1. Israel’s Security Cabinet approved an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. Why is the fighting still going on?
Hamas and the other terrorist groups in Gaza turned down the ceasefire plan and continued to rain rockets and missiles into Israel. After waiting six hours for the ceasefire to take hold, Israeli forces resumed their attacks on Gazan military targets.
2. Why have the Gaza terrorist groups rejected the Egyptian plan?
A Hamas spokesman claimed that Egypt cannot be trusted and that his organization will keep up its attacks “until all the demands of our people are met.” It is likely that Hamas and the other groups fear ending hostilities with nothing to show for their efforts.
3. In light of the terrible toll the fighting has taken on the residents of Gaza, are there any Palestinian leaders who support a ceasefire?
Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah organization is in charge of Palestinian areas of the West Bank, came out in support of the ceasefire plan. This difference of opinion between the two branches of the Palestinian leadership suggests that the recently declared “unity government” of Hamas and Fatah is on shaky ground.
4. How has the United States reacted to the ceasefire plan?
Throughout the weeklong fighting the American government has sought a ceasefire, and it strongly supported the efforts of Egypt to mediate. When the ceasefire was announced American officials praised it. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Vienna: “"I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire, in which Egypt and Israel worked together, that the international community strongly supports."
5. What does the failure of the ceasefire mean for Israel?
Israel, which entered these hostilities reluctantly and only to protect its citizens, is naturally disappointed that the ceasefire failed and that it must continue its military strikes. Israel expects the clear evidence of Hamas recalcitrance to turn public opinion more in Israel’s favor. Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “We are prepared to continue and intensify the operation against Hamas, and we will get support from the members of the international community.” Date: 7/15/2014 12:00:00 AM