Hamas sure knows how to end a cease fire

When I departed for a two-day trip to North Cascades National Park on Wednesday morning, the IDF had pulled out of Gaza, Israel has been rocket free for… was setting new records, and negotiators from all sides were on their way to negotiations in Cairo. Though I spent most of my time on the trail singing תקוף תעשה ביגועים with my brother, I definitely had the sense that Operation Protective Edge was winding down. Onward and upward…

Of course, I returned to civilization Thursday night just in time to discover that Hamas had declared the cease fire over and immediately resumed firing rockets into Israel. Probably not a very productive choice.

But if we’ve learned anything from the current flare-up the past nine years since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza its history since 1988, it’s that Hamas can only do so much on its own: it relies, in large part, on the IDF to do its dirty work. Without the assistance of the hated Zionist entity (and its overwhelming firepower), Hamas could never kill enough Gazans to garner sufficient international sympathy for its cause.

In other words, Hamas couldn’t just fire rockets into Israel and let Iron Dome give the IDF cover to properly consider its options before resuming aerial retaliation against Gaza. Hamas needed Israel to fight back. And for a short time, it appeared Israel might refuse to cooperate. Via Haaretz, here’s what happened during the first hour of Hamas’s renewed bombardment:

8:04 A.M. Sirens sound in Ashkelon and Hof Ashkelon. Successful Iron Dome interception.

8:08 A.M. Sirens in the Eshkol region. Residents instructed to stay within 15 seconds of shelter. Two rockets land in open areas in the Hof Ashkelon region. (Shirley Seidler)

8:20 A.M. Hamas spokesman says cease-fire will not be renewed by Cairo talks will continue.

8:28 A.M. Sirens sound in Eshkol and Hof Ashkelon regions.

8:42 A.M. Rocket barrage fired at communities in the Gaza region.

9:00 A.M. Sirens sound in the Eshkol region. Three rockets explode outside communities in the area. (Shirley Seidler)

But Israel didn’t shoot back for a little over two hours after the beginning of Hamas’s renewed onslaught:

10:20 A.M. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon order the Israel Defense Forces to respond with force to the fire from Gaza.

Fortunately, in the interim, Hamas was prepared to do what Israel was initially reluctant to, all on its own — bomb Gaza. This tweet was sent at 8:37, less than an hour after the cease fire ceased on Friday morning:

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