Palestinian militants fired dozens of rockets an Israel responded with a series of airstrikes that killed at least three people Tuesday as Egyptian peace talks fell apart.
The burst of violence, which erupted in the hours before a temporary truce was set to expire, left the Egyptian mediation efforts in tatters and raised the likelihood of a new round of fighting in a war that has already claimed more than 2,000 lives, most of them Palestinian.
--- "Most of them"??? Is that really the right term? How about "the overwhelming majority of them"? Wouldn't that be a lot more accurate? After all, Israel killed 500 Palestinian civilians for every Israeli civilian killed - 500 to 1. Do you call that "most"?
The fighting broke out when Gaza militants fired several rockets into Israel Tuesday afternoon. Israel quickly withdrew its delegation from the Cairo cease-fire talks and resumed its campaign of airstrikes, and fighting continued into the night.
Three people — two women and a 2-year-old girl — were killed in an airstrike on a house in Gaza City on Tuesday evening, Palestinian medical official Ashraf al-Kidra said. The target of the airstrike wasn't immediately known.
However, in Cairo, Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas leader, said the dead included the wife and a child of Mohammed Deif, the Islamic militant group's elusive military chief, who has escaped numerous Israeli assassination attempts in the past. There was no immediate confirmation from Hamas leaders in Gaza.
The fatalities were the first since a temporary truce was reached last Wednesday.
----This is not really very accurate. CBC tends to ignore or discount the deaths of Palestinians, so here again they are ignoring the several killings by Israeli soldiers of Palestinians in the West Bank during the ceasefire with Gaza. How racist is that? How can CBC continue to play up Israeli suffering and completely ignore what Israel is doing to Palestinians?
Twenty-one people were wounded in a separate airstrike that hit a building that houses offices of Hamas's Al Aqsa TV station, al-Kidra said.
Israeli officials reported at least 50 rockets were fired late Tuesday, setting off air raid sirens throughout southern Israel and as far away as the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. There were no reports of injuries, though a piece of a rocket that was intercepted near Tel Aviv fell on a busy road.
Israel's civil defense authority, the Home Front Command, ordered authorities to reopen public bomb shelters within 80 kilometres of Gaza.
Ceasefire talks end poorly
In Cairo, Palestinian negotiators declared the ceasefire talks over, and said they would leave Egypt on Wednesday.
"We told the Egyptians we are ready to return to the talks once they find the proper atmosphere," he said, adding that the Palestinians had submitted a final cease-fire proposal.Azzam al-Ahmad, leader of the delegation, blamed Israel for the failure, but held out hope that the talks could be resumed.
"It's clear the Israelis are not interested in the cease-fire. We did not hear from them. We were willing to, but we did not hear from them," he said.
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said the blame lay with Hamas. "When Hamas broke the cease-fire and fired rockets into Israel, they also violated the premise of the talks, which were based on an unconditional and total cease-fire," he said.
He would not say whether Israel would resume ceasefire talks.
Egyptian security officials said Egypt was still pressing the two sides to agree on a ceasefire. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
The breakdown marked a bitter ending to nearly a week of Egyptian-led diplomacy meant to end the heaviest fighting between Israel and Hamas since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007.
----Is "elections" a dirty word for CBC? Hamas won an election in 2007. They did not "seize control".
----Also note how CBC describes the fight as "between Israel and Hamas". The fight is between Israel and PALESTINE, not Hamas. Hamas is the elected government of Palestine. Hamas represents Palestinians in the same way Israeli LIKUD party represents Israelis. CBC could call it a fight between Likud and Hamas if they want, but it is false and misleading to claim that Israel, the country, is fighting only Hamas, the political party. This is exactly the kind of misinformation Israel promotes, but why is CBC echoing it?
Gaza blockade still sticking point
Israel has claimed the number of militants killed was much higher, and it blames Hamas for causing civilian casualties by staging attacks from residential areas. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers, two Israeli civilians and a guest worker have also been killed.More than 2,000 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed, according to Palestinian and UN officials, and tens of thousands of people are homeless.
----Why does CBC keep repeating this Israeli propaganda? The Palestinians had no place to hide from the Israeli bombardment, and ISRAEL IS TO BLAME FOR ALL THE KILLINGS THEY COMMITTED. Why does CBC repeat this propaganda coming directly from the killers?
Hamas is seeking an end to a seven-year Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has ravaged Gaza's economy, while Israel wants guarantees that Hamas will disarm.
----A little context would be useful here. The so-called "demand" from Hamas is to end the blockade which makes their lives miserable. Is it correct to call such a basic human right as some kind of "demand"?
----Also why should Hamas disarm when Israel is continuing to steal land from Palestinians every day of the year, and making their lives miserable? Essentially Israel is "demanding" that the Palestinians must render themselves totally defenseless, while Israel will continue to attack them, expropriate them, and even kill them with impunity, as they have done for over 65 years.
In nearly a week of indirect talks, Egypt appears to have made little headway in resolving the differences. Late Monday, it secured a 24-hour extension to a temporary truce to allow more time for a last-ditch attempt to reach a longer-term deal.
An Egyptian compromise proposal calls for easing the blockade, but not lifting it altogether and opening the territory's air and seaports as Hamas has demanded.
---Again, just allowing the community of Gaza to live some kind of decent, normal life is described as a "demand."