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Hamas violates cease-fire with rocket barrage on Jerusalem, Tel Aviv

Lawmakers call for tough response

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20 Aug 2014 (All day)
Hamas violates cease-fire with rocket barrage on Jerusalem, Tel Aviv

Hours before the latest cease-fire was set to expire (or possibly be extended) at midnight on Tuesday and in the midst of intense negotiations in Cairo, the Islamist terror militia Hamas unleashed a barrage of at least 50 rockets at communities in Central Israel Tuesday afternoon. Sirens sounded late into the evening in several cities, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Six rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system while many others fell in open areas, causing no injuries and little damage to property. The IDF responded with air-strikes on terrorist infrastructure in the Strip, which Hamas promptly pointed to as evidence that Israel had “violated the cease-fire”. However, leaders of the UN, US, and several other world governments condemned Hamas for the rocket attacks which they blamed on shattering the truce.

"The Cairo process was built on a total and complete cessation of all hostilities and so when rockets were fired from Gaza, not only was it a clear violation of the ceasefire but it also destroyed the premise upon which the talks were based," said Israeli Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Mark Regev, shortly after Israel’s delegation to the talks in Cairo aimed at ending the conflict were recalled.

"If we don't reach an agreement that serves the interests of the Palestinians, all options are open." Senior Hamas official Izzat a-Rishek, a member of the Palestinian delegation to Cairo, said on Tuesday afternoon, accusing Israel of being in violation of the cease-fire due to its policy of flatly refusing to bow before the terrorist organization’s demands. "Our people's struggle will not stop with this truce or any other. The struggle will continue until we achieve the goals of the people and fulfill the dream of elections and national independence."

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has been roundly blamed for the continuation of violence despite the apparent desire on the part of other Palestinian factions and even within Hamas for a continued cease-fire. Unconfirmed reports have surfaced that the government of Qatar, which hosts Mashaal, threatened to expel him if a cease-fire was maintained, as the Persian Gulf Emirate maneuvers to use the conflict to further its own geopolitical dual with rival Sunni powers Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, members of Israel’s Knesset from across the political spectrum urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond with tremendous force to the latest rocket barrages, saying that negotiations had been tried and had failed.

 

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