Israel-Hamas truce effort fails
More than 200 Palestinians have died so far in the battle between Israel and Hamas. Tuesday, the first Israeli was killed. Any hope of a cease-fire now is lost again in the violence. Explosions shattered the short cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. The Palestinian militant group rejected the proposal and continued its offensive, so Israel resumed its air strikes in Gaza.
“The content basically ignored all of Hamas’ key demands and reiterated everything in the previous cease-fire from two years ago,” stated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu defended his decision to strike back, saying “Hamas have decided to continue and will pay the price for that decision.” This all began with the abduction of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June; they were found dead on June 30th. Days later, a Palestinian teen was abducted and found dead in Jerusalem in an apparent revenge killing. Both incidents opened old wounds – the question is how to stop this battle.
“There are great risks in what is happening there and in the potential of an even greater escalation of violence. We don’t want to see that. Nobody does. Nor does Israel, but Israel has a right to defend itself,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who may visit the region soon, possibly Wednesday.
The casualty count continues rising to nearly 200 dead in Gaza – most are civilians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. The number of injured is at least 1,400. In Israel, there have been injuries, but the first death Tuesday was a man killed after being hit by a mortar shell. It was the Egyptians who tried to broker the truce between the Palestinians and Israel – Hamas rejected it. In the past, Egypt was a strong partner in that part of the world to negotiate these kinds of cease-fires. But with the new Egyptian leadership in place now, Hamas does not trust them. So now, many wonder who can and will step up in the Middle East to act as a negotiator to try to end this round of violence.