Even if Islamic Jihad is telling the truth when it says that it didn’t launch these rockets after the cease-fire, this latest barrage makes it clear that no one can or is willing to control the most fanatical jihadists in Gaza. But Ramadan Shalah, the leader of Islamic Jihad, just said that Islamic Jihad and Hamas that “we both coordinate all our moves together, in war and peace.” Is this not true of other groups? If not, then negotiations are useless, because these groups are out of control, and will render any negotiated settlement meaningless (as if it weren’t already). And if so, then negotiations are useless, because the “Palestinians” are trying to deceive Israel and the world into thinking they want peace even as they plot more jihad against Israel (as if that weren’t also already obvious).
“More rockets strike Israel, jeopardizing truce talk,” by Ibrahim Barzak for the Associated Press, March 14:
JERUSALEM — The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said Thursday it had agreed to halt a wave of rocket fire on Israel, signaling an end to the heaviest fighting between the sides since 2012.
However, soon after the announcement seven rockets fired from Gaza exploded inside Israel.
The Islamic Jihad denied it launched the attack and it wasn’t immediately unclear who fired the rockets. Cease-fire declarations have not always been honored by militants and the barrage raised doubts about the cease-fire offer made by Islamic Jihad.
The Israeli military said militants fired at least seven rockets Thursday from Gaza, with most coming in the evening after the cease-fire claim. It said its “Iron Dome” defense system intercepted one rocket.
Israeli officials previously refused to confirm any cease-fire deal was in place.
In two days of violence, militants fired some 70 rockets into Israel, while Israel has carried out a series of airstrikes in Gaza. No serious casualties have been reported.
Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batch announced Thursday that his group had accepted an Egyptian-brokered plan to stop its attacks, if Israel agreed to a truce as well.
Earlier Thursday, the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad resumed rocket fire toward Israel, striking the outskirts of two major cities. A day earlier, it fired dozens of rockets in the largest barrage on Israel since an eight-day Israeli offensive in late 2012.
The Israeli military said it retaliated with renewed airstrikes on “seven terror sites” in southern Gaza.
“Since yesterday, there has seen a substantial deterioration in the safety of the residents in southern Israel. We have responded and will continue to do so in order to eliminate threats as they develop,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman.
The early morning rocket attacks from Gaza set off air-raid sirens in the southern cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon. The rockets landed in open areas, but flew deeper into Israel than Wednesday’s attacks, which struck southern Israeli border towns.