الأحد , مايو 16 2021

Hamas ceasefire in Gaza stalls

Smoke rises above Gaza City (27 July 2014)Israel had already resumed its bombardment of Gaza in response to rocket attacks

A 24-hour ceasefire announced by Hamas in Gaza appears to be stalling, with both Palestinian militants and Israel continuing their offensives.

Hamas fired more rockets into Israel, accusing it of failing to abide by the ceasefire.

Israel rejected the truce, PM Benjamin Netanyahu saying: “Israel will do what it must do to defend its people”.

More than 1,060 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 43 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have been killed.

A Thai national in Israel has also died.

The latest developments further undermined hopes that Saturday’s humanitarian truce observed by both sides could be extended.

That 12-hour pause enabled Gaza residents to gather supplies and retrieve bodies buried under the rubble.

A body buried under rubble in Gaza  is removed 27 July 2014The body of a Christian woman buried under rubble in Gaza is removed from a building hit by an Israeli air strike

Israeli soldiers attend the funeral of their comrade Staff Sgt Amit Yeori, 20, in Jerusalem, 27 July 2014Israeli soldiers attend the funeral of a comrade in Jerusalem

Israeli tank near the border with Gaza (27 July 2014)Israel says its ground offensive is aimed at destroying tunnels dug by militants to infiltrate Israel

Israel later accepted a UN-requested 24-hour ceasefire until the end of Sunday, although it said ground forces would continue to destroy tunnels used by Hamas.

However, the Israeli military announced on Sunday morning it had decided to resume its air, ground and naval raids on Gaza in response to “incessant rocket fire” from Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since seizing power there in 2007.

Shortly after Israeli raids resumed, Hamas said it had decided to agree to a humanitarian truce, starting at 14:00 local time (11:00 GMT).

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Weekend ceasefires timeline

Israeli tanks fire towards Gaza, 27 July 2014

  • Saturday 26 July: 12-hour humanitarian truce observed by both sides from 05:00 GMT (08:00 local time) till 17:00 GMT
  • Israeli cabinet agrees four-hour extension until 21:00 GMT while it considers UN request for 24-hour extension, but continues operation against “terrorist” tunnels
  • Hamas rejects extension to 21:00 GMT because it wants “complete” stop to fighting and end to Gaza blockade
  • Israel announces extension of ceasefire for 24 hours till 21:00 GMT on Sunday
  • Sunday 27 July: Israel resumes operation in response to “incessant rocket fire” from Gaza
  • Hamas declares 24-hour truce, but continues rocket fire. Israel rejects ceasefire

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The pause was “as a preparation for the end of (the Islamic holy month of) Ramadan and in response to the UN mediation and also regarding our people’s living circumstances”.

But in an interview with CNN, Mr Netanyahu said: “Hamas doesn’t even accept its own ceasefire. It’s continuing to fire at us as we speak”.

Israel launched its military offensive on 8 July with the declared objective of stopping Hamas firing rockets from Gaza into Israel.

On 18 July, it extended operations with a ground offensive, saying it was necessary to destroy tunnels dug by militants to infiltrate Israel.



Gaza skyline

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Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan, speaking from Beirut, confirmed the ceasefire

Before Mr Netanyahu’s comments, an Israeli military spokesman, Col Peter Lerner, suggested the Hamas announcement might be an “opportunity, perhaps” while cautioning: “This is a bit premature and we are watching the situation carefully.”



Col Peter Lerner

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The Hamas ceasefire would be “an opportunity, perhaps” according to Col Peter Lerner from the Israel Defense Forces

Correspondents in Gaza said loud explosions could be heard in several districts as Israeli forces resumed their air strikes. Palestinian eyewitnesses reported heavy shelling to the east of Gaza City.

At least eight Palestinians have died in Sunday’s attacks, according to Gazan health officials.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said 28 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel on Sunday. Two more rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missiles defence system, the IDF said. It did not say if any of the firing was after the Hamas-announced ceasefire.

It added that a soldier was killed by mortar shell fired from Gaza early on Sunday morning.

Map of Gaza

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