image Photo: Reuters and Flash 90

Egypt pressures Hamas to halt rocket-fire at Israel

Palestinian Islamists in the Gaza Strip launched five rockets and mortar shells toward Israel’s southern communities. While three rockets failed to penetrate Israeli territory, landing within the enclave parameters, both a rocket and a mortar shell exploded within Israel, in an uninhabited area. No injuries or damage were reported.  In response, the IDF spokesperson’s unit said that an “aircraft targeted a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip.”

Meanwhile the rocket fire from Gaza toward Israel infuriated Egyptian officials, who threatened to withdraw Cairo’s sponsorship of “truce arrangement efforts with Israel.” The rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled enclave happened at a time when a Hamas delegation arrived in Egypt’s capital for talks with senior Egyptian Intelligence officials.

An Egyptian source confirmed to TV7 that a message was relayed to the delegation that Cairo will consider ending its role as mediator, unless Hamas effectively thwarts all rocket-fire from its territory toward the Jewish state. That said, a high-ranking Hamas official Suhail al-Hindi denied the report, in which Egypt not only pressure Hamas about the continued – sporadic – rocket fire toward Israel; but also, regarding a pledge that was made by the Islamist group ‘to provide assistance to Hezbollah and Iran, if the situation would escalate into an all-out-war.’