Hamas Rocket Hits Egypt, Rafah Border Crossing
A rocket probably fired from the Gaza hit Egypt's Rafah border crossing with the embattled Palestinian enclave on Saturday, wounding a soldier, a security official told AFP.
The rocket "was most likely fired from Gaza and fell into Egyptian territory by mistake," the official said.
An estimated 1,600 rockets have been fired from Gaza since Operation Protective Edge began twelve days ago; the IDF has confirmed at least 1,497 have landed in Israel.
Egypt, under recently-elected President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has moved to isolate Hamas, accusing it of backing the Muslim Brotherhood on its own territory.
Egypt's foreign ministry has condemned Israel's ground offensive but it also lashed out at Hamas, saying the Islamist movement could have saved dozens of lives had it accepted Cairo's proposal.
According to Kol Yisrael radio, the Egyptian government said it was placing the responsibility on Hamas for “the possible deaths of Palestinian civilians”, citing Hamas’s refusal to accept Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire.
The report quoted Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, as having said that had Hamas accepted the ceasefire proposal, it would have saved the lives of at least 40 Gazans who were killed in Israeli airstrikes.
Shoukry further said that Hamas was cooperating with Qatar and Turkey to harm Egypt’s status in the region.
Shoukry’s comments on Hamas echo those made earlier by Egypt’s former Foreign Minister, Mohammed Al-Arabi, who said that Hamas was not serious about a ceasefire – and that the terror group was deliberately trying to embarrass Egypt.
Speaking in an interview in an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Arabi blamed Hamas for not only failing to come to a ceasefire, but for “shedding the blood of innocent Palestinians” by continuing to attack Israel.
More to follow.