News / Middle East

    Israel, Hamas Resume Gaza Fighting

    Smoke from Israeli strikes rises over Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, July 27, 2014.
    Smoke from Israeli strikes rises over Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, July 27, 2014.

    Israel says it has resumed its raids in Gaza because Palestinians have ignored the 24-hour extension of a humanitarian cease-fire that was requested by the United Nations.

    The military said Sunday "following Hamas' incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity in the Gaza Strip."

    Palestinians say three people have been killed in Gaza since the shelling resumed.

    Militants in the Gaza Strip hit Israel with a barrage of rockets Sunday, several hours after Israel agreed to pause the fighting.

    The Israeli military says seven rockets were fired at southern Israel early Sunday.  It say five rockets landed and two were downed by Israel's Iron Dome air defense system.  

    Israel had agreed Saturday to continue the original 12-hour truce in Gaza another 24 hours through Sunday at midnight local time (( 2100 UTC)).  An Israeli official says the United Nations asked for the extension and the Cabinet agreed.

    The official says Israel would respond to Hamas rocket fire during the extension and continue to search for and destroy tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle weapons and fighters.  Hamas rejected the extension, saying Israel first had to withdraw its forces from Gaza.

    Hamas militants fired several rockets into Israel shortly after the original 12-hour cease-fire ended.  Israeli forces did not respond.

    Saturday's truce gave Gaza residents a chance to return to their homes to see what is left after nearly three weeks of Israeli airstrikes in response to Hamas rocket fire.  Some were able to salvage a few belongings while others found their homes destroyed.

    Palestinians say their death toll has exceeded 1,000.  Most of those killed were civilians, including many children. Israel says 43 Israeli soldiers and two civilians have died.

    Several thousand people gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday evening, calling for an end to Israel's military campaign in Gaza.

    Foreign ministers meet

    Seven foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, met in Paris Saturday as part of round-the-clock efforts to stop the fighting.

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the diplomats are urging a lasting cease-fire that addresses Israel's concerns about security while trying to accommodate Palestinian demands for economic development in Gaza.

    Rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israel, July 25, 2014.Rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israel, July 25, 2014.
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    Rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israel, July 25, 2014.
    Rockets fired from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israel, July 25, 2014.

    U.S. officials traveling with Kerry say Hamas believes some of what it was promised in a 2012 cease-fire was never delivered — especially the lifting of the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza — so they are more skeptical about a deal now.

    Secretary Kerry cannot negotiate directly with Hamas because the United States considers it a terrorist group, so he is working through Turkey and Qatar, which are presently the biggest backers of Hamas.

    Turkey pressing for long-term solution

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, right, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu walk down a staircase at the Turkish ambassador's residence in Paris, 26 July, 2014.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, right, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu walk down a staircase at the Turkish ambassador's residence in Paris, 26 July, 2014.
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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, right, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu walk down a staircase at the Turkish ambassador's residence in Paris, 26 July, 2014.
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah, right, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu walk down a staircase at the Turkish ambassador's residence in Paris, 26 July, 2014.

    In a separate meeting with Secretary Kerry and Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara is pressing for a longer-term solution to the violence.

    "Turkey will be working very hard to stop this bloodshed on the ground, to reach a sustainable cease-fire, and at the end of these efforts to have a two-state solution which is the real solution for all these disasters and bloodshed," he said.

    US diplomatic efforts

    Secretary Kerry led nine months of talks on a two-state solution that ended in April without success. But those talks were with the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, not with those from the Hamas-led Gaza strip.

    Israel has long pressed to restrict movement to Gaza to prevent Hamas from importing weapons. Qatari Foreign Minister Attiyah says a Gaza port could be monitored by the international community.

    Injured pro-Palestinian protester evacuated as clashes erupt at Place de La Republique during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza, Paris, July 26, 2014.Injured pro-Palestinian protester evacuated as clashes erupt at Place de La Republique during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza, Paris, July 26, 2014.
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    Injured pro-Palestinian protester evacuated as clashes erupt at Place de La Republique during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza, Paris, July 26, 2014.
    Injured pro-Palestinian protester evacuated as clashes erupt at Place de La Republique during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza, Paris, July 26, 2014.

    "Gaza, I think, deserves now to have a free movement of goods, a free movement of trade. They deserve now to have their own port so they can trade in and out even if it is under international supervision," he said.

    Secretary Kerry has spent nearly one week trying to a get a cease-fire that would lead to broader talks on the future of Gaza with the participation of the international community. But he says Israel cannot have a cease-fire that doesn't protect it from Hamas attacks, and Palestinians cannot have a cease-fire in which they do not believe they are going to have the ability to "live and breathe more freely and move within the crossings."

    "Palestinians need to live with dignity with some freedom with goods that can come in and out, and they need a life that is free from the current restraints that they feel on a daily basis and obviously free from violence," he said.

    Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

     

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    by: Jibril from: Lincoln, Uk
    July 26, 2014 4:06 PM
    I am amazed that those who suffered the inhuman conditions of the holocaust should seek to mete out similar treatment to others. Make no mistake, what Israiel is doing in Gaza is akin to the holocaust and it is a shame that the world stands by to watch.
    In Response

    by: Bill from: Northeast USA
    July 26, 2014 9:18 PM
    Jibril, what amazes me is that you don't understand that is the exact reason that the Israeli's are "mete-ing out" this treatment to Hamas. Hamas would like to wipe Israel off the face of the earth and the jews aren't about to accept that after what happened in the holocaust. It isn't just the holocaust, many gov'ts have gone after the jews over the history of time and wiped out their villages and communities, enslaved them, raped their daughters when all they wanted to do was practice their religion in peace. Usually throughout history the Jews were so poor that they had no means to fight back

    Concerning the holocaust their slogan is "NEVER AGAIN". Hamas nor the former Palestinian leadership do not want peace, they want Israel without any Jews. They would have had their Palestinian state when Israel offered them 90% of what they wanted and Arafat refused, I lost interest in their cause after that. They do not and will not ever understand that the world (and the Jews) aren't going to allow Israel to be wiped out. History is not on their side.

    Spend some time and read some history, Jerusalem has been ruled by many many different factions over that last 4000 years and the Palestinian's think that they can turn back time and take Israel and Jerusalem over without consequences.

    by: Not Again from: Canada
    July 26, 2014 3:41 PM
    Hamas is back at it, firing projectieles at Israel; Hamas is rapidly escalating the number of projectiles fired in each salvo; it has rejected Israel's 4 Hr. humanitarian extension. Clearly Hamas has not reached its quota of dead Palestinian shields; las time their quota was 1400+, before they sought a long ceasefire, of almost 14 months. Current dead in Gaza stands at just over 1000, I guess Hamas' figures another 500+ will give them more headlines; it is unfortunate for the civilians, but as usual, Hamas wants headlines rather than to save the lives of their civilians. Will see how long will it take for Israel to restart the fire supression activities. Not a good situation.
    In Response

    by: Mark from: Virginia
    July 26, 2014 11:45 PM
    Meanbill, Meanbill, Meanbill.....
    Hamas is not legendary, nor are their tactics. They use civilians as human shields, they reject every offer for a cease-fire. Cowardice is hardly something to be considered as Legendary. Israel has shown considerable restraint in NOT unleashing its full might against Hamas, knowing many more civilians would die as a result.
    More Palestinians would die if Israel launched an offensive directly at Gaza. Hamas would continue to use civilians as human shields, forcing the Israeli forces to destroy those civilians to get at the Hamas 'soldiers' shooting back.

    I do not condone violence of any nature, no matter how justified one side thinks it is. But to call the Israelis cowards, when they are showing considerable restraint when Hamas sends rockets at them.. and then, to glorify true cowardly tactics used by Hamas when firing those rockets indiscriminantly at Israel while hiding among the populace of Gaza, even putting civilians in harms way by placing weapons in civilian homes, schools and hospitals.... your reasoning is all out of whack, my friend....
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 26, 2014 7:40 PM
    Israel refuses to fight Hamas on the ground in Gaza city in (hand to hand) guerilla warfare, and rather sit back and bombard the easy targets of Palestinian civilians, (with every weapon they have), and indiscriminately blowing everything up, and killing everybody.... (Since the Israeli's refuse to fight Hamas (man to man), Israel has lost the myth of invincibility, and Hamas is becoming legendary).... The Palestinian civilians wouldn't have to die, if the Israeli army would fight Hamas on the ground in Gaza city?

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 26, 2014 2:23 PM
    Hamas is not ready to accept a cease fire except on its own terms, why is the international community crying Hamas’ cry when it cries out that Israel is hitting its civilian targets? With the network of tunnels Hamas has showed to the world how prepared it is to stage a fight with Israel. Israel on its own part shows how prepared it is to inflict serious damage on Hamas both in infrastructure and human costs. If Hamas feels it’s getting its bargain in the war, why not let it continue instigating it the more while Israel shows its own resilience in responding to every rocket, missile or mortar shot in from Hamas or its cronies.

    Here I fault John Kerry’s insistence in negotiating a cease fire for Hamas when it does not want it. Especially going through Turkey and Qatar who are themselves avowed enemies of Israel makes it difficult to agree that all the things we hear reported that Hamas says may be all Hamas’. If you say you outlaw Hamas and at the same time negotiate with it, albeit indirectly, what message are passing to the world? I think it’s a show of weakness. Terrorism must be defeated not pampered. I am really skeptical about Israel ever living side by side with a group like Hamas, which may be more dangerous than Hezbollah. Perched on a vital seaport west of Israel, Hamas does not portend anything but mortal danger. All that demand for seaport to be under international supervision is just to divert attention. For once Hamas will receive an influx of arms from Iran, Turkey, Qatar and everywhere to deal Israel a blow of a lifetime, provoked or not. It is good that neither Hamas nor Hezbollah has made a pretense of it. So anyone asking Israel to open up that blockade against Hamas cannot be a friend of Israel.

    Israel should live in peace with Palestinians, but the UN or the international community should think of relocating Hamas from its present location west of Israel into West Bank to be controlled under Abbas, notwithstanding Abbas might bulk easily under Hamas pressure soon. At least it gives Israel the idea its enemies are not surrounding it. Imagine the president is sleeping in his room one night and suddenly the ground opens up and Hamas fighters fill the house through tunnels, what a horror it will be! It is even better if Hamas is removed until there is a natural waterway separating it from human habitation, for it has become inhuman both in outlook and action.
    In Response

    by: ali baba from: new york
    July 26, 2014 11:21 PM
    How many Israeli killed by rockets? how many civilian Killed as a result OF is real hostility? How many civilian that include children , woman and elderly killed ? What is Israel military capacity? Who give money to Hamas to support it for terrorism activities ? When you answered these question , you will understand that issue is not a rocket .the real issue is revenge. . the Arab is giving money to Hamas. instead of killing children, go and attack the kings ,Emir, imam whom initialed the conflict instead of killing children . Israel ,do not treat us as idiot by saying rocket which has no military value. Israel is killing people as collative punishment. God is not supporting Hamas nor Israel.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 26, 2014 11:14 AM
    THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW?.... Israel uses the defense for killing Palestinian civilians, by saying Hamas uses them for human shields.... (but in reality), Israel uses that excuse to hide the fact they won't send in ground forces, with tanks, and armored fighting vehicles, to fight Hamas (man to man), in a guerilla war in Gaza city..... Israel would rather sit back where it's safe, and bombard Gaza city with every weapon they possess and rarely will engage in any infantry combat, and kill Hamas or whoever from a safe distance....

    MOST of the Palestinian civilians killed or wounded, didn't have to die or suffer wounds, (if only), the Israeli's had sent their ground forces into Gaza city, and subdued the Hamas militants, instead of bombarding the Palestinian civilians.... (Israel has lost the myth of invincibility, and Hamas is becoming legendary?)....... REALLY
    In Response

    by: Ariel Eljuri from: Caribbean
    July 26, 2014 9:02 PM
    Israel is not fighting a conventional army. What you propose is ridiculous. Hamas "soldiers" have no uniform, they appear as normal civilians. Who will shoot you then? How can you discriminate between a real innocent civilian and a combatant disguised as civilian? This is not a neighborhood's street fight in which you recognize you opponent and you can show how "man or macho" you are. This is a war for survival. The Jews have to fail only once to be slaughtered again as in WW2. And then the world will say once again: "They asked for it" "They deserved it".
    In Response

    by: Matthew George from: USA
    July 26, 2014 3:51 PM
    Hey Meanbill, I agree with you. Israel afraid to use her ground forces against Hamas. The Israel authority know the aftermath with be severe. Because of Hamas guerilla warfare, Israel decided to used her air forces to bombard Gaza city.
    In Response

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    July 26, 2014 1:40 PM
    No matter how you see it and what you say about it, the reality is that Hamas' system is an unconventional warfare and so can be anybody's game. All terrorist organization use the guerrilla warfare approach, and in most cases their infantry are suicide fighters who have signed to die in the course of the war if only with at least one opponent to die with them too. Judging what Israel or USA, Russia or Nigeria will do with those who have no regard for their own lives, much less for others' lives, is misguided. Should there be a major war between any of these countries and another country, then you can judge their worth in real war situation. For then there will be no move to quit anybody but to destroy every destroyable on the way. The idea of modern warfare paying regard to civilians becomes costly in every way - both civilians and combatants. I do not yet understand or agree with it, for if a country should agree to go to war with another, the country should be prepared to take the damage that goes with war if it is not able to fortify itself enough to prevent the enemy hitting its vital infrastructures - material and human.

    by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
    July 26, 2014 9:00 AM
    Israel is losing a major public relations status due to the excessive civilian deaths and injuries among the Palestinians. It is possible the war is justified by Israel and its allies as an experiment in the effectiveness of the missile defence system. While it could be justified militarily as a technology test for the benefit of increased security for more serious missile defence problems such as with Iran or for the use of NATO forces, it does cause one to be saddened at the loss of life among the Palestinians. The Palestinians have earned the right to their own state, provided their government recognizes Israel's right to existence and peace.

    by: Lou from: Atlanta
    July 26, 2014 7:56 AM
    Hamas needs to come to the realization that picking a fight with their neighbor is not a good idea.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    July 26, 2014 8:06 PM
    CRAZY isn't it? ... The US and Israel are the ones desperately seeking a ceasefire, and not Hamas, who has never asked for a ceasefire at anytime, under any conditions, have they? ... Hamas has already told the US and Israel that they'd only accept a guaranteed ceasefire under the terms and conditions of the old 2012 ceasefire agreement with Israel..... (and nothing less).... Israel can't win this Gaza city war, and the US and Israel know it....... REALLY
    In Response

    by: Mangy Critter from: Albany
    July 26, 2014 7:06 PM
    HUMANS need to come to the realization that picking a fight with their neighbor is not a good idea!

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