Israel, Gaza militias resume crossfire as truce falters anew
Jerusalem, May 13 (EFE).- After a few hours of calm at night, fire between Israel and Palestinian militias in Gaza resumed Saturday morning, with the Israeli air force bombing new paramilitary outposts and more rocket fire coming from the strip, as attempts at a truce failed again.
Egyptian mediators presented yet another ceasefire proposal Friday night, followed by a pause in the confrontations raising hopes that the conflict, which enters its fifth day, could be halted.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad canceled Friday the launch of a barrage of rockets scheduled for 9:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. GMT), when it had also called on Gazans to go out on their rooftops to celebrate with whistles and shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), as it did Thursday.
This was interpreted as progress in the indirect talks for a truce in Cairo, as at about the same time,Israeli planes and drones stopped being heard in the Gaza Strip, a calm that lasted for about eight hours.
But at dawn, Israel launched a new bombing attack on PIJ targets, specifically two “command centers” for senior members of the organization in the Gaza Strip. They were allegedly used for “planning and command of terrorist activity against Israel” and to “organize the firing of rockets against Israel,” the Israeli army reported this morning.
“Seven concealed rocket and mortar launchers were attacked overnight in Gaza, including those identified as firing into southern Israel yesterday,” a military spokesman added.
Early this morning, the PIJ also resumed firing rockets, raising anti-aircraft alarms in several towns in southern Israel, although it launched into the center of the country Friday, in the direction of Jerusalem for the first time since the escalation began Tuesday.
The army has since successfully attacked 325 PIJ targets – including homes of its members and military installations – while this group, considered a terrorist by Israel, the United States and the European Union, has fired 1,099 projectiles from the Gaza Strip. This includes rockets and mortars, of which 865 crossed into Israeli territory.
Israeli anti-missile systems have intercepted 340 rockets, with an effectiveness of 90 percent, 202 were unsuccessful launches that fell inside the enclave, while most of the rest landed in unpopulated areas of Israel, according to the latest count of the Israeli army.
Palestinian sources show the PIJ did not like the latest proposal because it demands a ceasefire with compromises from Israel, which launched operation “Shield and Arrow” on Tuesday with the aim of killing three leaders of the group in intense shelling. This also killed ten civilians, including their wives and children.
Israel has killed another six senior JIP officials, whose leadership inside Gaza has been almost completely eliminated, in this escalation that has killed 33 Palestinians and wounded 147. A woman also died in Israel from the impact of a rocket.
Hours before Egypt presented a new proposal for a truce Friday night, Israel announced it was abandoning talks because it was not willing to give in to the PIJ’s demands – among them to stop the “targeted assassination” of its leaders – to which the group responded by threatening to prolong the escalation beyond a week.
It seems that there is more room for negotiation with another demand from the PIJ, the return of the body of Jader Adnan, a leader of the group in the occupied West Bank who died last week in an Israeli jail after 186 days on hunger strike.
His death sparked a brief 24-hour exchange of fire after the PIJ fired dozens of rockets in retaliation, to which Israel responded with shelling of the group’s military installations that killed a Gazan civilian with shrapnel. EFE