Three Kassam and Grad missile attacks, followed by Air Force retaliation, exploded another “ceasefire” report near noon Sunday, while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu again threatened Hamas.
Following the Sunday morning rocket attacks, which did not cause injuries, the Israel Air Force struck terrorist targets in northern Gaza, according to Hamas. The Iron Dome system failed to intercept a Grad missile that was headed for Ashkelon, Army Radio reported. The missile apparently missed its mark and exploded in an open area.
In remarks before the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, the Prime Minister repeated warnings to Hamas that Israel will retaliate with “strong force” if the terrorist organization continues to attack Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Media in the Palestinian Authority reported that a ceasefire agreement was reached Saturday night through the mediation of a United Nations mediator, but none of the terrorist groups in Gaza officially announced a truce.
The Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency reported that U.N. special coordinator for the Middle East Robert Serry “managed to reach a ceasefire agreement late Saturday between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza.” Besides Hamas’ objection to Israel being allowed to prevent “ticking bomb” terrorist cells from firing rockets, the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization did not agree to the Hamas proposal.
According to a Hamas spokesman, a ceasefire specifically means that Israel cannot target terrorist cells preparing to launch rocket attacks on Israelis.
The “calm in return for calm” formula depends on Hamas stopping all attacks, but the Grad and Kassam missile attacks on Sunday made it clear that any truce is likely to fail or be short-lived, just as all other similar announcements were proven to be false.