Hamas Attacks Tel Aviv As Ceasefire Hopes Fade

The conflict between Israel and Hamas is at its most dangerous moment since a series of temporary ceasefires went into effect two weeks ago as the Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.

One rocket shell landed in the middle of a highway, although there are no reported injuries.

In total, six rockets landed in or around major Israeli cities on Tuesday, and Tel Aviv was struck for the first time in ten days.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying in a statement tweeted by journalist Brooklyn Middleton that they were aiming for Ben Gurion International Airport, which they nearly hit and succeeded in partially closing during hostilities last month.

The rocket bombardment, and Hamas’s claims of responsibility, are an indication that the ceasefire negotiation process in Cairo is effectively over. Hamas likely felt that it wasn’t getting enough Israeli concessions out of the process — concessions that Israel believed it didn’t need to grant after destroying much of Hamas’s rocket arsenal and its network of cross-border tunnels over a month of combat.

Hamas is breaking the current stalemate by attempting to bait Israel into yet another escalation. An Israeli defence official has told Israel’s Channel 10 that the army is preparing for another possible ground operation, although Israel has a strong incentive not to launch one.

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