"Beginning at 08:01, after Hamas had decided not to extend the Egyptian brokered cease fire, rocket barrages were launched from Gaza. By re-launching its attacks on Israel, and by violating the last 6 ceasefires that were announced, Hamas had once again proved its lack of willingness to resolve the situation and to continue attacking Israeli civilians. Israel held its fire for over 2 hours before responding to the rocket fire," said Israel.
Israel said Hamas' unprovoked attacks also proved that it is not interested in the welfare of the civilian population of Gaza and prefer to attack Israel than to take care of the Palestinian people. Hamas has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that they have civilian casualties and is now continuing to do so, said Israel.
"The decision not to extend the current ceasefire is continuation to the decision not to stop the fighting and to accept the same Egyptian brokered cease fire on the 15th of July, that by than claimed 185 Palestinian lives. Had Hamas accepted it than, hundreds of lives would have been saved. Hamas is the one rejecting the previous ceasefires and not extending the current one and therefore responsible for the escalation," said Israel.
Israel is seeking the demilitarization of Gaza in order to prevent any terror attacks being conducted on Israeli population. The goal of Operation Protective Edge was and remains to protect Israeli civilians, it said.
Israel said over 3500 rockets have been fired by Hamas and the other terrorist groups at Israel. Israel's real enemy is Hamas and other terrorist organizations trying to kill innocent Israeli civilians, it said. Hamas is repeatedly looking for civilian casualties and has adopted a strategy that abuses and sacrifices Gaza’s civilians.
Hamas fires their rockets at Israel from near and within schools, from hospitals, from mosques, from hotels where journalists are staying, aid Israel.
Reports by Journalists from Gaza in the last few days clearly indicate that Hamas has been endangering Gaza's civilians and foreign journalists & workers by using civilian areas to store and fire its rockets at Israel, it said. These reports also show that people in Gaza, although afraid to criticize Hamas, do not support Hamas' prioritizing a terrorist infrastructure over the wealth and the well- being of the civilian population of the strip.
A correspondent from France 24 took advantage of the ceasefire to look around and discovered a rocket launching pad in the midst of civilian buildings, said Israel
He reported: “This right here (points) is a launching pad for rockets…The Israeli army has repeatedly accused Palestinian militants of shooting from within densely populated civilian areas, and that is precisely the type of set-up we have right here. Rockets set up right next to buildings, with a lot of residents in them…” “This rocket-launching site is right next to a UN facility.”
More than 2000 trucks carrying humanitarian aid have crossed into Gaza, since the beginning of the Operation Protective Edge. Israel also opened a field hospital right on the Gaza passage, in the Erez Crossing.
Israel said it is going all out on humanitarian effort. Israel hopes that Hamas will start caring for its people and stop preventing humanitarian aid for them, stop sacrificing them as human shields and stop shooting them when they protest.
As the temporary ceasefire continues to hold in Gaza, senior United Nations officials on Wednesday urged Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table, and called on the 193 Member States to respond to calls for emergency humanitarian funding.
In an informal meeting of the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that for the moment, the near constant firing of Hamas rockets and Israeli missiles and mortars has subsided.
“But…we cannot rest as the suffering continues. This ceasefire has come at a price that is almost too much to bear,” said Ban, underscoring that the massive death and destruction in Gaza “have shocked and shamed the world.” While pledging continued support to the peace efforts, he declared that the “senseless cycle of suffering” in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel must end.