Tunnel Attack Leaves Five Israeli Soldier’s Dead, Then, Another Truce Offer[Update]

The Israel-Hamas conflict has been heating up in recent days with back and forth retaliations. This conflict is an extension of the Israel-Palestine conflict that has spanned, at least, 17 US presidents. The conflict changed when the organization known as Hamas, entered the game and became the unofficial spokesperson for the Palestinians.

In most recent weeks, the violence has escalated exponentially with the discovery of tunnels, used by Hamas, to covertly enter Israel to perform attacks across the border from Gaza. As reported by The Inquisitr, these same tunnels were made by cement provided to Palestinians in the Gaza strip by Israel last year. The report went on to state the start of the initial concerns regarding the tunnel:

In September 2013, it resumed allowing construction materials into Gaza, but cut off the supplies a month later after the discovery of a ‘terror tunnel.’ The passageway, which crossed from Gaza into Israel, contained explosives, and was constructed using some 500 tons of cement, according to a military spokesman.

Credit: Israeli Defense Forces

The Daily Caller, and other media outlets report, that the newest offensive began after the IDF was made aware of a planned Hamas attack on September 24. This day marks the beginning of a major Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah.

Tuesday morning, the British ITV reported that Hamas militants crossed over from Gaza into Nahal Oz near the border, and were engaged in a fire fight with Israeli Defense Forces. As a result of the altercation, five Israeli soldiers died. ITV went on to report a statement put out by the Israeli military:

(The) soldiers were killed during combat when terrorists attempted to execute an attack using a tunnel shaft, which led from the Gaza Strip to Nahal Oz. The soldiers thwarted the attempt by identifying the squad and neutralising one of the terrorists,” the military said in a statement.

Several hours after the latest altercation, and after Israel reportedly struck the empty home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas through the Palestinian Liberation Organization requested a Three day truce. The truce was requested by PLO chief Yasser Abed Rabbo. According to The Wire, this is the third unilateral truce put forward over the last day or so. Unfortunately, the truce request was short-lived. At 4:21 pm, Israeli time, The Times Of Israel reported:

Hamas is expressing willingness for a 24-hour truce, but doesn’t know when it would begin, if at all, and is reluctant to make a public statement to that effect. In the meantime, its spokespeople have rejected PA claims that a truce has been declared. Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s politburo chief in Qatar, has announced that Hamas is ready for a 24-hour truce. This message was transmitted to Israel.

Avi Issacharoff

At this time, All reports suggest, fighting is continuing in the region and no reports of Israel’s response to the truce or whether fighting will actually cease.

Late Tuesday, Al Jazeera America reported that Hamas refuses to a truce or cease fire unless Israel calls off siege. This came from an audio statement played on Al Aqsa TV, of a Qassambrigades commander Mohammad Deif. The Arab news outlet went on to report:

Deif said the ‘balance of power’ had changed during Israel’s three-week invasion of Gaza, which began with air raids before Israel sent in ground forces, first to stop Hamas rocket fire and then to destroy tunnels dug by fighters.

‘What the air force and your artillery shelling has failed to accomplish, will not be accomplished by ground forces,’ said Deif. ‘You are sending your soldiers to a definite slaughterhouse, God willing.’

At this time, Israel has not responded to this statement and fighting continues to this hour in the region.