Attempts at a ceasefire on both sides of the Gaza-Israeli conflict suffered another setback, as Hamas continued its salvos, while Israeli airstrikes kill combatant and civilian alike
In the hours between Sunday July 27 and Monday July 28, eight young children playing in a Gaza refugee camp were killed, four Israeli soldiers were killed in a mortar attack, the principal public hospital was struck as militants from Gaza advanced into Israel through a tunnel.
Both sides have denied responsibility for the strikes on the camp and hospitals, further eluding the possibilities of a truce.
In the week leading up to the attacks, international efforts had been focused upon the creation of temporary ceasefires in order to continue to try to secure a long-term ceasefire in the recent conflict which has left more than 1,200 dead.
A 12 hour humanitarian truce between the conflicting parties was announced on Saturday morning after intense international pressure to allow for the collection of bodies and for Palestinians to return to the remains of their villages. Reports denounced recent fighting as the deadliest military operation since the Gaza War of 2008-2009.
Despite pressure from the international community for both parties in the conflict “to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond” and “to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative”, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated his direct opposition to such talks after the events of Sunday and Monday, labelling the conflict a “just war” and stating the need for Israel “to be prepared for a long operation until our mission is accomplished.”
According to Prime Minister Netanyahu, part of this mission is the “neutralization of tunnels whose sole purpose is killing our citizens.” Israeli sources say the Gaza Strip smuggling tunnels have been used by Hamas fighters to infiltrate Israel and carry out attacks.
Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006, and has since been held responsible by Israel for all attacks from Gaza. In the intervening years, efforts at peace between Israel and the Palestinians have failed in an area historically plagued by conflict and instability.