Tuesday, November 21, 2017

At least 20 Palestinians killed in Gaza as both sides blame each other for breaking the truce


August 21, 2014
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Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza] [Gaza Blockade] [ceasefire] [negotiations]

Fighting continued in Gaza one day after the ceasefire ended, with no immediate plans to return to negotiations on a long-term truce agreement.

Both sides blamed each other for the resumed violence. Palestinians accused of Israel purposely hindering the ongoing negotiations in Cairo. A spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that rockets fired from Gaza not only violated the ceasefire, “but also destroyed the premise upon which the talks were based.”

Israel withdrew its delegation from Cairo after Palestinian factions reportedly fired rockets from Gaza on Tuesday afternoon. The Palestinian negotiators confirmed they were leaving Egypt on Wednesday, but said they are ready to return to talks.

The head of the Palestinian delegation, Azzam Al-Ahmad, said his team left their version of a final truce proposal with the Egyptians, but claimed: “It is clear that Israelis are not interested in the ceasefire.”

The one-week long negotiations ended with major achievements on either side. Hamas demands the lifting of an eight-year old blockade of the Gaza Strip, while Israel wants to completely disarm the Gaza Strip.

Hamas military chief’s home attacked

At least 20 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes since the ceasefire broke down on Tuesday. According to Al Jazeera, at least six of the victims were children. Over one hundred were been injured.

On Tuesday afternoon, just minutes after rockets were reportedly fired from the Gaza Strip, Israel targeted the house of Mohammed Deif, the leader of the armed wing of Hamas. His wife and child were killed in the attack, but it is still unclear whether Deif was with his family at the time of the strike.

Haaretz reported that although neither Hamas nor Israel have given any official statements about the matter, “the odds are that Mohammed Deif survived the assassination attempt.” 

Interior Minister Gideon Saar justified the strike, saying that Deif was a terrorist who deserves to die “just like (Osama) bin Laden.” He added that the Israeli military would continue to try to kill him.

The Israeli army stated Wednesday afternoon that 117 rockets had been fired from Gaza since the temporary truce broke down, one of them hitting a house in Ashkelon. 

No injuries have been reported on the Israeli side.

Late on Tuesday, four rockets landed on the illegal settlement of Modiit Illit near Ramallah, causing a fire. Other rockets targeted the areas of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and southern Israel.

A member of the Palestinian delegation, who refused to be named, claimed Qatar had tried to undermine the negotiations. According to the source, the Gulf state had threatened to expel Hamas leader Khaled Meshal from Doha if Hamas agreed to the Egyptian-proposed truce, forcing the negotiators to refuse every compromise. 

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