— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 8, 2014
With peace talks in Cairo treading water, fire is once again being exchanged between Hamas and Israel after a 72-hour ceasefire expired. Once rockets were fired into Israel, Israel launched it’s own strikes, one of which killed a ten year old Palestinian boy. The people of Gaza’s brief three day reprieve from bloodshed is now over.
The negotiations in Cairo hinge on whether Hamas and Israel can forge any kind of agreement, which currently seems unlikely given what each side is demanding. Hamas is insisting that Israel end the blockade and reopen Gaza’s borders while Israel demands Hamas and all of Gaza be demilitarized. Needless to say, neither side is enthused about the offers on the table. Israel has also said it will not hold negotiations during armed conflict, though Hamas claimed to have no problem doing so.
While Israel is violating international law with the blockade, the US’ veto at the UN prevents international sanctions allows Israel to continue both the Gaza blockade and the building of illegal settlements in the West Bank. All indications are if Israel is allowed to continue the blockade, they will.
After three days of quiet, the Israeli military said, at least 33 rockets and mortars were fired into southern Israel between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Some were intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system, while others fell in open ground and a few landed short in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli civilian and a soldier were injured in one of the attacks, according to the military, and a building was damaged. The Israeli military also reported two launchings of rockets or mortar shells from Gaza before dawn.
In Gaza, Ibrahim Dawawsa, 10, was killed in a strike from an Israeli drone as he played in the yard of a mosque in the Sheik Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, according to his brother, Zuheir, 19.
As the fighting heats back up it becomes increasingly clear that the dynamics on the ground have not changed much at all despite the fighting of the last month. Israel can still kill Palestinians at will with no real consequence thanks to American cover and support, and Hamas is determined as ever to attack Israel regardless of the killing that results. The status quo prevails.
And for those wondering how the the pretext for this latest round of carnage stood up to scrutiny, we now know that those three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and killed were likely not the victims of Hamas. Not that it matters now.