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.
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.”
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.”