Yet another temporary cease-fire broke on Tuesday, as Hamas militants fired more rockets from Gaza, thus triggering a military response from Israel and prompting the Israeli government to withdraw their delegation from the Egyptian-brokered peace talks.
This is the eleventh cease-fire that Hamas has either rejected or violated during the course of the summer war. At least six rockets landed in the cities of Ashdod, Beersheba and Netivot, and Israel’s Iron Dome intercepted two more.
Israel has repeatedly said that it refuses to negotiate with Hamas while under fire. The withdrawal from peace talks in Cairo will inevitably prolong the peace-process. Thus far, over 2,000 people have died in the conflict, with Palestinians suffering the vast majority of casualties.
“When you hold negotiations with a terror organization, you get more terror,” Israel’s Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett said. “Hamas thinks that firing rockets helps in securing achievement in negotiations, therefore it is firing at Israel even during a cease-fire. Rockets are not a mistake [for Hamas], they are a method.”
Hamas officials feel that they are in a similar stalemate, with Israel not understanding their demands on needs in the conflict.
“If Netanyahu does not understand the message and the demands of Gaza through the political language of negotiations in Cairo, we know very well the way that will oblige him to understand it,” Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said in a statement.
At 11:00 pm Israeli-time rockets were heard over Tel Aviv for the first time in over a week. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks, one of which was launched towards Ben Gurion International airport.
Both Israel and Hamas are coming to realize that their demands will not be completely met. Israel has been pushing for the eventual full demilitarization off Gaza, whereas Hamas has insisted on lifting the blockade on the port of Gaza, thus allowing for economic movement of both goods and people. Neither side is willing to give in, as the violence continues to escalate after a month of war and chances of a lasting truce continue to appear increasingly dim.