The cease-fire announcement had set off frenzied late night street celebrations in the coastal strip, and raised hopes of a new era in relations between Israel and Hamas. The two sides are now to negotiate a deal that would open the borders of the blockaded Palestinian territory.
“Today is different, the morning coffee tastes different and I feel we are off to a new start,” said Ashraf Diaa, a 38-year-old engineer from Gaza City.
However, the vague language in the agreement and deep hostility between the combatants made it far from certain that the bloodshed would end.
The rocket attack, the second aimed at the holy city since an Israeli offensive began a week ago, set off air raid sirens throughout the metropolis. A distant explosion could be heard in the city’s downtown. Jerusalem residents ran for cover as buses and trains stopped to let passengers off.
The strike comes as Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said he expects what he called Israeli “aggression” against Gaza to end today, citing “positive results” from ongoing truce talks. (Gary Clement/National Post)
A deputy White House national security adviser says Clinton will depart Tuesday from Cambodia, where she had accompanied Obama on a visit to Southeast Asia.
Clinton will begin her Mideast diplomacy by meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. She also will meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah before heading to Cairo to meet with leaders in Egypt.
Israel has been firing rockets into the Gaza Strip in an attempt to end months of rocket fire out of the Hamas-ruled territory. On Monday, it finished preparations to launch an invasion into Gaza if it deems it necessary. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
Air strikes, rocket launches and death tolls: The latest Gaza developments Israel hit targets in the Gaza Strip for the fifth consecutive day on Sunday. So far, as part of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF says it has struck more than 1,200 such targets. Officials say 74 Palestinians have died since the operation began; about half have reportedly been civilians. Meanwhile, terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, 544 of which have reached Israeli territory. Israel claims to have intercepted 290 of those. Above is a look at some of the major incidents yesterday inside the Gaza Strip
Jonathan Kay: In Gaza, Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari got what he deserved It’s a rhetorical question that’s been asked many times before. But given Wednesday’s events in Gaza, it’s worth asking again: Can anyone name a country on the face of the planet that would regard recurrent rocket attacks on its territory as anything but an act of war? And since the obvious answer is no, why should Israel not be expected to fight back when Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups seek to murder Israelis in this fashion?
The attack came despite signs that Egypt had managed to broker a truce between Israel and Palestinian militants after a five-day surge of violence which saw more than 100 missiles fired out of Gaza and repeated Israeli strikes on the enclave.
Islamist Hamas said Ahmed Al-Jaabari, who ran the organization’s armed wing, Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, died along with a passenger after their car was targeted by an Israeli missile. (REUTERS/Ali Hassan)
In the short term at least, that might serve the interests of both Abbas and Netanyahu. It could equally open the door to Hamas dominance over Palestinian politics, as fellow Islamists rise to power elsewhere in elections following the Arab Spring.
Hamas set to reject violence: report In the Middle East what happens in the shadows is frequently more important than what occurs in bright daylight and Wednesday’s 24th anniversary celebrations in Gaza of the founding of Hamas were no exception.
The dusty Palestinian enclave by the sea was an ocean of green flags as more than 300,000 people attended a Hamas rally in the centre of Gaza City.
Masked men, armed with AK-47s, formed a ceremonial guard for Gaza’s de facto prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who mounted a stage shaped like a ship and decorated with a model of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, as a 10-man vocal group led the crowd in chanting, “We will not recognize Israel.”
Beneath the surface, however, something else may be going on.
The same day as Hamas’s Gaza celebration, IHS Jane’s, the well-respected defence and security intelligence analysis agency, published an exclusive report claiming Hamas was on the brink of renouncing armed resistance and moving to a policy of non-violent resistance to Israel. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)
Squeezed between the rebellions of a bloody Arab Spring and growing fears of a possible military response to Iran’s growing nuclear threat, the region is becoming increasingly unstable.
“I would be very surprised if it turned into a Russian-American war, but this could be a Mid-East war: Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Syria, Israel all having at each other,” said Jack Granatstein, military historian and senior research fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.