Ceasefire in Gaza ends with no progress made in Cairo negotiations
The recent 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was allegedly broken shortly before it was scheduled to come to a close when, according to the Israeli military, militants from the Gaza Strip launched two rockets at Israel. After the truce officially ended, the militants began firing more rockets over the border.
“Moments ago, 2 rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel. Terrorists have violated the cease-fire,” the Israel Defense Forces wrote on its official Twitter page.
In response to the rocket attacks, the Israeli military began launching airstrikes across the Gaza Strip. Police who were stationed in Gaza at the time said that Israel had, so far, launched ten airstrikes which had mostly struck empty space and farms but still resulted in seven people being injured.
The resumption of cross-border attacks had cast doubt over the potential of a peaceful resolution being reached at the diplomatic negotiations in Cairo. Both Israel and Hamas are under a lot of international pressure to reach a deal.
The problem is that Israel wants Hamas to be disarmed and prevented from re-arming itself. Hamas, on the other hand, has demanded that Gaza’s borders be opened. Neither of them were willing to give ground, and therefore no progress was made at the all-night talks that ended before dawn on Friday.
“We demand from the negotiating team to pull out from negotiations if the enemy continues to be stubborn; we are ready for a long war,” Abu Obaida, a spokesman for the military wing of Hamas, said on Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television.
“We demand that the negotiating team not extend negotiations without the agreement on a seaport,” he continued, demanding that Israel lift the blockade against Gaza. “We will not accept anything less,” the spokesman said. “We will make the tanks of the enemy a toy in the hands of the children of Gaza.”
Israel has expressed its willingness to consider easing border restrictions on the grounds that Hamas allows itself to be disarmed and prevented from re-arming itself. It was not immediately clear if the negations that were taking place in Cairo would be extended so that a deal could be reached.
Read more about the story at BBC.