On Wednesday, three rockets were fired from Palestine at Israel two hours before a temporary truce between the two countries had expired. According to Israeli intelligence, one of the rockets was intercepted by the country’s Iron Dome defense system while another hit open land. Neither rockets produced damages or injuries, according to Israeli reports.
The latest ceasefire between the two sides should have expired on Wednesday, at midnight local time. According to Israel, the three rockets were fired two hours before midnight.
In the meantime, Egypt is still attempting to broker a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel so that Gaza is finally freed from the violence that it has been experiencing for well over a month. During the most recent 72 hour ceasefire, both Israeli and Gaza militants had stopped firing rockets and had halted military operations.
Egypt did propose a solution that had both sides intrigued, as it partially addressed the demands of each side. However, neither side wanted to settle and the deal remained in doubt. Curiously, Hamas had agreed to a possible extension of the 72 hour ceasefire that ended on Wednesday, so that negotiations could continue unhindered.
A Hamas official explained that the deal wasn’t yet satisfactory and as no agreement was reached, Hamas leaders were said to still be deliberating over the ceasefire extension. Correspondingly, Israeli spokespeople declined to comment the situation.
Negotiations should offer Hamas an end to the blockade that Israel and Egypt have instated in 2007 at the border. This blockade does not just limit the movement of Palestinians in and out of the country; it also restricts the flow of goods into Gaza and doesn’t allow exports. On the other side, Israel insists that the blockade prevents arms smuggling and that they won’t agree to any concessions that would support the Hamas’ claim to victory. In fact, Israel desires one thing: that Hamas disarm or be prevented from re-arming. In spite of the ground operation in 2009 and air offensive in 2012, Hamas have recovered and now possesses thousands of rockets (both long ranged and powerful).
And while the entire world can note that neither side will see all their demands met, Egypt still tried to offer solutions that would satisfy both sides. The proposal included a point that would ease the Israeli blockade on the border so that Hamas could have some relief.
Other negotiations will have to address the most important demands: lifting the blockade as well as Hamas disarming.