Rocket Fire Ongoing, Gaza Ceasefire Still Elusive

YERUSHALAYIM -
Smoke and flames are seen following an Israeli airstrike on a building in Gaza City on Tuesday. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Dozens of rockets were fired at Israel’s south and coastal plain overnight and in the early hours of Wednesday morning, triggering sirens in Gaza border-adjacent communities as well as in southern cities. The Israeli military said some 50 rockets were fired overnight. There were no reports of damage or injuries.

The IDF mounted massive retaliatory strikes, eradicating more of Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s infrastructure in Gaza.

Gaza medical officials say 217 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 children, and more than 1,400 wounded since the fighting began on May 10. In Israel 12 people have been killed, including two children.

These hostilities are the most serious between Hamas and Israel in years, and in a departure from previous Gaza conflicts, have helped fuel street violence in Israeli cities.

Egypt and U.N. mediators stepped up diplomatic efforts, and Germany called for a ceasefire and offered more aid to help Palestinians before emergency European Union talks.

Israel’s N12 news, quoting unidentified Palestinian sources, reported that Egypt, via “secret channels,” had proposed that Israel-Gaza fighting end on Thursday morning. The media outlet reported this morning that despite efforts on the part of Egyptian mediators the purported ceasefire has been rejected by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who will not compromise on the issue of Yerushalayim or a cessation of hostilities while Hamas is still presenting a threat.

An IDF spokesman acknowledged that with an estimated 12,000 missiles and mortars still in Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s arsenals, “they still have enough rockets to fire.”

Netanyahu reiterated in a social media post on Tuesday that Israel’s attacks “will continue for as long as it takes to restore calm” for all of its citizens.