Ceasefire proposal collapses in new fighting

 

A ceasefire proposal by Egypt to end the conflict between Israel and Hamas collapsed Tuesday after Hamas rejected its terms and continued to launch rockets at Israel.

“Hamas has fired 47 rockets since we suspended our strikes in Gaza at 9 a.m. As a result, we have resumed our operation against Hamas,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted Tuesday.

The IDF said several rockets reached deep into Israel, near the northern port city of Haifa.

The Israeli government had initially agreed to the proposal while Hamas debated it. Hamas had complained that it wasn't formally consulted about the deal.

Just hours earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry urged both parties to accept the ceasefire.

“The Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and negotiations provides an opportunity to end the violence and restore calm. We welcome the Israeli cabinet’s decision to accept it. We urge all other parties to accept the proposal,” Kerry said in a statement provided by the State Department.

President Obama had also said he was “encouraged” by the plan.

Egypt late Monday proposed the deal, which would have required a 12-hour period of de-escalation that was to begin mid-morning on Tuesday. Once both sides met that goal, a longer-term agreement could be negotiated.

An estimated 185 Palestinians have died from the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza over the last week, and more than 1,000 have reportedly been wounded. No Israeli has died in the fighting, though some have been wounded. Israel’s U.S.-funded Iron Dome system has largely prevented further casualties by intercepting rockets from Gaza.

Violence erupted weeks ago after the bodies of three Israeli teens, who had been kidnapped, were found. A Palestinian teen was then found dead in what appeared to be a retaliatory attack.