Fragile peace broken by rocket from Gaza

Strip militants fire on southern communities; Hamas disavows launch, reiterates commitment to long-term ceasefire with Israel.

Militants from Gaza fired a rocket towards southern communities on Tuesday night, three weeks after the start of a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. No damages or injuries were reported.



The Gaza group said it was not aware of any rocket fire towards Gaza-border towns and reiterated its commitment to the ceasefire. The rocket was likely fired around 6:30 pm. No warning siren sounded in the towns of Eshkol Regional Council.


The head of the council, Haim Yellen, said "it was not clear if it was routine internal training or intentional rocket fire on the communities. Either way, we will not accept sporadic fire on our towns."


IDF soldiers searching in Eshkol Regional Council (Photo: Roi Idan) (Photo: Roee Idan)
IDF soldiers searching in Eshkol Regional Council (Photo: Roi Idan)


He emphasized that "the Israeli leadership will be judged by how it chooses to defend its citizens – will it take us to a political accord which will bring a long-term calm to the area or will it continue with the endless cycle of violence."


Yellen said Israel had the strongest military in the world. "We do not need to wary of negotiation from a position of military strength and bring the quiet longed for on the Gaza-border and the south. We expect the Israeli government to act to bring quiet to the area, with the same determination which the soldiers fought to neutralize the tunnel threat."


The IDF is still investigating whether rockets were fired from the northern Gaza Strip on Monday, after air raid sirens were activated in several communities in the Eshkol Regional Council.


Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said earlier Tuesday that there were no signs of a return to fighting, even if talks are not restarted in Cairo at the end of September.


Meanwhile, the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories announced Tuesday that Israel agreed to a proposal to establish a mechanism for reconstructing the Strip after Operation Protective Edge, under the supervision and control of the United Nations.


According to the IDF, the mechanism would allow for progress on rebuilding the strip on one hand, while maintaining Israel's security interests on the other.


The mechanism was approved by the political establishment in Israel after coordination between the UN envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, and COGAT Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.


"The Gaza conflict is an appalling human tragedy, and has also exacted a terrible cost in already strained trust," Serry said. "While the cease-fire brokered by Egypt has largely held since August 16, it remains worryingly fragile with the underlying dynamics still unaddressed."


He said the United Nations considers the "temporary mechanism" to rebuild Gaza "a signal of hope to the people of Gaza" and an important step toward lifting all remaining closures of crossings into the Strip. He stressed that it "must get up and running without delay."


Serry called on the Security Council to support the agreement, saying it will help give donors confidence that what they investing in "will be implemented expeditiously, and solely for their intended civilian purpose."


Yoav Zitun contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 09.16.14, 21:41
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