BREAKING PHOTO: Gaza earlier today after more than 30 rockets fired into Israel today. Via Mohammed Saber pic.twitter.com/GINC8TOGtl
— Breaking News Feed (@PzFeed) July 29, 2014
Despite international outcry over civilian casualties, Israel escalated its strikes on Gaza yesterday. One of the strikes knocked out an electric power plant in Gaza that started a large fire and left many residents in the dark. Disabling the power plant also meant water, sewage, and hospitals were offline at a time when they were needed the most.
The Palestinian death toll for the day was at least 100 with the total Palestinian death toll since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8th of over 1,200. 53 Israeli soldiers have died during the ground invasion of Gaza with three Israeli civilians dying from Hamas strikes.
The power plant strike was part of Israel’s expanded bombing campaign in Gaza which seems set to continue as talks of a truce go nowhere at the moment. Secretary of State John Kerry continues to fumble on getting any agreement and neither Hamas nor Israel can reach terms the other will accept.
Regarding the talks, Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official in Beirut, said: “On principle, we have no objection and accept. A delegation will be formed, and we might leave for Cairo soon.” Israel favors Egypt as a broker, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described Egypt’s original proposal for a cease-fire, which Israel accepted and Hamas rejected, as “the only game in town.”
In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry signaled Tuesday that the Obama administration had not abandoned its hope of arranging a cease-fire. Mr. Kerry emphasized that Mr. Netanyahu had told him on Monday that he might accept a truce if it would allow Israeli forces to continue to operate against Hamas’s tunnels, some of which run under the border into Israeli territory and have been used for attacks.
The US-backed military junta in Egypt’s proposal was rejected previously and the idea that there would be a cease fire while Israel occupied Gaza to look for tunnels is rather ridiculous. If Hamas was willing to accept occupation there would not be any rocket fire in the first place.
Given that Israel has already bombed UN schools, hospitals, and a power plant, the only real prospect for a cease fire might be if Israel so levels Gaza that there is nothing left to bomb. Which, if current operations continue, might be sooner than later.