Hamas Rejects Cease-Fire Extension And Fires Rockets Into Israel

Gaza funeral The wife (L) of Palestinian Eid Rabah Fdilat, whom medics said was killed during clashes with Israeli troops on Friday, mourns during his funeral in Arroub refugee camp, north of the West Bank city of Hebron July 26, 2014.  REUTERS/ Mussa Qawasma

Minutes after the 12-hour cease-fire in Gaza and Israel ended at 8 p.m. local time, rocket sirens could be heard in south Israel, Haaretz reported. The five rockets came moments after Hamas decided it rejected Israel’s offer to extend the cease-fire by another four hours. Following Hamas' rejection, the Israeli Security Cabinet accepted a proposal for a 24-hour extension, which would put Gaza in a humanitarian pause unil Sunday at midnight local time. 

Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, took responsibility for the rockets that landed in open areas of the Eshkol Regional Council and those intercepted by the Iron Dome in central Israel.

"No agreement to extending the calm for an additional four hours,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri  told reporters by text message.

Hamas claimed two rockets were aimed at Tel Aviv, where demonstrators gathered by the thousands protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza, holding up banners and lighting candles that spell out “Forgive Us” next to pictures of Palestinian and Israeli victims.

According to Haaretz, a senior Hamas official posted said on his Facebook pages that the cease-fire proposal did not meet Hamas’ demands.

"The disagreement over the Egyptian initiative pertains not only to the details, but to terms, like the definition of the resistance as aggression, or the phrasing which discusses negotiation based on the 67' line, and the recognition of the international community's decisions,” Musa Abu Marzouk wrote. “These are positions which do not correspond with the resistance's stance."

Earlier this week, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said group would not accept any cease-fire proposal that didn’t include an end to the Israeli blockade. Since 2006, the Gaza strip has been under a land, sea and air blockade, prompting them to dig tunnels into neighboring countries.

The Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General said in a statement on Saturday, that “any peace effort that does not tackle the root causes of the crisis will do little more than set the stage for the next cycle of violence.  The blockade of and the closure on Gaza must end; there must be security based on mutual recognition, and there must be a viable two-state solution by which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace and security.”

At least 130 bodies were pulled from the wreckage and rubble across Gaza during the twelve-hour cease-fire on Saturday. The death toll for the past 19 days of Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” surpassed 1,000 Palestinians and 40 Israelis. 

Join the Discussion