Monday, August 10, 2020

Israel resumes military operation as proposed 72-hour-ceasefire fails

August 01, 2014
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Gaza] [Operation Protective Edge]

 Palestinians sit amidst the destruction in Gaza City | Reuters


Israel has resumed its military operation on the Gaza Strip after the UN-US proposed ceasefire broke down less than two hours after it started at 8.00 a.m. this morning.

Both Israel and Hamas blamed each other for ending the truce that was supposed to last for three days. At least 40 people were killed today by Israeli tank shelling in eastern Rafah, while mortar shells were fired from Gaza to an Israeli town close to the enclave, according to Al Jazeera and Haaretz.

The Israeli military announced after midday it was investigating the disappearance of one its soldiers, presumed to be Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23. The soldier was possibly abducted during clashes with Palestinian fighters in the Rafah area in southern Gaza on Friday. Two Israeli soldiers died in what was believed to be the same fighting, according toAl Jazeera.

Hamas, who has neither denied nor confirmed the abduction, accused Israel of using the disappearance of its soldier as an excuse for breaking the ceasefire and bombing Rafa.

The White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken has blamed Hamas for breaking the ceasefire in the “barbaric attack” to abduct an Israeli soldier, according to Ma’an News.

If the fighting is confirmed, however, it could mean a serious violation of the humanitarian truce by Palestinian fighters, UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry said

UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry said that if the attack is confirmed, it could mean a serious violation of the humanitarian truce by Palestinian fighters.

According to Ma’an News, the Hamas-affiliated Al-Qassam Brigades has taken responsibility for attacking the Israeli soldiers but claimed it did so at 7.00 a.m., before the ceasefire started.

Yet Hamas has neither denied nor confirmed the abduction. Instead, the group accused Israel of using the disappearance of its soldier as an excuse for breaking the ceasefire and bombing Rafah, Al Jazeera reported.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas confirmed on Friday afternoon that the Palestinian delegation would be travelling to Cairo on Saturday “no matter what”, to what were supposed to be negotiations for a more durable ceasefire during the humanitarian truce. The delegation includes members from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front.

Al Jazeera reported earlier that an Israeli delegation was meant to travel to Cairo on Saturday evening, after the Jewish Sabbath.

The UN warns of a humanitarian crisis

On Thursday, top UN human rights and refugee officials condemned Israel’s actions in Gaza and warned that the situation could lead to a humanitarian crisis, Al Jazeera reported.

The UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay declared that Israeli attacks on schools, homes, and hospitals violate the Geneva Conventions. In addition, she said that Israel has not fulfilled its obligations as the occupying power to provide Gazans with proper housing, food, and clean water.

The commissioner added that Hamas has also breached international law by firing rockets to Israel.

The UN Humanitarian Aid Coordinator Valerie Amos said 440,000 Gazans have become displaced after they have been forced to escape the fighting, while hundreds of thousands more do not have adequate basic services like power and food.

At least 1,450 Palestinians have died and 8,200 wounded since 'Operation Protective Edge’ began more than three weeks ago. The death toll of Israeli forces stands at 63 with three civilians killed.


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