A 72-hour cease fire agreed upon by Israel and Hamas began at 8am Friday local time and fell apart after only 90 minutes.
The latest attempt at an Israel-Hamas cease-fire disintegrated Friday. After the capture of an Israeli soldier, the conflict edged closer to escalation than to peace.
The soldier was “abducted” by Palestinian militants during an attack in Gaza in which two other Israeli soldiers died, Israeli military Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. The soldiers were decommissioning a tunnel at the time, Lerner said.
The Israel Defense Forces earlier identified soldier as 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin. A search operation is under way to find him, Lerner confirmed.
“We need to bring him home,” Lerner said later in the interview.
Hopes for an announced 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire between Israel and Hamas didn’t even last two hours, by some accounts. As has been a hallmark of the conflict, each side blamed the other for resuming the fighting.
The pause appears to have eroded after about 1½ hours in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, with the deadly attack in which Goldin, 23, was taken. Lerner told reporters that while the soldiers were decommissioning a tunnel, a militant emerged from the tunnel and detonated a suicide bomb.
Once again, Israel accepted a ceasefire. Once again, Hamas violated it. pic.twitter.com/DqQBMSUTDz
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) August 1, 2014
Hamas has violated every single “cease-fire” to date, including this one, Yesterday Israel called up 16,000 more reservists, and asked the United States for more ammunition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quoted as saying “We have neutralized dozens of terror tunnels and we are committed to complete this mission, with or without a cease-fire. Therefore I will not agree to any offer that does not allow the military to complete this important mission for the security of the people of Israel.”
This could become a long drawn out war.This cease-fire was the last gasp of the international community trying in vain to stop the inevitable. Ideally, it would be nice for peace to prevail, but this war has been coming for a while. The world has hedged around it for years. Now it’s here, and all we can do is pray that freedom and justice will once again prevail.
I stand with Israel.