Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Hamas Violates Ceasefire - Again
Hamas fired rockets from northern Gaza into Israel 2 hours before the cease fire was supposed to end. One rocket struck open territory in the Sha'ar Hanegev area and exploded without causing injuries or damage. Another was launched at the Ashkelon area.
This will be the seventh cease fire Hamas has violated.
A Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri said Hamas "denies there was any rocket fire at the occupation this evening".
Since the rockets didn't appear by magic, either Hamas is lying or they don't have complete control over their forces. If either is true, there's no sense in Israel making any kind of deal with them at this point.
The Hamas/Fatah delegation was supposed to give a press conference at 9:30 p.m. to reply to the Egyptian proposal to extend the truce by another 72 hours. That press conference has now been postponed.
Hamas sources are reporting that instead, the Palestinian delegation is preparing to leave Cairo. The Israelis left earlier in the evening.
Hamas is insisting that all its demands be met in order for any long term cease fire to be put in place. They want the Egyptian/Israeli blockade lifted, an airport and seaport to be constructed, the Egyptians replaced as mediators with someone more Hamas friendly, the crossings between Egypt,Israel and Gaza opened with the Palestinian Authority in control and a number of Hamas terrorists released from Israeli jails. They are offering no concessions in return.
Neither Egypt or Israel is prepared to fully open the borders and allow Hamas to simply rebuild its terrorist structure and re-arm.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Hamas’ Aqsa TV station that “The sacrifices of our people don’t allow for compromises on the rights and demands of the Palestinians.”
He expressed support for the Palestinian team in Cairo and urged its members not to “succumb to blackmail.”
Israel has reacted to the breach of the ceasefire by moving more troops into position.
Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyau received a call from President Barack Obama today, reportedly pressuring him to make a deal with Hamas that would end the fighting, even if it was just an extension of the short term truce. That phone call was made before Hamas broke the ceasefire.
There was an announcement by Egypt before the rockets were fired that the two sides had agreed to extend the ceasefire for another 72 hours,apparently what President Obama was pushing for. We'll see how things go.