News / Middle East

Fighting Resumes as Gaza Truce Expires

Smoke rises following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Aug. 8, 2014.
Smoke rises following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Aug. 8, 2014.
VOA News

Israel pounded Gaza with a series of airstrikes Friday after Hamas resumed rocket attacks against Israel when talks broke down on extending a three-day truce.

Smoke rose above Gaza as Israeli warplanes retaliated against dozens of rockets fired by Hamas into Israel, restarting a month-long conflict that has already left almost 2,000 people dead.  The latest fighting killed at least five Palestinians and injured two Israelis.

Israel held its fire for about three hours, but military spokesman Peter Lerner later confirmed airstrikes were being carried out "against terrorist infrastructure" in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a "forceful" retaliation in response to the projectile launches.

A 10-year-old Palestinian boy was killed and five others critically wounded in the shelling.

Palestinian Naama Al Attar, 13, waits to collect water at a U.N. school in Gaza City on Aug. 8, 2014.Palestinian Naama Al Attar, 13, waits to collect water at a U.N. school in Gaza City on Aug. 8, 2014.
x
Palestinian Naama Al Attar, 13, waits to collect water at a U.N. school in Gaza City on Aug. 8, 2014.
Palestinian Naama Al Attar, 13, waits to collect water at a U.N. school in Gaza City on Aug. 8, 2014.

Israeli police said two people were injured by attacks from Gaza, Reuters reported.

Government spokesman Mark Regev accused the Hamas-led fighters of indiscriminately targeting civilians.

"Israel wanted to see this cease-fire succeed,” Regev said. “We redeployed all our forces out of the Gaza Strip. We ceased all offensive operations against the terrorists in Gaza and we took up purely defensive positions.

"But Hamas this morning has opened fire on targets in Israel, on communities across the frontier."

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said it failed to reach a deal to extend the cease-fire during indirect talks with Israeli in Cairo.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply disappointed that the parties were unable to agree to an extension of a three-day break in the violence in their talks in Cairo.

"The extension of the cease-fire is absolutely essential for talks to progress and to address the underlying issues of the crisis as soon as possible," Ban said in a statement.

On Friday, the Islamist group said it would continue with negotiations there, along with other Palestinian factions.

Gaza Conflict, death tolls, August 8, 2014Gaza Conflict, death tolls, August 8, 2014
x
Gaza Conflict, death tolls, August 8, 2014
Gaza Conflict, death tolls, August 8, 2014

"We are not for escalation. We are ready to continue through our Egyptian brother sin negotiating a final agreement that would return the rights to their owners," Fatah official Azzam Ahmed said, according to Reuters.

"I mean here lifting the blockade of Gaza," continued Ahmed, who said Palestinians were scheduled to meet later Friday with Egyptian mediators. 

The blockade has strangled the Gazan economy and kept Palestinians from leaving the coastal enclave.

But Israel said it will not loosen the blockade until Hamas, which it views as a terrorist group, is disarmed.

Israel had agreed to prolong the cease-fire but was not willing to continue negotiations once the attacks resumed. The Israeli delegation reportedly left Egypt shortly after Hamas resumed firing.

Hamas' rejection of an extended cease-fire could further antagonize Egypt. As Reuters pointed out, Egpyt, already hostile to the militant group, controls the vital Rafah border crossing.   

Death and devastation

The cease-fire had ended four weeks of fighting that killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and devastated large sections of Gaza. Hamas on Thursday also "executed an unspecified number of Palestinians as Israeli spies," Reuters reported.

Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians also were killed. Most of the Israeli casualties occurred during a ground invasion by Israeli troops to destroy Hamas' cross-border tunnels.

Israel pulled out all of its soldiers from Gaza, saying all known tunnels have been destroyed, but many troops remain massed on the border.

In the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, some families that had returned to their homes during the cease-fire were departing again for United Nations shelters, Reuters reported. 

"Today I am fleeing again, back to displacement," Yamen Mahmoud, a 35-year-old father of four, told Reuters. "I am not against resistance, but we need to know what to do. Is it war or peace?"

Humanitarian disaster

Relief groups say Gaza faces a humanitarian disaster. Hospitals are overflowing with wounded. Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed. And 250,000 of the seaside territory's 1.8 million residents have been displaced.

Some wounded Gazans have been taken to Egypt and Jordan for treatment. Several dozen have been treated at a field hospital in Israel.

Turkey has asked Israel and Egypt to allow an air bridge to transport wounded to Turkey.

A convoy of relief supplies from Jordan reportedly arrived in Gaza Friday. Several Western and Arab governments have pledged millions of dollars in aid to Gaza, but its effects have yet to arrive on the ground.

VOA Jerusalem bureau chief Scott Bobb contributed to this report, and some information comes from Reuters and AP.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Dr David Hill from: Bern
August 10, 2014 9:12 AM
History has shown clearly that politicians cannot devise or put in place a solution to the middle-east problem. The reason is vested-interests of the politicians involved. They may blame religion and extremism, but where foreign policy is dictated by western economic benefit and national interests, not the economic and national interests of the people of the middle-east. Therefore no matter what western politicians say, no long-term solutions will ever emerge because of the Achilles heel that is governed by the interests of the relatively few powerful entities behind the scenes that control what happens, not just in the middle-east, but in all western economies. That is why we have so-called peace envoys as Tony Blair. Therefore political solutions will never work to overcome religious and economic interests dominated by immense global financial and economic entities. Considering this truism, only an independent solution evaluated and executed by non-political/corrupt factions and totally independent of political self-interest and vast economic external benefit, will ever solve the ever-growing hell that the people of the middle-east endure. Abject poverty is at the very heart of why things are as they are and not until a 'master plan' for pan-middle east economic development is put in place, will peace become a reality and war a past memory. This strategy would take 40-years to undertake, but where once in place, it would provide the only sustainable development mechanism in town. In other words, a 'Marshall Plan' for the middle-east transforming the region over time into a dynamic economic bloc. For history has shown also that so-called enemies work in harmony together when economics provides dynamic regional blocs providing growing standards of living. Indeed even religions and long-term human differences come together if it is in the economic interests of all parties. Simple really based on the history of the world and where warlike and terrorist groups have come together, but where the political elite and their backers currently will not let this happen behind closed doors.

Indeed, keep politicians and powerful interests lurking in the background in, and the whole dire destructive process will continue to be a totally non-ending spiral of horror and genocide...infinitum. The secret is therefore to keep politicians out and where military power has never succeeded in obtaining long-term peace when a nations people post-conflict, are not developed economically. Indeed without the 'Marshall Plan', Europe would have erupted into war many times over after WW2 as poverty would have driven this state to continually exist. In this respect also, this time, the people in the conflict region/zone have to be told first the economic benefits that they will receive, so that internally they know this time that there is a better life to look forward too and so that they will get behind the strategy from the inside out. And where this is possibly the greatest incentive for success.

'ISRAEL - PALESTINE WAR - The only Solution to what will be a never-ending Conflict if mindsets do not change to applied economic solutions'

- http://worldinnovationfoundation.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/israel-palestine-war-only-solution-to.html

by: Leroy Padmore from: JerseyCity
August 10, 2014 2:40 AM
Look at all those lies and hateful writing about Israel, VOA need to move your station to Gaza. In America we believed in justice and true.

by: gaza from: gaza
August 09, 2014 3:16 AM
Forwarded message from Gaza

From

Mohammed N. Ziara

Dear Friends, Let me explain very important thing for you !!

You all must know why our resistance fighters refuse ceasefire after Israel and Egypt refuse our demands
Resistance fighter put demands for long ceasefire and here is the demands :
1- Open land borders to enter and leave Gaza freely
2- Establish maritime corridor & seaport.
3- Release prisoners "there are more than 7000 Palestinian prisoners on Israeli Jails.
4- Grant access to Jerusalem Holy Sites for Gazan People.
5- lift the siege over Gaza and let foods and fuel enter without limitations.
6- build new power plant

" we believe our demands do not need negotiations, they are humanitarian rights, basic rights, guaranteed by international law ” !!!!

Believe me Gazan and I am one of them prefer to die right now rather live under siege and open prison again !

we will fight till the end to defend our rights to live like all people in this world !

I ask you all my friend to share this important words everywhere, we need more awareness about this topic !!

#GazaUnderAttack #AJAGAZA #ICC4Israel

by: Voice of Free America from: USA
August 08, 2014 11:24 PM
The Palestinian Arabs and Jews have been fighting since the Zionists started claiming the lands of Palestine. According to Israeli paratrooper, Zionist and historian, Benny Morris, the Zionists set off the very first terrorist bomb of the conflict used exclusively against a purely civilian target:

"On July 6, 1938, an Irgun [a Zionist paramilitary group] operative dressed as an Arab placed two large milk cans filled with TNT and shrapnel in an Arab market in downtown Haifa. The subsequent explosions killed 21 and wounded 52. On July 15 another bomb killed 10 Arabs and wounded more than 30 in David Street in Jerusalem's Old City. A second bomb in the Haifa market - this time disguised as a large can of sour cucumbers - on July 25, 1938, killed at least 39 Arabs and injured at least 70. On August 26, a bomb in Jaffa's vegetable market killed 24 Arabs and wounded 39. The bombings were condemned by the Jewish Agency and the Yishuv's middle-of-the-road and left wing political parties and press, which at first refused to believe that the terrorists were Jews." (Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, 1999).

The Zionists continue the murder of innocent Palestinians, now using American weaponry, taxes and support. Shame on America, the land of liberty, freedom and justice for all.

by: Abdulkareem Khadi from: Nigeria
August 08, 2014 2:53 PM
It is on record that this morning on expiration of the 72 hours declared humanitarian ceasefire PM Netanyahu ordered IDF to resumed operations that led to the West death of a 6 years old girl and 12 others. Palestinians resistance groups only retaliated with bottles (just like in those days when 10s of Palestinians would confront 1 or 2 Israeli soldiers armed with automatic weapons) that injured only 3 Israeli combatants compared to what the mainstream media houses and the West called 'Israeli's rights of defence'. So far, how many civilians killed in Isreal? 3, just like3! over 400 children have been killed, pregnant women were killed by Israeli regime and close to 600 palestinian women were on death list Now, who is killing who?
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 09, 2014 11:01 AM
The US and European countries felt guilt for standing by, while Hitler and the Nazis massacred the innocent Jews in WW2, (so now), the US and European countries still feeling that guilt, (now stand by), and let the Israeli's massacre the innocent Palestinian men, women, children and babies......

HISTORY repeats itself, (but this time), those committing the massacres aren't Hitler and the Nazis, and the victims aren't the innocent Jews..... and this isn't WW2..... is it?

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 08, 2014 1:18 PM
On the negotiation table, Hamas loses points. On the war front, it accrues as much points as possible. Hamas is not a good negotiator, it cannot fight well in the war front either. But it scores all the points there by making Israel seem to do all the wrong things which attract wide uproar and condemnation, especially within a UN and its agency that is dominated by islamist elements from top to bottom. While it is within the elemental structures that the negotiations take place, why is it that Hamas is unable to convince the same people it woos their sympathy to grant it what it wants on the diplomatic front? There are some others who do not agree with Hamas idea to deceive the world while it has its guns cocked to shoot, involved in kidnappings and suicide bombings which its mentors are unable to own up in public as pardonable. The world must tell terrorists to their face that they cannot get what they want in a civil world.

Something must be done about the situation in Gaza. It cannot continue like this, always asking for what the world knows it cannot manage. Hamas asking for freedom from the blockade is like a toddler asking for a sharp object to toy with, or like a madman asking for a loaded gun. In all reality no one country in the world will allow that to happen. Why is Hamas receiving so much sympathy in the world? 3hours after Hamas broke the truce, Israel patiently waited for a voice of reason to tell Hamas to stop, but I bet that was not forthcoming. Now Turkey is asking to do the right thing, it should not be denied the right to host those wonded Gazans as well as others who may want to join them to find some peace and quiet out there. I hope Turkey can take as little as five hundred thousand until after all the fracas. If Jordan, Qatar and others can follow suit, then a quick solution to Hamas will can found.

One request I know Israel has not made is to take a full sweep through Gaza to disarm the militants by itself. This idea has been muted to take long time, maybe months or years, but provided the insurgency is tackled in order to bring peace back to the enclave. Is someone raising eyebrows over that suggestion? Britain held Hong Kong until recently handed it back to China; China is holding Taiwan to date even when it has asked for self determination. Tibet is there. Why can’t Gaza be entrusted to Israel until peace is returned there. It is a height of injustice when places thousands of miles away are subjected to countries which nurtured them until an agreed time is reached and they are handed back. Can Israel be allowed to rid Gaza of militancy within a stipulated period, ensuring that Gazans are well taken care of and then handed over to PLO when it is done with the clean up? That is the only way to restore peace to the enclave when Hamas militancy is removed. After all no one really wants what Hamas is doing out there, except they pretend, hence it is an arm of ISIS ravaging all of islamist world.

by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
August 08, 2014 12:49 PM
Hamas does not care about its citizens in Gaza after the people voted them into power, they brought this unto themselves and Israel's survival depends on its continues bombing of those that care less of their effect.

by: sam from: brooklyn
August 08, 2014 11:45 AM
This article is about HAMAS breaking the truce, without provocation, by shooting 33 rockets in Israel, 26 of which landed, and causing injuries to two Israeli's, and the two pictures you show are an Israeli defensive shelling, and a Palestinian girl with empty water bottles. No bias there...Also, you seem very happy to keep a running tally of the number of alleged civilians killed, but as for muslim on muslim violence in gaza, are ok with reporting "Hamas 'executed an unspecified number of Palestinians as Israeli spies,' Reuters reported." Lastly, how can you make an inflammatory statement like "the blockade is strangling their economy" without providing any support for this? Does running a wire story absolve you of any responsibility to be fair and unbiased?
In Response

by: maithe from: Paris, France
August 08, 2014 2:24 PM
I agree with you Sam. And I have the same questions about VOA choices.... Always the same photos, the same one-sided articles.
I want to believe that those writing this kind of biased pieces here are not VOA journalists.... Well hope so...
And I ask myself : who is in charge ?.....

by: meanbill from: USA
August 08, 2014 10:27 AM
Hamas told the Israeli's and the world;.. "A ceasefire without Israeli concessions would be a surrender, (and all the innocent Palestinians killed by Israel, would have died for nothing), and Hamas will keep firing the rockets till they run out, and then they'll fight with RPGs and AK-47s till their ammunition runs out, and then they'll throw rocks, (until), the Israeli's lift the illegal blockade on Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem, and then lift the inhumane apartheid occupation of the Palestinian people... (or) the Israeli's go into Gaza and fights Hamas in a ground war?..... Hamas is waiting?

REMEMBER that famous American that "quote" said;.. "Give me liberty or give me death" _ (Now tell me), what part of the Hamas statement doesn't the Israeli's and the world understand?..... The Israeli's "could show some courage" and go into Gaza and try to defeat Hamas in a ground war, instead of sitting back at a safe distance, bombarding innocent defenseless Palestinian civilians..... (Hamas is undefeated and defiant, waiting for the Israeli troops to enter Gaza).
In Response

by: FactsareFacts
August 08, 2014 5:59 PM
Yes, a ceasefire would mean the surrender of Hamas terrorist. If they wish to fight to the death, that is also good.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 08, 2014 1:39 PM
If Hamas must be followed the way it wants, then Israel is also capable of firing missiles until the first to stop surrenders. The Palestinian so-called civilians are the ones to suffer it. If the so-called UN agency there pulls out - they have not been threatened enough that's why they've remained there to proffer lopsided reports and help Hamas store rockets and launch same from population areas so they can flash the photo videos of Israel's response to the world - if the so-called UN agency there helps do the right thing by evacuating so-called civilians without helping Hamas to use them as human shield, then Hamas can be given the war that it wants; then there will be hope of doing it without playing on the intelligence of a diplomatic society - without looking for undue sympathy. I have not heard a single condemnation of the cold blooded killing of Palestinians Hamas suspect to be spying for Israel. That is what I mean the UN agency is biased in its support and reporting. Hamas plays a blame-diplomacy and Israel is not good at that. But the UN agency has been so compromised and biased against Israel to do anything right. So Hamas wants war, it fights its own way, Israel responds. I wish Israel would do it like the Arabs - blockade journalists from Gaza. That way it will be able to finish what it wants to do before the uproar rises to dissuade it.

by: Lou from: Atlanta
August 08, 2014 9:00 AM
Did you see that interview of Mohammed Shityeah by Jake Tapper on CNN? He was totally avoiding answering the questions. Typical Hamas.
Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs