Israel Rejects Hamas Truce Offer
Israel has rejected Hamas's request for a 24-hour truce, according to latest reports, but there appears to have been some confusion on the ground, after IDF units were told to hold their fire at 2:00 p.m..
Sirens sounded in the Be'er Sheva area shortly before 5:30 p.m. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Three of the rockets were reportedly intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense. Another rocket exploded in an open area.
From midnight, Hamas has launched more than 40 missiles at Israel. A woman in her 40s was hurt in a direct hit on Negev home in the Shaar Hanegev region Sunday afternoon. She was taken to Soroka Hospital in light to moderate condition. She had been asleep when the rocket struck.
The IDF uncovered a 32nd terror tunnel between Gaza and Israel in the last 24 hours and it will be blown up. IDF forces continue to comb the area for tunnels and entry shafts to the tunnels.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a series of interviews to Sunday news shows on US channels – Fox news, NBC, CBS and CNN – in which he said: “Hamas has violated five ceasefires and humanitarian lulls that Israel has accepted, two of them in the last 24 hours, and now Hamas is violating the ceasefire that it itself offered and continues to fire at Israel.
"We will do all that is necessary to protect the security interests of the citizens of Israel,” he stated. “The IDF will continue to operate to neutralize the terror tunnels. Hamas is responsible for the deaths of civilians, which it uses as human shields.”
He reminded viewers that Hamas is a terrorist organization that denounced the elimination of Osama Bin Laden.
The prime minister said that Operation Protective Edge will continue until it achieves its goal – namely, restoring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time.
"The Egyptian proposal is the only one under discussion,” said Netanyahu. “There should be linkage between fnancial aid to Gaza's residents and the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip. The money that the international community gave for building kindergartens for the residents of Gaza, served for digging tunnels for blowing up Israeli kindergartens.”
Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said on CNN that Israel has the right to defend itself and the conflict is ultimately Hamas’ fault.
“Hamas is responsible for the conflict,” Mr. Rhodes said.
He also noted that Israel needs to do more to prevent civilian casualties, despite Netanyahu saying he was doing all he could.
“I think you can always do more,” Rhodes said.