Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday fired four Qassam rockets and a mortat shell at the western Negev, just days before a six-month truce between Israel and Gaza factions was set to expire. The rockets exploded in open fields in the Eshkol Regional Council, while the shell struck the nearby area of Sdot Negev.Kassams and mortars have been launched repeatedly and consistently from the Gaza Strip since the June truce when into play but only now is Hamas suggesting the ‘truce’ will be coming to an end. Go figure.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced just after the attack that border crossings with the Gaza Strip would be closed again, due to security concerns. Meanwhile, Hamas' leadership on Monday adopted a united stance not to extend the truce with Israel, which is set to expire on Friday, December 19. This stance comes after group leaders expressed contradictory positions with regard to the cease-fire on on Sunday.
On Sunday, the Damascus-based head of Hamas' political bureau, Khaled Meshal, had said precisely that, but Gaza-based leaders of the movement insisted that no decision had yet been reached. Monday, however, Hamas' spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Ayman Taha, said the movement had concluded that there was no point in extending the truce "as long as Israel isn't abiding by its terms" - though he added that talks on continuing the cease-fire were still taking place.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Truce, truce, what is truce?
Here is a typical Israeli-Palestinian irony for you courtesy of Ha’aretz: