Gaza - The militant Palestinian terrorist group, HAMAS, rejected Israel’s latest offer to extend a humanitarian truce in Gaza by another 24 hours.
Hamas has enjoyed a plethora of sympathetic reporting from Western press (as illustrated in attached video) which many say has prolonged the war and given HAMAS cover to continue launching rockets at Israel.
The cease-fire that began early Saturday (local time) was initiated by Israel, giving Palestinians of whom many were used as human shields time to recover bodies and resupply households with essentials. The second 24-hour cease-fire was requested by the United Nations and approved by Israel.
Yesterday, HAMAS summarily rejected a cease-fire proposal by U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry.
HAMAS declined to participate in the ceasefire extension and immediately began firing rockets into Israel within an hour after the first 12-hour halt to fighting, even after Israeli unilaterally announced that it would extend the truce by four hours.
For its part, Israel's security cabinet approved the U.N. request to extend the truce by 24 hours, but reserved the right to "act against any breach of the ceasefire."
"All of us call on the parties to extend the humanitarian ceasefire that is currently underway," French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said after meeting with the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Turkey and the U.S.
Talk of peace was quickly squashed as Hamas responded that it would not honor the 24-hour cease-fire extension, making it almost certain that more civilians will die as Hamas attacks Israel and Israel retaliates.
HAMAS has demanded an end to an Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza before agreeing to halt hostilities, a demand with very little chance of success. Israel cannot control Egypt’s government anymore than Egypt can control Tel Aviv.
HAMAS’ fighters typically launch their rockets from schools and hospitals making it all but certain there will be civilian casualties and maximum damage to Palestinian infrastructure.
Israel typically warns Palestinians before striking a target in Gaza, however, despite Israeli warnings collateral damage cannot be avoided.
While HAMAS is emboldened by anti-Israel reporting by mainstream media news outlets, there has been some reporting of Hamas using human shields to guard its rockets and weapons caches.