Spurious Gaza truce teeters on collapse

Thursday, July 10, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

A frequently interrupted ceasefire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers appeared set to collapse on Thursday when two Palestinian rockets struck southern Israel just hours after Israeli troops killed a Palestinian terrorist apparently trying to breach the Gaza border fence.

The rocket attack, which did not cause any damage or injuries, brought to 17 the number of rockets and mortar shells Palestinian forces based in Gaza have fired at Israel since entering into an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with the Jewish state three weeks ago.

Earlier in the day, Israeli soldiers guarding the Gaza security fence shot dead an unarmed Palestinian man after he approached the barrier and ignored calls to halt. The shooting was the first deadly incident between the two sides since the truce went into effect.

Terrorists affiliated with US-backed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah faction claimed credit for both the failed infiltration and the subsequent rocket fire.

The Gaza ceasefire obligates Hamas, as the dominant force in Gaza, to prevent attacks on Israel, regardless of which Palestinian group is behind them. However, Hamas recently stated that it has no intention of handcuffing the violent campaigns of its fellow Palestinian terror groups, even if it has chosen to temporarily halt such aggression.

Meanwhile, Israel National News reported that Israeli army officials recently stressed to the leaders of southern Israel communities that the Gaza ceasefire is in fact temporary, and is not expected to last much longer.

The officials reportedly told community leaders that they believe Hamas will soon unleash a ferocious barrage of rocket fire against southern Israel, making use of the tremendous arsenal the group has used the current truce period to amass.

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