Israel, Gaza trade rocket fire refusing to cease conflict
There’s more chaos and bloodshed in the Middle East as calls for a cease-fire are ignored. Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza continue to trade weapons fire and accusations as neither side appears to be willing to back down. Speaking to Israelis on TV, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “we need to be ready for a prolonged campaign.”
Flares light the sky over Gaza City early Tuesday as fighting rages on between Israeli forces and Hamas. Hamas-run AL-AQSA TV reports a direct strike from an Israeli drone on Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital Monday. At least two people were injured in the strike, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. An Israel Defense Forces spokesman denies involvement in the strike.
“That’s ridiculous, it’s outrageous, there is nothing true about that,” stated Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.
The IDF blames the damage to the hospital and an incident at a nearby refugee camp on a failed Hamas rocket attack. According the Health Ministry, at least 10 people were killed at the camp.
“Israelis and Palestinians have the responsibility to stop the fighting now,” declared UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
Ki-Moon calls for an immediate humanitarian truce. Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor responded by saying “it’s very simple: if it’s going to be quiet in Israel, it’s going to be quiet in Gaza. The equation is simple.”
Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. is continuing work on a humanitarian cease-fire which could lead to a sustainable cease-fire.
“It is important to try and build, to begin and to move to a process and that is what we are trying to achieve. That is the only way, ultimately, this conflict will be resolved.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry says it is observing an unlimited humanitarian cease-fire, which means Israeli soldiers will only fire on Gaza when fired upon directly and will only target where the fire is coming from.
“What we need is a political solution. Military solutions will not produce anything but extremism, enlarging the cycle of violence and counter-violence, and that’s the truth in this region,” said Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat.
The fighting has killed at least 1,000 Palestinians, 52 Israeli soldiers and 3 civilians on the Israeli side.