Six hours after agreeing to an Egypt-proposed truce that failed to halt Hamas attacks, Israel resumed air strikes in the Gaza Strip yesterday.
“Hamas has fired 47 rockets since we suspended our strikes in Gaza [yesterday morning]. As a result, we have resumed our operation against Hamas,” an Israeli military statement said.
Under a blueprint announced by Egypt, which is at odds with Hamas, a mutual “de-escalation” of the week-old fighting was to have begun at 9am, with hostilities ceasing within 12 hours.
Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, rejected the ceasefire, saying its battle with Israel would “increase in ferocity and intensity,” but top Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said from Cairo that the movement, which is seeking a deal that would ease border restrictions imposed by Egypt and Israel, had made no final decision on the proposal.
Live broadcasts showed Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepting rockets over Ashdod, where a factory was hit. Emergency services said no one was hurt.
Sirens also sounded in areas up to 130km north of the Gaza Strip. The al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for some of the rockets.
Speaking in Vienna, US Secretary of State John Kerry supported Israel: “I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets, in multiple numbers, in the face of a goodwill effort [to secure] a ceasefire.”
Gaza health officials said at least 184 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in eight days of fighting, the worst Israel-Palestinian flare-up in two years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose security Cabinet voted 6-2 earlier yesterday to accept the truce, had cautioned that Jerusalem would respond strongly if rockets continued to fly.
As the Israeli strikes resumed, an Israeli official, said: “The prime minister and the defense minister have ordered the Israeli armed forces to take powerful action against terrorist targets in Gaza.”
CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT: A new committee would investigate a backlog of US weapons sales to Taiwan, said its chairman, US Representative Mike Gallagher The US should formally recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, and end its outdated and counterproductive “one China” policy, US Representative Tom Tiffany and 18 other US lawmakers wrote in a petition. “It is time to change the status quo and recognize the reality denied by the US government for decades: Taiwan is an independent nation,” Tiffany told the Epoch Times. “As our long-standing and valued partner, correctly acknowledging their independence from communist China is long overdue.” The resolution also asks the administration of US President Joe Biden to support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations and to negotiate a bilateral free-trade
The Pentagon is preparing for US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy to visit Taiwan later this year, Punchbowl News reported on Monday, citing an official directly involved in the talks. US administration officials anticipate McCarthy would visit Taiwan some time in the spring, the report said. McCarthy had previously pledged to visit Taiwan if he became House speaker. He was elected speaker earlier this month. He had also said that he would have liked to join then-US House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s delegation when she visited Taiwan in August last year. Pelosi’s 19-hour visit to Taipei marked the first time in 25 years
Taiwan’s Chou Chieh-yu (周婕妤) was crowned the Kamui WPA Women’s World 9-Ball Champion after shutting out British pool titan Allison Fisher 9-0 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the organizers said on Sunday. Following the championship win at Harrah’s Resort and Casino Atlantic City, Chou pocketed US$30,000 and became the first female competitor to hold both the 9-ball and 10-ball world titles since Briton Kelly Fisher in 2012. Chou, 36, won the Predator World Women’s 10-Ball Championship in Austria in September last year after clinching a silver medal at last year’s World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, in July. “I’m very excited and it’s like
JOINT OPERATIONS: Participating in the IMET program, which offers professional training and education to military personnel, would boost Taiwan’s defense capabilities The US government is appropriating funding to help Taiwan participate in its International Military Education & Training (IMET) program to enhance interoperability and capabilities for joint operations of the Taiwanse and US militaries. The funding for Taiwan’s participation in the program is mentioned in the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023, a US$1.7 trillion spending bill funding the US federal government for the fiscal year 2023. It covers funding for military support for Ukraine, defense spending and regions affected by natural disasters. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) told the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that IMET is an important US