Israel resumed Tuesday the air offensive against the Gaza Strip six hours after accepting unilaterally the ceasefire proposal presented Monday night by Egypt. The Israeli security cabinet, which met earlier in the day, had voted in favor of accepting the draft that proposes a reduction process of hostilities starting at 9am, which would lead to a effective ceasefire after 12 hours. ” Security forces are attacking again,” a military spokesman in Jerusalem said. In the span of six hours without Israeli bombardment, at least thirty rockets were fired into Israel by Palestinian “terrorists”, as the army said on Twitter.
Israel issued a decision only an hour after a spokesman of the armed wing of Hamas announced that the organization rejected a text as he said, ” is a surrender and worthless.” Hamas denies having been consulted or informed before the Israeli announcement, as reported by the Palestinian news agency Maan morning.
If it is true that Hamas was not contacted by Egypt and other mediators before the announcement, it could interpret the Israeli maneuver morning as an attempt to shift the spotlight on Hamas. If you continue to reject the plan, Islamist leaders may appear to be responsible for the continuation of hostilities.
Last night, the head of Hamas Ishmail Haniyeh called the resistance of the Palestinians in a televised speech, but also put great emphasis on recognizing the “sacrifice ” of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. For some analysts, this can be interpreted as an attempt to prepare the Palestinians for a hypothetical high fire.
Despite the rejection of the plan, Hamas only fired two rockets into Israel during last night. This morning launches resumed. Israel substantially reduced its bombardment of Gaza, which have killed at least 178 Palestinians in one week. Some 1,300 have been injured. According to UN estimates, 80 % of victims are civilians. Over thirty of the dead were children.
Hamas leaders are now under pressure from its international partners: the emirate of Qatar, Turkey and Egypt. The rich Qatari kingdom has the most convincing arguments for Hamas to accept the Egyptian mediation.
According to recent reports, between 8 and 9, a total of 6 Palestinians died this morning in two Israeli air strikes in Khan Younis and Rafah, two towns south of the Gaza Strip.
The Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, eloquently stayed out of the talks and canceled a trip to Cairo which was weighing his Department on Wednesday. The head of the U.S. diplomacy has devoted enormous efforts this year in search of a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The period ended in late April with no hint of understanding. From the United States, a staunch ally of Israel to the Israelis accused of hindering the negotiations.
According to various Israeli media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in favor of accepting the text prepared by Egypt on Monday. At least two ministers, the rightists Naftali Bennet (Economics) and Avigdor Lieberman (Foreign) voted against. The question is whether the terms are now remotely acceptable to the Palestinian organization that had set conditions for cease-fire that they are not covered by the Egyptian proposal. Among them, that Israel release dozens of Hamas rearrested militants, released in 2011 in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, have again been recently arrested.
Monday night was comparatively quiet in Gaza, after a week of massive bombing in the Israeli army did not kill any of the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad that was in the spotlight.
Hamas, for its part, has failed to strike hard at Israel. The nearly thousand rockets fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza this week did not cause a single fatality in Israel. The terms of the cease-fire Egyptian involving the restoration of the status quo of just 10 days ago. Saddlebags for this short trip overflowing bodies of Palestinian civilians.