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Ceasefire Broken by Hamas Rocket Fire Amid Blinken's Advocacy for Two-State Resolution

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

"Early Friday morning in Jerusalem, Israel, a sudden barrage of rockets from Hamas marked the end of a week-long ceasefire in the Gaza conflict. Israel, citing a breach of the truce by the militant group, swiftly resumed hostilities.

The Israel Defense Forces retaliated with bombings in Gaza City following the rocket attacks targeting southern Israel. This escalation has unfortunately stalled the process of freeing hostages, a situation worsened by the breakdown of peace talks. Despite over 100 hostages being released during the ceasefire, the whereabouts and condition of about 140 others remain uncertain.

Israel confirmed the tragic discovery of four additional hostage casualties in Gaza on Friday, increasing the total confirmed fatalities to seven. This development occurred as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded his visit to the region, having met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

In discussions with Blinken, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized Israel's commitment to the war against Hamas. He asserted Israel's objectives: the complete liberation of hostages, the total dismantlement of Hamas, and the assurance of Gaza's long-term security.

Blinken, representing the Biden administration, advocated for reduced civilian harm in southern Gaza compared to the north. Israeli media reports suggest Blinken has given Israel a time frame to neutralize Hamas.

Blinken also stressed to Israeli officials the importance of planning humanitarian and civilian protection measures before escalating military operations. His focus remains on minimizing Palestinian civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, the West Bank witnessed celebrations as over 200 Israeli-held prisoners were freed during the truce. Many had been convicted for terrorism-related offenses.

The Palestinian Authority's decision to financially reward these released convicts has been confirmed by Palestinian Media Watch. This practice aligns with the P.A.'s historical pattern of honoring convicted terrorists, exemplified by tributes to figures like Dulal Mugrabi, known as the "Refrigerator Bomber."

Amid the Gaza conflict, Hamas has seen a surge in support, even as the P.A. endorses its actions. Yet, Blinken views the P.A. as a potential ally in achieving peace post-war, discussing with President Abbas the necessity of reforming and revitalizing the Palestinian Authority to better serve its people."

Author: CBN

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Dec 19, 2023

Praying for your safety, thank you for this blog.

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