Gaza Cease-fire Fails Miserably

By
Palestinian men rescue items from a destroyed building following an Israeli military strike on Beit Lahya, northern Gaza Strip, on July 15, 2014. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

Optimism about an Egyptian plan to stop the fighting in the Gaza Strip lasted all of a few hours on Tuesday morning. Israel has since “resumed some striking in Gaza” after Hamas’s apparent rejection of the terms was expressed in continued rocket fire following the 9 a.m. truce time. “If Hamas does not accept the ceasefire proposal, as would now seem to be the case, Israel would have all international legitimacy to broaden the military operation to achieve the required quiet,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to NBC News.

Smoke from rockets fired from Gaza City are seen after being launched toward Israel, on July 15, 2014. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

The weeks of violence stem from tensions surrounding the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June, followed by the revenge-killing of a Palestinian 16-year-old on July 2.

The botched cease-fire “followed a relatively quiet night, in which the Israeli military bombed 25 sites in Gaza, killing five people in the southern cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, according to the Gaza Health Ministry; about 1,400 others have been wounded,” the New York Times reports. Overall, 185 Palestinians and no Israelis have been killed in the recent clashes.

“Hamas has fired 47 rockets since we suspended our strikes in Gaza at 9 a.m. As a result, we have resumed our operation against Hamas,” said the IDF on Twitter. “Israel has right to defend itself,” said Secretary of State John Kerry from Vienna. “Hamas should not use civilians as shields.”

Israeli security forces, bomb-disposal experts, and civilians inspect damages after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip hit a yard outside a house in the southern port city of Ashdod on July 15, 2014. Photo: David Buimovitch/AFP/Getty Images

According to the armed Hamas group the al-Qassam Brigades, the peace plan is “not worth the ink with which it was written,” it announced in a statement in Arabic. “Our battle with the enemy is continuing and will grow even more intense.”