The Israeli delegation left Cairo days ago as the 10-day period of calm between Israel and Palestinian resistance powers in Gaza came to an end. Within just a few hours… war started again! Israeli air strikes were attacking Gaza, which Israel explains were responding to rocket fire.
Netanyahu: Hamas and ISIS is a “Branch of the Same Tree”
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, considers Hamas in Gaza is similar to the so called “ISIS” in Syria and Iraq! He said that the two groups are a “branch of the same tree”.
A non-substantiated report, originating from the Gulf Daily, claims that Snowden revealed that the Israeli Mossad and the US CIA created the ISIS. But since the Gulf Daily has no association with Snowden, the information is highly suspect (others also claim that Israel created Hamas, which is not quite as far-fetched).
“Back to War” for “Calm and Safety” of Israel
During a press conference, Netanyahu explained that the military operation which started on 8 July “will be a continued campaign”, its goal is to return “calm and safety” to Israeli citizens.
While the death toll in Gaza reaches 2,000, most of them are civilians (according to UN), the Israeli defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, simply says that Israel “had killed hundreds of Hamas terrorists” and would continue to do so. So far, limited to no responsibility has been taken within the Israeli army for civilian deaths.
23 New Dead in Gaza, None in Israel: New Attempt to Assassinate Commander Muhammad Deif
The Palestinian resistance (Hamas and others) launched more than 180 rockets at southern Israel on both Tuesday and Wednesday, with some intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. During the same time, Israel has executed more than 100 strikes in Gaza since Tuesday, according to Moshe Ya’alon.
No casualties were reported on the Israeli side. But in Gaza, 23 people at least had died, including the wife of commander-in-chief of Hamas’s military wing, Muhammad Deif, and his 8-month-old son, in at least the fifth Israeli attempt to assassinate him since the mid-1990s.
The wife and son killed during an air strike on a house in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City. From that same house the bodies of three members of the family that lived there were also pulled out.
Deif, the head of Hamas’s Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, is widely believed to be the one who leads Hamas operations from underground.
The spokesman of Hamas’s armed wing, Abu Ubaida, said that Deif had not used the targeted house. In a televised statement, he also addressed Israel “you have failed and you have missed” Deif in the attack. Sadly, Deif’s family and many others were much less fortunate.
Hamas Will Target Israeli Public Spaces
Abu Ubaida also declared the Egyptian-brokered truce talks dead. He added that Hamas would target Israeli public sites, telling Israelis to not gather in public places and to not leave bomb shelters.
He also warned foreign airlines not to fly to Ben-Gurion International Airport, starting from 6 a.m. on Thursday and cautioned Israelis living near to Gaza against returning to their homes.
Both Sides Blamed Each Other
According to Reuters, Azzam al-Ahmad, the lead Palestinian negotiator and a senior member of the Fatah movement, said that “There was an Israeli decision to make the Cairo talks fail,” blaming Israel for the failure to reach a deal.
On the other side, Israel has blamed Hamas for breaking the ceasefire. Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed that rocket fire from Gaza had “made continuation of talks impossible” and “destroyed the premise upon which the talks were based”.
The UN Security Council expressed “grave concern” at the resumption of violence and called upon the two sides to continue negotiations, it also “called upon the parties to prevent the situation from escalating and to reach an immediate humanitarian ceasefire”.
Diplomatic Efforts Going on
Although there was not much optimism among the delegations members, Egypt worked to help both parties able to find a solution to end violence. The Egyptian mediators had tried to end the Gaza blockade without asking Hamas to lay down its weapons, which was a main Israeli demand. Palestinians are also looking to establish a seaport and airport in Gaza. These are demands Israel is not, right now, not prepared to accept. New delegations are expected.