Four days of intensified violence between Israel and Gaza appeared to finally be slowing on Thursday, although one Palestinian terror group did not abide by the ceasefire accepted by Hamas. The spike in the conflict, which saw dozens of rockets fired at Israel and numerous Israeli air strikes in response, really began following border attacks by terrorists against Israel on Monday.
According to the IDF Blog, more than 100 rockets fired from Palestinian terrorists at Israel since Sunday, including at least nine attacks on Monday. The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) group claimed responsibility for eight of the rockets, also claiming to be acting in defense of the Gaza Strip.
Over years of violence, many of the Gaza rockets have been fired indiscriminately in the direction of Israeli residential zones.
Traditionally ceasefires following escalations don’t end the violence immediately. In this case, Ma’an reported that Hamas claimed it agreed to the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire Wednesday night.
This round was intriguing because Hamas took official credit for a number of the rockets on their website. Hamas has launched attacks on Israel in the last few years, but most of the recent Gaza attacks are usually carried out by smaller terror groups.
However, as the rulers of Gaza with far-reaching authority, Hamas is held accountable by Israel for violence from the Strip.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, June 21, 2012)