Israeli Escalation Continues for Second Night; Egyptian Mediators Arrive in Gaza

27 MAR3:44 AM

After Israel’s assault on Gaza Monday night, Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, told Israeli army radio on Tuesday morning that Israel will “continue to exact a very heavy price from Hamas for its attacks on Israeli citizens”, Israel’s Haaretz reported.

Erdan acknowledged that Hamas was willing to agree to a truce, but insisted that “all rumours and heresy of a cease-fire are incorrect.” and that the Israeli hostilities will persist until the objectives are met.

Also on Tuesday morning, a senior Hamas official told Haaretz that Gaza factions are committed to cease-fire, while Al-Jazeera reported that Egyptian officials are currently mediating talks between the Israeli government and leaders in Gaza.

Israel’s stipulation for cease-fire, according to Palestinian sources, included stopping all protest near the perimter fence, including acanceling the border protest scheduled for March 30th, which marks Palestinian Land Day, and the one year addnivassary since the Great Return March” nonviolent processions started in the Gaza Strip.

The night-time protest planned for Tuesday night was delayed, for security reasons, the organizing committee of the “Great March of Return”, that it would halt all activities on Gaza’s northern shores.

Israeli army equipment and troops were reported on Tuesday afternoon to be organized along several points along the southern border fence between Gaza and Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, conferred with his chief of staff, the head of Shin Bet (Israel’s security agency), and others, assessing the situation.

An Israeli army  source claimed that several Palestinian “suspects” crossed the “security fence” into Israel, and returned to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Tuesday afternoon, a so called incendiary balloon from Gaza set fire to a field inside of Israel, shortly after this, rocket alerts were sounded in Southern Israel, bordering Gaza, an explosion was heard, and the rocket landed in an open area, with no injuries reported.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, and his party, Hayamin Hehadash, made a statement calling for Netanyahu to “neutralize and defeat Hamas”.

The two main factions in Gaza, Hamas and Islamic Jihad both denied involvement in the last rocket that came from Gaza.

It is worth mentioning that Egyptian mediators have been holding separate talks with Israel and Hamas, in an effort to prevent further, and more serious, militatry escalation and offensive.

(Source / 27.03.2019) 

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