Israeli spokesman Mark Regev explained to CNN that the reason fighting had resumed in Gaza Wednesday was Hamas had openly rejected a humanitarian ceasefire request and resumed firing at Israel.
"The truth is we announced earlier today a humanitarian ceasefire," Regev said. "We did that in coordination with the United Nations at their request. The trouble is Hamas rejected it and then continued to shoot. A ceasefire means not just [an] Israel ceasefire. A ceasefire means that Hamas must cease fire too, and if rockets continue to be shot at our cities and so forth, of course, that means the ceasefire has become null and void and so we have restarted operations."
@ This Hour host John Berman asked Regev whether Israel needed to do more to protect children and civilians in Gaza after an attack on a U.N. school killed 19.
"We are making a maximum effort to try to be as targeted as possible in a difficult combat environment," Regev said. "But the question that has to be asked is why has a U.N. facility been turned into a combat zone, and the answer is clear. Hamas has had a deliberate policy of abusing U.N. facilities, not because Mark Regev says so … You have a consistent pattern of behavior by Hamas to abuse U.N. neutrality, to abuse U.N. humanitarian work, and we've seen three documented cases where Hamas has stored rockets at U.N. facilities, rockets that are ultimately shot at Israel."
The Washington Free Beacon has reported on Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and its allies, and its policy of ordering Gaza civilians to remain in their houses if they're about to be bombed by Israelis, turning them into human shields. Also, nearly 100 U.S. lawmakers will petition the U.N. this week to formally designate the Hamas rocket arsenal as "an impenetrable barrier to regional peace" and to make their removal from the Gaza Strip a "top priority," according to a copy of the unsent letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.