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As temporary truce breaks down, Israeli police stop car with explosives near Jerusalem

July 27, 2014 at 5:43 PM EDT
Israel resumed its attacks in Gaza on Sunday after Hamas rejected a cease-fire offer. Hamas later offered its own temporary truce. Amid the breakdown of the temporary cease-fire, Israeli police say they stopped a car filled with explosives at a checkpoint near Jerusalem. Ruth Eglash of the Washington Post joins Hari Sreenivasan via Skype from Jerusalem.

HARI SREENIVASAN: For the latest from Israel we’re joined tonight from Jerusalem via Skype by Ruth Eglash of the Washington Post. So, what’s the latest?

RUTH EGLASH: Yeah, well it’s been a very up and down and day. This morning it looked like there was a ceasefire and it was holding for a little bit, even though there was still rocket fire coming from Gaza into Israel.

The Israeli government had ordered the military not to respond up until mid-morning and at that point the rockets just kept on coming and the government decided to instruct the military to continue on pounding Gaza with its airstrikes and from the sea. And also to continue searching and destroying tunnels that had been discovered under the ground between Israel and Gaza.

At around two o’clock today there was some word that Hamas was seeking a ceasefire and that proposal by Hamas was rejected by Israel. And then, overall the ceasefire attempts by the US—US Secretary of State John Kerry—has been as far as I know rejected, flatly rejected by the Israeli government here.

HARI SREENIVASAN: We’ve also heard that there have been attempts at infiltration along the border with Gaza

RUTH EGLASH: That’s been ongoing for the last three weeks. There has been—pretty much every few days—infiltration attempts, soldiers discovering tunnels inside the Gaza Strip, and militants managing to go through those tunnels and come out into Israel. That’s been pretty much constant for the last three weeks.

HARI SREENIVASAN: We’ve also heard that there was an attempted infiltration into Israel from the West Bank today.

RUTH EGLASH: Yes, I received around midday an update from the army that said a car carrying explosives had been stopped at a checkpoint near Jerusalem. The suspect was apprehended and the car was taken in for further investigation.

I don’t have any more details on that incident at this time but there has been large amounts of protests in the West Bank over the last few days and at least nine Palestinians killed during clashes with the Israeli security forces in the West Bank.

HARI SREENIVASAN: We’ve seen a couple of clips and images and videos of peace rallies in cities like Tel Aviv—is this gaining any traction? We also see social media campaigns as well.

RUTH EGLASH: Yeah, these have been happening since the beginning. There was always a small number of people in Israel who were speaking out against the war, saying that it wasn’t going to achieve anything.

Last night possibly was the biggest rally in Tel Aviv, roughly 3,000 people attended, and that rally was cut short when Hamas fired rockets towards Tel Aviv and the sirens went off in Tel Aviv forcing people to go into bomb shelters. But there is a consistent voice here but it’s very very small.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Ruth Eglash of the Washington Post joining us via Skype from Jerusalem this evening. Thanks so much.

RUTH EGLASH: You’re welcome.