News / Middle East

Israel Launches Airstrikes After Rockets Fired From Gaza

  • Rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel  (at right) as a rocket by the Iron Dome anti-missile system (at left) is fired to intercept them, before a five-day ceasefire was due to expire, Aug. 19, 2014.
  • A relative of the wife of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, and his infant son Ali, whom medics said were killed in Israeli air strikes, carries Ali's body during the funeral, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • An Israeli soldier sits atop an armored personnel carrier near the border with Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • A Palestinian woman inspects her house that witnesses say was damaged during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • A crowd of Palestinians march during the funeral of the wife of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, his infant son Ali and other Palestinians whom medics said were killed in Israeli air strikes, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Israeli soldiers unload their weapons near the border with the Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • A Palestinian boy stands next to the bodies of the wife of Hamas's military leader, Mohammed Deif, and his infant son Ali, whom medics said were killed in Israeli air strikes, during their funeral, in the northern Gaza Strip, Aug. 20, 2014.
Israel, Hamas Resume Fighting as Cairo Talks Break Down
VOA News

New fighting erupted in Gaza Tuesday, jeopardizing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations over a lasting cease-fire in the Mediterranean enclave.

Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes against Hamas militants in Gaza after three rockets fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel.

Palestinian authorities say a woman and a 2-year-old girl were killed by an Israeli missile in Gaza Tuesday - the first deaths after a cease-fire and truce talks collapsed.

The violence came as the warring sides were holding indirect talks in Cairo in a bid to extend a temporary Gaza cease-fire into a more enduring truce.

But after the rocket fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his negotiators to return home. A senior Hamas official said chances of securing a new agreement were "evaporating."

The U.S. State Department, long involved in trying to secure Middle East peace, said it is "very concerned" about the new fighting and blamed Hamas.

The Israeli military said the Gaza rockets landed in open fields near Beersheba and no one was injured.   Later, Israel said it intercepted two more rockets the militants fired into the Jewish state.

After the first barrage of rocket attacks, Netanyahu quickly ordered the Israeli military to renew attacks on Hamas targets in Gaza. Thousands of Palestinians fled their homes in Gaza City, carrying clothes, pillows and mattresses as they headed to shelters in schools run by the United Nations.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators had agreed late Monday to a 24-hour extension of a five-day cease-fire, with the one-day truce set to expire at midnight Tuesday.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev blamed Hamas for the end to nine days of relative calm in the skies over Gaza.

"Today's rocket attack on the Israeli city of Beersheba is a grave and direct violation of the cease-fire that Hamas committed to. This is the 11th cease-fire that Hamas has either rejected or violated and it's clear that a cease-fire has to be a two-way street. It's not just that Israel holds its fire. Hamas must hold its fire, too," said Regev.

The chief Palestinian negotiator, Azzam al-Ahmad, said late Monday that "the cycle of violence" would continue in the Gaza Strip if the talks did not succeed.

"We agreed to the cease-fire for just one day, just one day. Tomorrow we will agree or we will not agree. We hope to use every minute of the next 24 hours to reach an agreement, or else the cycle of violence will continue," said al-Ahmad.

The announcement of the cease-fire extension Monday came just minutes before a five-day cease-fire was set to expire.

Egyptian mediators have been conducting indirect negotiations, carrying truce proposals back and forth between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Israel has refused direct talks because the Palestinian delegation includes Hamas, which it considers a terrorist group.

The gap remains wide.  Israel demands the disarming of Hamas and an end to its cross-border rocket attacks. The Palestinians are calling for the end of Israel's eight-year blockade of impoverished Gaza.

The five weeks of fighting have left more than 2,000 people dead, most of them Palestinians. It also has left Gaza neighborhoods in rubble from Israeli airstrikes. Sixty-seven Israelis have also been killed.  All but three were soldiers.

Norway said if a lasting truce is reached, it will host a conference with Egypt to look for international donors to rebuild Gaza.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

You May Like

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Chuck Rogers from: USA
August 20, 2014 6:40 PM
"By deception thou shalt wage war" Sound familiar? It should; it's Mossad's motto. Why would they say it if it wasn't true? Israel has a clear history of false flag attacks. Read Victor Ostrovsky, ex-Mossad member who wrote extensively about their continuous lies.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 19, 2014 2:14 PM
If Hamas agreed to have fired the rockets, then it would not remain Hamas - a terrorist organization. Terrorists are liars, extortionists and twisters. They cannot be expected to be straight forward, unless one is naughts. Hamas is always itching to press the trigger, it wants to launch rockets at Israel until there is no Israel. And one thing, it is also in a hurry to do it. The world is watching this and yet Reuters will start reporting how many children are wounded once Israel responds to a Hamas missile launch into Israel. This empathy is giving Hamas too much leverage to maneuver and manipulate public opinion in its favor.

Since head or tail Israel will be at the receiving end of public tirade and vituperation, then Israel should decide to do something pragmatic about the whole issue and put it to bed forever. I suggest Israel should not mind the outcry anymore but go all out to unilaterally disarm Hamas by bombing every part of the enclave until every sane human being there goes to look for safety somewhere else. After all nobody told the Yazidis to run for their lives when they saw death staring them in the face. I wonder why the UN agency has not been deployed there to warn that IS is bombing its school, or are the Yazidis not also deserving of sympathy and respect? When it remains only the Hamas' soldiers, then Israel can go in to do thorough cleansing of the place before the refugees will be allowed to return.

This suggestion is pertinent because Hamas will NEVER agree peace with Israel; and to liberate it by opening it up to an airport and a seaport would be an epitaph. I hope Israel and Netanyahu are not about to commit suicide signing own death warrant by granting Hamas any chance to bring in weapons of mass destruction to wipe Israel out in one swoop.

by: V. Lombardi from: Italy
August 19, 2014 11:29 AM
we must confront this Islamic malignancy. The Islamists resolute desire to impose these Islamic atrocities on all of us should prompt the Pontiff to issue a stronger condemnation of this evil. They are not going to be appeased. Thank God for US/Israel is all i can say.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More