Aug 07, 2014
By Jane Brown
An Israeli Cabinet minister says Israel will respond if Hamas resumes fire after a temporary three-day truce expires tomorrow morning in the Gaza Strip. This statement from Minister Gilad Erdan, along with earlier threats by Hamas, signal that both sides are digging in their positions as negotiations continue in Cairo on a lasting truce and reconstruction for the war battered coastal territory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is responding to comments by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the deaths and destruction in Gaza have shocked and shamed the world. “Israel deeply regrets every civilian casualty, every single one. We do not target them … the people of Gaza are not our enemy. Our enemy is Hamas. Our enemy are other terrorist organizations trying to kill our people.”
Both sides are under heavy international pressure to agree to an extension of the cease-fire to allow more time for negotiations. Hamas demands that a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt be lifted. Israel wants Gaza to be demilitarized.