Hamas’s true objective in Operation Protective Edge – and negotiations that may follow – is in “liberating” Jerusalem from the Jews, a Hamas spokesman stated earlier this week. “The time has come for us to say that the true war is not aimed at opening border crossings,” Sami Abu Zuhri said. “Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing.
Tarek Fahmi, the head of the Israeli Unit at the Egyptian National Center for Middle East Studies, said that “the goal of the talks today is to neutralize the main crisis points, particularly [the question of] the Gaza airport and Israeli concessions regarding the sea, as well as the issue of the tunnels.” Fahmi said that the negotiating sessions that took place on Monday were “critical.” “Israel insists on demilitarizing the Gaza Strip from rockets and missiles, and the declaration of a cease-fire that would last between five and seven years,” he said.
Since the collapse of the cease-fire, Palestinians in Gaza have launched dozens of rockets and mortars at Israel, pounding the western Negev. Ashkelon, Ashdod, and the smaller communities within just a few kilometers of the Gaza border have absorbed the worst barrages since before dawn on Wednesday. On Wednesday the IDF struck two terror operatives in Gaza who were responsible for earlier rocket fire on Ashkelon and Gaza frontier communities.