GAZA CITY: Hamas fired more rockets at Israel on Sunday, hours after saying it had accepted UN’s request to extend a 24-hour truce. The reports of attacks from Gaza emerged right after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the latest call for ceasefire, alleging Hamas would exploit any lull in the fighting.
Hamas’s belated acceptance of diplomatic calls for a temporary ceasefire was announced several hours after Israel resumed a devastating military assault on Gaza after a pause of more than 24 hours.
Shortly afterwards, Israeli troops resumed their punishing air strikes and tank shelling, killing 11 people across the territory, medics said. Another three people also succumbed to their wounds, raising the Palestinian toll on day 20 of Israel’s devastating military campaign to 1,031, Gaza’s emergency services said.
An Israeli army spokeswoman, on the other hand, said the Jewish state was struck by 22 rockets after the reported truce went into effect. Another five were intercepted, she added.
“They are violating their own ceasefire,” Netanyahu told the CNN news network. “Under these circumstances, Israel will do what it must do to defend its people,” the Israeli premier said.
Meanwhile, in an interview with US broadcaster PBS in Doha – excerpts of which were revealed on Sunday – Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal said Palestinians could not coexist with their neighbours while their land is occupied.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2014.