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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid