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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.