Israel resumes Gaza strikes in response to rocket fire, recalls negotiators from Cairo

Even as the negotiators from both the sides struggled to make last-ditch efforts to agree on a longer-term truce, the extended ceasefire was violated as Israel reported that three rockets were fired from Gaza on Tuesday.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Aug 19, 2014, 20:51 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Gaza City: Even as the negotiators from both the sides struggled to make last-ditch efforts to agree on a longer-term truce, the extended ceasefire was violated on Tuesday as Israel reported that three rockets were fired from Gaza .

Also, Israel recalled its negotiators from Cairo after the ceasefire was violated by Gaza.

The Israeli Defence Forces said that Hamas had violated the ceasefire as three rockets fired from Gaza had hit Beer Shava and Netivot.

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Army to strike Gaza.

After a five-day ceasefire expired yesterday night, both the sides had agreed to extend it by 24 hours as the negotiators in Cairo kept up efforts to make some progress.

A Hamas official earlier said that Tuesday`s extension was the last one, the Haaretz reported.

"We will utilize every second and opportunity to make negotiations succeed, and a large part of the delegation members didn`t want an extension today, but in the end we accepted the Egyptian request so they would not blame us of failure," Izzat Al-Rishq of Hamas told Al-Risala, reported the Haaretz.

The latest ceasefire violation may add to the troubles of the negotiators as the hopes of a fruitful Cairo talks are already low with members from Palestinian delegation accusing Israel of torpedoing the talks by making new demands.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu had on Monday made it clear that there would be no Gaza deal without ensuring Israel`s security.

In public address to his Cabinet, Netanyahu sounded more adamant saying, "Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings," he said.
Hinting at its refusal to agree to any ceasefire deal, without demilitarisation of Gaza and Hamas, Netanyahu said that Israel had meted out a severe blow to the Hamas and the group can not “cover up its military loss with a diplomatic achievement”.

The Hamas has been demanding the lifting of an 8-year Israeli blockade of Gaza territory and the establishment of a seaport and airport. Israel, on the other hand wants Gaza and Hamas to be demilitarised completely.

Israel launched its offensive on July 8 after Hamas started firing increasing number of rockets towards the Jewish state in the aftermath of the murder of three Israeli teens.

According to the UN refugee agency, there are 229,872 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are sheltering in 81 UNRWA schools.

More than 2000 have died in the five-weeks of violence and lakhs have been displaced in Gaza.