Gaza Conflict Continues despite Declared Truce as Death Toll Hits 1,031

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  • W460
  • W460
  • W460

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused Hamas of violating a ceasefire that it had itself called and vowed that Israeli operations in Gaza would continue, as the death toll from 20 days of Israeli bombardment of the Palestinian strip rose to 1,031.

Hamas' belated acceptance of diplomatic calls for a temporary ceasefire was announced several hours after Israel resumed a devastating military assault on the enclave after a pause of more than 24 hours. 

Although Hamas said its militants would halt their fire from 1100 GMT in response to a request from the United Nations, there was no response from Israel. 

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse that Palestinian rocket fire continued on Monday, with 22 striking Israel after the reported truce went into effect, adding another five were intercepted.

"They are violating their own ceasefire," Netanyahu told the CNN news network.

In a separate interview with CBS, he said Israel would not allow "a ruthless terror organization ... to decide when it's convenient for them to stop for a moment, rearm, and continue firing on our citizens and our people."

The abortive Hamas announcement came shortly after Israel said it would no longer abide by a unilateral ceasefire while coming under "incessant" fire from Gaza.

Shortly afterwards, Israel resumed its punishing air strikes and tank fire, killing 11 people across the territory, including an elderly Christian woman, 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.

The renewed violence came after a rare 12-hour cessation in hostilities on Saturday, which was respected by both sides, with world powers urging Israel and Hamas to extend the temporary truce by another day.

"The Secretary-General urges, in the strongest terms, both the Israelis and Palestinians to extend, for an additional 24 hours, the humanitarian cease-fire that was in effect and mostly observed until early this morning," a statement from U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon's spokesman said.

Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said his group could not coexist with Israel as long as it occupied Palestinian land.

"We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews," he said in remarks broadcast Sunday. "We fight the occupiers."

"I'm ready to coexist with the Jews, with the Christians and the Arabs and non-Arabs," he said. "However, I do not coexist with the occupiers."

In Washington, a U.S. official said Secretary of State John Kerry was pressing efforts for further pauses in the fighting, after he returned early Sunday from a week-long mission to the Middle East, which failed to produce a long-term ceasefire.

Israeli media said Netanyahu's security cabinet was meeting on Sunday evening to discuss the next steps.

Saturday's relative calm was a distant memory by Sunday.

"I was praying at church when my father called me and told me to go home quickly," said Antonio Ayyad, a Christian whose elderly mother was killed when a missile hit their home in western Gaza City.

"They are targeting Christians in Gaza," he said.

"I'm not Hamas, I'm not Fatah -- I don't belong to any Palestinian faction. Where is the world? Where is the pope?" he asked.

In Rome, Pope Francis pleaded for an end to the bloodshed which has killed more than 1,000 victims, around a quarter of them children.

"Stop, please stop! I beg you with all my heart," he said in the weekly Angelus prayer.

Following Saturday's humanitarian lull, Israel agreed to extend the truce by 24 hours, but Hamas fired rockets over the border, one of which killed a soldier.

Then, after 12 hours of holding its fire, Israel said it was resuming operations following "incessant" Hamas rocket fire.

Shortly afterwards, the skies of Gaza were filled with the familiar sound of explosions, as plumes of black smoke rose on the horizon, an AFP correspondent in Gaza City said.

Ambulance sirens wailed as medics sprang into action, cars racing down streets which quickly emptied of people who had ventured out to make the most of the lull.

For Israelis, the quiet ended late on Saturday with air raid warnings sounding along the coastal plain as rockets hit the south and center, killing a soldier and raising to 43 the number of troops killed since the July 17 start of a ground operation to destroy tunnels leading from Gaza to Israel.

Two Israeli civilians and a Thai agricultural worker have also been killed by rocket fire.

By Sunday morning, there appeared to be little appetite in Israel to prolong the one-sided truce, with 86.5 percent of Israelis opposing any ceasefire in the current climate, army radio said, quoting pollsters Mina Tzemah.

Comments 21
Default-user-icon Secular (Guest) 27 July 2014, 08:12

Why the hell does Hamas always try to turn the world against them. Some of the West is finally starting to realize the war crimes carried out by israel and they're giving them a reason to think otherwise

Thumb geha 27 July 2014, 12:43

no shelters for the population? with all the billions they received so far! this shows how much they really care about civilians.
this does not mean the Israelis are not worse than the Nazis!

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 July 2014, 18:32

"with all the billions they received so far".. !!?? which "billions"?

Thumb geha 27 July 2014, 21:06

yes they got billions from iran then qatar, and they did not build shelters for the civilian population.
some poor idiot does not seem to understand the meaning of shelter and is comparing it to a un school.

a shelter can be fortified to withhold a 1000 ton bomb, provided you decide to build some to protect civilian lives.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 22:00

bigjohn is an idiot. Just read our argument below. I ended up talking to myself.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 July 2014, 22:22

you talk like israelis, trying to give the impression they are swimming in gold and deliberately neglecting civilians.
after each war they dont even enough to rebuild the houses and buildings destroyed, gaza looks more and more like a slum and lies in ruins. people get barely enough aid to survive, since israel completely destroyed their economy with the siege, they can't even farm or fish beyond extremely narrow corridors. you know how much a bunker that can withstand israeli bombs (not even talking about bunker-busters) would cost? and how many should be built for 1.8 million people who are crammed in that jail? your attempt to blame the victims for their own death is disgusting and ressembles a lot the israeli propaganda.

also, if you were following the news just a little bit, you'd know that israel prevents construction materials from entering the strip. how do you get the thousands of tons of concrete need for those bunkers? through tunnels?

Thumb nickjames 28 July 2014, 00:04

Bigjohn, stop trying to sound like you're a bomb expert. You don't what types of bombs are being dropped or how much they weigh, and you keep changing the numbers like you're on a calculator and can punch in different numbers. Mowaten, if it wasn't for Hamas controlling Gaza, maybe materials would be allowed in. It's because Hamas controls Gaza that their people get no aid and are sealed off from the rest of the world. These people should kick out Hamas. And you're trying to shrink the size of the tunnels. They have very elaborate tunnels used for smuggling that can fit all kinds of things in there including building materials, livestock, zoo animals, and weapons. You know Egypt flooded Gaza tunnels with sewage to shut them down? That's what Hamas is: sewage.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 21:59

Well at least let them bomb these shelters first, that way it'd show how evil they are. You can't say "there's no point in giving them shelter because they'll die anyway." That's the dumbest logic I've heard. Israel is dropping bombs on the buildings, not on the ground. Hamas has a huge network of tunnels, you're acting as if one Israeli bomb will make all the tunnels collapse.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 July 2014, 18:37

in iraq and syria takfiris are killing mainly muslims, and exclusively arabs. many suspect baghdadi (the head of isis) was trained by CIA during his captivity.

in any case, they are indeed a cancer we need to eradicate, but this does not make the zionist cancer any more acceptable.

PS: it is the mossad that made jews flee from arab countries, because they needed to populate the colonies in palestine.
the book was banned in israel, but you can read it online

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 20:03

bigjohn, what is it with your obsession of Zionism? It's like your favourite cuss word. Yeah, if Jews were in a concentration camp, (they were in many concentration camps during WWII, and 6 million were killed, remember?) of course the US would come save them, given they liberated these camps at the end of WWII. So why don't they care about the Palestinians? That's a great question John. And the answer is simple: because nobody cares. Not Egypt, not Syria (which is slaughtering Palestinians in Yarmouk as I type), and not Jordan. They realise that the Palestinian cause is a lost cause especially with the terrorist organisation Hamas sheltering rockets instead of people, while it's leader lives in a five-star hotel in Qatar.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 22:21

bigjohn, like you said, Arab citizens are denouncing their "Arab puppet leaders." But guess what, these leaders aren't doing anything about it. You know why? Because like I said a million times, the Arab leaders don't care about the Palestinians. They can "denounce" all they want, but that means nothing if they don't take action. They don't want to defend Gaza. There's an article today talking about Egypt destroying Gaza tunnels. Face it big john, none of the Arabs want Hamas anymore.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 22:31

The question about you being an Arab was asked because you said remember the Shah. What does this has to do with Arabs. Iran is Persian not Arab. So stop crying about how all the Arabs are voicing solidarity over the Gaza crisis, and at the same time worship Khomeini the radical sociopath who founded an Islamic "republic" that doesn't even allow people to go on Facebook (or is that Syria? Whatever same thing).

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 20:08

Hating Israel does not mean you have to support the Palestinians. The Palestinians destroyed Lebanon. They were the ones who caused civil war, then in 1978 brought Israel into Lebanon because of its Coastal Road Massacre in northern Israel, remember that? If you're a true Lebanese, you would see that both the Palestinians and Israelis have destroyed Lebanon and you shouldn't sympathise with either of them.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 20:15

Let these people fight and kill each other, they will always hate each other. They will never make peace. You people just let your hatred of Israel cloud your judgment when you don't consider that Syria and Palestine were enemies just as much as Israel. Israel bombs Lebanon, Palestinians put Lebanon in civil war, and Syria occupied Lebanon for 30 years. And for you to defend one of these enemies is stupidity. Screw all of them.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 20:19

If you even respond, big john, you're denying that all these people are/were enemies to Lebanon. Let Israel eliminate Hamas, let the Palestinian Authority take over Gaza, and let them try to make peace. Hamas is the only legitimate excuse Israel has right now. But after, Israel needs to step up to the table regarding the settlements in the West Bank. Time will tell, but for now quit your whining and quit sympathising with people who ruined Lebanon.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 20:25

Peace between the two is almost impossible, just talking about the settlements in West Bank. But peace IS impossible with Hamas controlling the Gaza Strip. Israel has made it very clear that it will not accept Hamas to be a factor in any peace negotiation/two-state solution. If Hamas is gone, then the pressure will be back on Israel. Isn't that what you anti-Zionists want, for Israel to have no excuses to ignore peace?? That's what I want. Because I hate both of them, they need to make peace so retarded people stop taking sides on this forum.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 22:35

I'm not with LF, nor am I a "fascist" whatever it is you're referring to. And of course the LF didn't fire a shot at "Israeli enemy" because Israel helped LF fight the Palestinians. And again, why are you defending the Palestinians over Lebanese?

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 22:38

And what does this article have to do with Geagea? I never mentioned him in any of my comments on this article. I don't care what you think about Geagea anyway, it's irrelevant to this article. But if you're not attacking him and calling him an Israeli, then why are you attacking me, who just wants a Lebanon free of Palestinians, free of Syrians, free of Israelis, free of takfiri, and free of the "resistance."

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 22:50

bigjohn, you're always trying to change the subject. Why can't you stay in a real debate? You have ADD? Or you just can't refute anything I'm saying, so you just switch the subject. I'm not not a Zionist, I'm a Lebanese American who wants Lebanon to be left alone. I want a Lebanon where people stop thinking like we're in the Stone Age. I want a Lebanon where people don't sympathise with others who destroyed our country. I want a Lebanon where people keep its country out of foreign conflicts. What do you want Johnny? It doesn't seem like you want anything I just said, simply because you're defending these Palestinians.

Thumb nickjames 27 July 2014, 23:16

bigjohn, stop trying to run away. Geagea is not defending the Palestinians. Did you hear his speech, or see the article? He doesn't mention anything of the Palestinians. Sleep on this

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