war, Palestinian sources told The Times of Israel on Saturday…

The guarantees promised to Hamas by Kerry under a ceasefire, as relayed to The Times of Israel by the Palestinian sources, pertain to the following issues: an easing of restrictions on the passage of goods from Israel to Gaza; an easing of restrictions on the passage of traders and businessmen from Gaza to Israel; expansion of the permitted Gaza fishing zone to 12 miles off the coast; the opening of the Rafah crossing with Egypt, to be manned by Palestinian Authority officials; and a promise to ensure the transfer of salaries to Gaza’s government employees.

Kerry made no promises on the issue of the Hamas demand for the release of prisoners, other than a pledge to discuss the matter. There was also no mention of the establishment of a seaport in Gaza, as demanded by Hamas.

There is something dangerously incompetent about Kerry. He is seeking to bolster Hamas, while bringing the lunatic Turkish leadership — which hates Israel with a passion — into the fold.

Ravid at Haaretz notes that Kerry seems delusional (emphasis added):

Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he’s a true friend to Israel. But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.

Seems like a fair, maybe too kind, assessment.

Are the Israelis and Palestinian Authority leaking to reporters? Sure. But it makes complete sense in light of Kerry’s public actions and pronouncements.

Meanwhile, Hamas is seeking North Korean help to rearm quickly, according to The Telegraph, Hamas and North Korea in secret arms deal:

Hamas militants are attempting to negotiate a new arms deal with North Korea for missiles and communications equipment that will allow them to maintain their offensive against Israel, according to Western security sources.

Security officials say the deal between Hamas and North Korea is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and is being handled by a Lebanese-based trading company with close ties to the militant Palestinian organisation based in east Beirut.
Hamas officials are believed to have already made an initial cash down payment to secure the deal, and are now hoping that North Korea will soon begin shipping extra supplies of weapons to Gaza.

“Hamas is looking for ways to replenish its stocks of missiles because of the large numbers it has fired at Israel in recent weeks,” explained a security official. “North Korea is an obvious place to seek supplies because Pyongyang already has close ties with a number of militant Islamist groups in the Middle East.”

By not only saving, but empowering Hamas, Kerry’s delusion is dangerous.

Updates: The Editor-in-Chief of The Times of Israel, John Kerry: The betrayal:

The secretary’s proposal managed to unite Israel’s disparate group of key political leaders — from Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Liberman on the right, through Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni on the center-left — in a unanimous response of horrified rejection and leaked castigation….

Leaked comments from unnamed senior government sources to Army Radio, Channel 2 and other Hebrew outlets have described the secretary as amateurish, incompetent, incapable of understanding the material he is dealing with — in short, a blithering fool.

But actually, it’s worse than that. What emerges from Kerry’s self-initiated ceasefire mission — Israel had already accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal; and nobody asked him to come out on a trip he prefaced with sneering remarks about Israel’s attempted “pinpoint” strikes on Hamas terror targets — is that Jerusalem now regards him as duplicitous and dangerous….

Whether through ineptitude, malice, or both, Kerry’s intervention was not a case of America’s top diplomat coming to our region to help ensure, through astute negotiation, the protection of a key ally. This was a betrayal.

The Palestinian Authority is fuming also, Abbas fumes at Kerry over alternative ceasefire bid:

Palestinian sources told the London-based A-Sharq Al-Awsat that Kerry had initially agreed to an Egyptian proposal for an immediate ceasefire followed by five days of negotiations between Israel and the PA, with American assurances to address some of Hamas’s demands. But on Friday evening Kerry produced a new plan based on consultations with Qatar and Turkey and conducted between “the State of Israel” and “the Palestinian factions,” excluding the PA. The Israeli cabinet unanimously rejected Kerry’s plan.

More, the proof is in, Leaked document confirms US ceasefire bid generous to Hamas:

A “confidential draft” of the American ceasefire proposal leaked to the press appears to confirm what The Times of Israel reported Friday — that Washington was willing to generously accede to many of Hamas’s demands, while all but ignoring Israel’s security requirements.

The published text of the proposal, obtained by Haaretz, also shows that Qatar and Turkey – Hamas’s main sponsors in the region — were given prominent roles in the mediation, while the Palestinian Authority and Egypt were entirely marginalized.