collapse of a cease-fire

Last Thursday evening, a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Gaza was supposed to take effect.

Apparently, late Monday night/early Tuesday morning, the Israeli army stormed a residence near An-Najjar University in Nablus and killed two residents, one reportedly an Islamic Jihad member and the other either a member of Hamas (according to Ha'aretz) or a student (according to IMEMC), or both.  IMEMC also reports that five civilians were "kidnapped" by the Israeli army during the incident.

Ha'aretz also reports that late Monday night, a Qassam rocket was fired from Gaza into the Negev, which, if true, would violate the terms of the cease-fire.  I can't find anything to confirm that this happened, or whether it was before or after the raid in Nablus.

Then, later on Tuesday, Islamic Jihad seems to have claimed responsibility for three or four Qassam rockets launched by Hamas into Israel from Gaza.  Ha'aretz is reporting that the Qassams likely come in response to

"the wounding of a Palestinian civilian in northern Gaza on Monday, in a bid to show that Hamas will not stand by as Israel harms Palestinian civilians. The civilian, 68, appears to have been hurt by an errant IDF bullet,"

but the same article reports that

Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the rocket attack, which it said came in response to the death of a senior operative during an Israel Defense Forces raid in Nablus early Tuesday. A Hamas operative who worked with the wanted Jihad man was also killed in the raid. The Israel Defense Forces said troops shot both men to death, and that the Jihad man was armed with a rifle. In addition, four explosive devices and a large quantity of ammunition were found next to the gunmen,"

which refers to the incident in Nablus on Monday night/Tuesday morning.

The Ha'aretz article says that "
an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement was struck between Israel and Hamas last week, but the deal extends to the Gaza Strip only, leaving the IDF free to operate in the West Bank," but Palestinians are reluctant to accept the division between Gaza and the West Bank, saying that the Israeli army can't have a truce with Gaza and still be at war with the West Bank.

So now Gaza's borders are sealed off again, even though open borders were supposed to be a feature of the truce.

Ha'aretz reports that it's because of the Qassams, but now IMEMC is reporting that "
Israeli media sources reported on Tuesday that an senior political official in Israel, close to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, stated on Tuesday that Israel received an Egyptian guarantee to keep the Rafah Border Terminal closed until achieving a prisoner swap deal."

This "prisoner swap" may or may not refer to Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by militants in Gaza 2 years ago.

The reporting is sort of confusing on this...

"On Tuesday at noon, Mubarak and Olmert met in the Egyptian resort of Sharm Al Sheikh, and held talks on the prisoner swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian Resistance, the truce, and the Egyptian role in stopping the flow of arms into the Gaza Strip via the Sinai Peninsula.

"Additionally, an Israeli official stated that the prisoner swap deal was not part of the truce agreement. This statement contradicts the statements of several Israeli officials who claimed that the truce deal included the release of the captured soldier Gilad Shalit.

"The official added that Mubarak vowed to help in pushing forward the prisoner deal, and stated that Egypt vowed to keep the Rafah terminal closed until the issue of Shalit is resolved."

And in other news, a border police officer shot and killed himself with an M-16 at Ben Gurion.  The man was reportedly a member of the Druze community.  No other details are forthcoming at present.