Hamas rocket from Gaza hits city of Ashkelon during Operation Protective Edge. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90) (Yossi Aloni/FLASH90)

Hamas’ continued rocket fire has forced Israel to resume Operation Protective Edge after a six-hour, one-sided ceasefire.

Israel agreed to a ceasefire this morning and abided by it, despite ongoing Hamas attacks, until 3:00 o’clock this afternoon.

“Hamas has fired 47 rockets since we suspended our strikes in Gaza at 9 a.m. As a result, we have resumed our operation against Hamas,” said a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF)

The ceasefire had been brokered by Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh Al-Sisi and was endorsed by the Palestinian Authority and PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the Fatah-Hamas unity government. However, Hamas officials called the ceasefire unacceptable.

Remnants of a Hamas rocket that hit a house in Ashdod during the ceasefire. (Photo: Flash90)

Remnants of a Hamas rocket that hit a house in Ashdod during the ceasefire. (Photo: Flash90)

Hamas: Ceasefire Equals Submission

“This initiative means kneeling and submissiveness and so we completely refuse it and, to us, it’s not worth the ink used in writing it,” the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization said in a statement.

Earlier on Tuesday, while waiting for confirmation that Hamas would comply with the ceasefire, Israeli President Shimon Peres told a press conference that he wanted to address the Palestinian people directly. He emphasized that Israelis did not consider the Palestinian people to be their enemy and he appealed to their desire for a better future for their children.

Peres: Hamas Holds Children Hostage

“This was the third major escalation in the past six years,” said Peres. “Each time it is innocent civilians that suffer and pay the price. Rockets and terror bring you no closer to your national aspirations. Terrorism will not deliver for the Palestinian people. The children of Gaza deserve the same opportunities as children everywhere, which is to be secure and free, but Hamas continues to hold them hostage. They [Hamas] seek death over life.”

The Palestinians would suffer the consequences if Hamas failed to comply, he warned.

“Hamas isolated itself. The world calls upon them to end the fire. If they continue despite the proposal they will only bring more suffering to their people.”

Israel will now expand its protective measures, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced this afternoon, after it became apparent Hamas would not adhere to the ceasefire.

Netanyahu: Israel Will Not Tolerate Terrorism

“Hamas’s rejection of the ceasefire gives Israel full legitimacy to expand the operation to protect our people,” said Netanyahu.

A woman reacts after her neighbor's house was hit by a Hamas rocket during the ceasefire. (Photo: Flash90)

A woman reacts after her neighbor’s house was hit by a Hamas rocket during the ceasefire. (Photo: Flash90)

“No country would sit idly by while its civilian population is subjected to terrorist rocket fire,” Netanyahu said earlier today in a meeting with Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “Israel is no exception. If Hamas rejects the Egyptian proposal, and the rocket fire does not cease, and that appears to be the case now, we are prepared to continue and intensify our operation to protect our people.”

Netanyahu expressed his gratitude for the world leaders, “who unequivocally condemn Hamas for the rocket fire on Israeli cities and [offer] clear-cut support for Israel’s right to self-defense.”

Since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge last Tuesday, terrorists have fired more than 1,081 rockets at Israel; of those, 845 have landed and about 191 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF has fired on more than 1,576 terrorist targets by air and sea.

Author: Sherry Miller
Staff Writer, United with Israel

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