After another attempt to broker peace in the Middle East, it appears U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will come home empty handed yet again, and neither the Israelis nor Palestinians are happy with America’s top diplomat’s efforts in the region.
On Friday, Kerry proposed a week long cease fire that Hamas rejected and Israeli leaders deemed “completely unacceptable” because it “would have strengthened extremists in the region.” Instead, both Israel and Hamas agreed to a 12-hour cease-fire. These small halts in violence led to little progress.
Palestinians are reportedly unhappy with Kerry’s for attempting to undermine the Egyptian ceasefire initiative endorsed by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority government, yet rejected by Hamas. Israeli sources stated that Kerry was “completely capitulating” and bending to the will of Hamas in his proposal.
Kerry’s failed plan would have seen Israelis and Palestinian legislators meet in Cairo, Egypt on Sunday following a 48-hour cease-fire to discuss border crossings to Gaza, along with other issues. Just like each previous attempt at peace, this did not work out.
Hostilities quickly resumed in both Gaza and Israel on Sunday after a temporary cease-fire. Hamas called for another 24-hour pause in violence, in order to allow Muslims to celebrate the final holy dinner during the month of Ramadan. But, despite the proposal, rockets continued firing back and forth through the evening.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN that Hamas was “violating its own cease-fire. “
“If America was attacked by land, by sea, by air, you would take action, and Israel is taking action to neutralize this threat,” he said, on CNN’s State of the Union.
“Hamas does not even accept its own ceasefire. It’s continuing to fire at us as we speak,” Netanyahu continued. “We did not resume our offensive, we had a ceasefire and they violated it.”
According to a recent Israeli poll, 86.5 percent of the country is opposed to ending Operation Protective Edge.
“Israelis want victory,” Pollster Roni Rimon said. “The public has a bitter taste in its mouth from the results of the war so far.”
As the fighting reaches it’s 20th day, more than 1,000 Palestinians and 43 Israelis are dead.