Israelis are waiting and holding their breath Monday as their military is ordered to hold its fire for seven hours in another humanitarian cease fire brokered by Egypt on Day 28 of Operation Protective Edge.
But Hamas has said bluntly it will not hold its fire during the seven-hour humanitarian cease fire period and intends to keep firing. A spokesperson announced on local Al Aqsa TV the temporary truce is intended to “divert world attention from the massacres committed by the Occupation.”
Moreover, civilians in Rafah have been warned by their Hamas terrorist rulers not to approach the border crossing with Egypt even though Cairo has opened the crossing to enable Gazans to leave. Perhaps Hamas hopes to ensure it will continue to have its human shields available for ‘photo ops.’
Israeli officials have made clear that IDF soldiers are attacked during the cease fire, they will return fire.
Set to begin at 10 am and last until 5 pm local time, the cease fire is intended to allow the entry of humanitarian aid and to allow displaced Gazans to return to their homes.
Its parameters are clearly delineated; it will not apply in the areas of the southern Gaza border town of Rafah where the IDF is still operating as it searches for more terror tunnels, according to a statement by the Defense Ministry.
Meanwhile, delegations from Palestinian Arab groups reportedly met Sunday in Cairo to discuss the possibility of a more extended cease fire, but the effort seems a bit pointless given the attitude — and the disorganization that appears to be taking place within Hamas.
Israel has made it plain that Jerusalem has no further interest in negotiations with the terrorist organization in any case, which has demonstrated its unreliability and its lack of honor — a key point in Arab culture — following the attack that violated the 72-hour cease fire forced on Israel by the United Nations and the United States, and underwritten by Qatar.
“There is a feeling among those who put in a lot of effort that Hamas is not serious,” said a government official in Jerusalem. “It is difficult to see them as having any real role in a cease fire.” Instead, Israel will act in its own interests, “redeploy and continue to defend itself,” the source said.
More than 1,800 Gazans have died in the conflict, most due to the insistence of Hamas that civilians stand as human shields in their attacks on Israel. Hundreds, however, have been terrorists targeted by the IDF, Israel said.
On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers have fallen in combat and rocket attacks have killed three civilians despite a nationwide system of bomb shelters and aerial anti-missile defense.
Israel began withdrawing troops from Gaza over the weekend even as 119 rockets and missiles were fired at civilians in the Jewish State; 108 actually reached Israeli territory. Eight were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. For its part, the IDF struck 63 terrorist targets within Gaza.
Among those were terrorists who shelled an IDF position in the southern Gaza border town of Rafah and then hopped a motorcycle to flee, right next to a boys’ school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). An IAF aircraft fired a missile at the terrorists, eliminating the threat, but the price was high: 10 died and among them were civilians, including several children, and 30 wounded. The world ignored the circumstances and condemned Israel, of course.
Early in the morning on Monday, masked Palestinian Arabs rioted Monday morning on the Temple Mount, hurling rocks and explosives at security officials as the site opened to tourists. A mob surged towards the entrance of the Mughrabi Gate, blocking it to prevent police from sealing it off.
Hana Levi Julian