Monday was marked by yet more explosions, sirens and attacks as both Hamas and Israeli planes kept on attacking each other. During the violence, seven Israeli soldiers were killed by Islamic militants during a firefight.
John Kerry headed for Cairo on Monday, hoping that he could discuss the current situation with Egyptian officials. Fearing further escalations, both John Kerry and Ban Ki-Moon (U.N. Secretary General) have been attempting negotiations meant to end the war that has been raging on for the last two weeks. During this time more than 550 Palestinians lost their lives and at least 27 Israelis, while countless civilians have been forced to abandon their homes in Gaza.
The United Nations Security Council invoked international humanitarian laws while expressing their genuine concern with the violence that is taking place in Gaza. They urged authorities to ensure the protection of civilians as the casualties have been increasing constantly.
Israeli military actions have been defended by Ron Prosnor (Israel’s U.N. Ambassador) who claimed that his country was forced to defend itself against Hamas attacks. John Kerry, however, declared on Sunday that the U.S. supports Egyptian efforts for halting hostilities within the Gaza Strip. The proposal that Egypt launched was accepted by Israel but was rejected by Hamas last week.
Hamas militants have not only fired multiple rockets into southern and central Israel, but they have also supported heavy fighting in the east and north parts of Gaza. Sadly, in spite of the fact that death tolls are constantly rising (on both sides), a ceasefire doesn’t seem to be a viable option in the future as the two camps can’t seem to reach an agreement.
Both the Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and the Israeli Prime Minister have stated that their efforts to protect their country will continue for as long as needed under the circumstances that the Israeli population is in danger of rocket fire and other Hamas attacks. On the other side, Hamas declared that a ceasefire could only become an option if and when Israel and Egypt guarantee an ease on the border blockade of Gaza.
On Monday, Israeli tanks targeted a hospital and reports claimed that shells had caused at least four deaths and had wounded more than 60 people (out of which, 30 belonged to the medical staff). The hospital in question is called the Al Aqsa hospital in Deir el-Balah. Health officials said that shells had not only landed in the administrative building but also in the ICU and the surgery department.