The devastation of Gaza looks set to continue after Hamas dismissed a peace proposal, brokered by Egypt. The cease-fire, which was tabled and rejected within a day, led to a quick resumption of hostilities with militants within Gaza firing rockets into Israel, while the IDF continued the air strikes that have led to more than 190 Palestinian deaths over the past eight days.
The Egyptian plan, mooted on Monday evening, proposed a 12-hour de-escalation from Tuesday morning onwards. Israel agreed to the cease-fire plan, however Hamas, weary of the new regime in Cairo, rejected the plan, firing scores of rockets into Israel at the time the cease-fire was proposed to start. According to AP, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by instructing the military to “act with intensity” against targets in Gaza.
The recent Israeli offensive against Gaza comes during a period of strained relations between Hamas and the Egyptian government, spurred by an increase in border security and the border blockade that prevents free travel between Gaza and Egypt. Hamas also complained that it was not consulted on the terms of the deal, suggesting that the plan was created by Israel and Egypt behind the back of the Gaza authorities.
Israeli troops remain amassed at the Gaza border, with Netanyahu threatening a ground invasion should the rockets into Israel not stop. Speaking on Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry reproved Hamas’ rejection of a cease-fire. "I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas," he told reporters in Vienna.
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