Hamas has repeated its past performance of declaring a ceasefire and immediately breaking it, firing more than a dozen more rockets and mortar shells on southern Israel Sunday night and Monday morning.
One rocket in the pre-dawn hours hit a building in the Eshkol region, adjacent to Gaza, causing damage but no injuries.
The Israeli Security Cabinet Monday morning stated that the ceasefire is one-sided and that the IDF will continue to attack to stop missile launches. It added that Israel will respond to any more rocket and mortar shell attacks with pinpoint retaliation.
The government decision precludes a full-scale ground operation into Gaza, which the opposition Kadima party has demanded.
Hamas declared the truce would go into effect Sunday night after the worst round of terrorism against Israel since the counterterrorist Operation Cast Lead campaign in the winter of 2008-2009.
“Hamas is trying to draw Israel into fighting in [Gaza] to weaken its [Israels] power in the international arena in preparation for the Palestinian statehood decree in September,” a senior diplomat told Army Radio. “This way Hamas will be seen as leading the way for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
He said that Hamas wants an escalation despite its ceasefire announcement. The ensuing missile attacks on Israel Sunday night and Monday morning may have been an attempt to draw into an escalation.
If so, it did not work.
A large-scale military operation in Gaza, one month before the United Nations discusses the Arab League petition to recognize the Palestinian Authority as in independent country, could play into PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbass hands as a propaganda tool against Israel.
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