Hamas member claims offer was not discussed with any of the Gaza factions; armed wing promises to intensify fight.
While Israel’s security cabinet decided to accept the Egyptian ceasefire initiative on Tuesday morning, Hamas’ armed wing rejected the offer completely, saying it was “a surrender” to Israel.
Yisrael Beiteinu chairman, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, voted against accepting the ceasefire proposal, as did Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett. Voting in favor of the offer were Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and ministers Gilad Erdan and Yitzhak Aharonovich.
The ceasefire started at 9am Israel local time, in effect bringing Operation Protective Edge to an end after 8 days. However, Hamas has yet to agree to the truce.
Egyptian paper Al-Youm Al-Sabee purported to publish the details of the deal on Monday night. According to the report in Arabic, Israel will stop its aerial and naval attacks on Gaza, specifically refraining from any ground incursion into the Strip.
Hamas for their part will rein in the Palestinian factions, and work to put an end to all types of attacks on Israel, including by rockets, sea or even underground tunnels; specifically attacks on civilians and the border region between Gaza and Israel.
According to the report, the two sides also agreed to increase the flow of goods into Gaza, as well as the gradual opening of the crossings into Gaza, in return for calm. However, further details regarding security arrangements are still supposed to be discussed.
“If the offer is what was reported, then this is surrender. We’ll intensity our fight against the enemy,” the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.
Hamas spokesman Fauzi Barhum said that the Egyptian ceasefire offer was unacceptable.
“A ceasefire without an agreement is out of the question. During a war, you don’t hold your fire and only then start negotiating,” he said.
Hamas political bureau member Ezzat Rishq claimed that the Egyptian initiative was not discussed with Hamas, Islamic Jihad or one of the other factions in the Strip.
Hamas official Osama Hamdan added the Egyptian initiative was a “joke.”
“We did not receive this declared paper from the Egyptians … which means it’s an initiative for the media. It’s not a political initiative,” he told CNN.
The initiative was meant to “push the Palestinians into a corner and aid the Israelis.”
Members of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own coalition, including some from his own Likud party, slammed the ceasefire offer as “capitulation” on Monday night.
Deputy Security Minister Danny Danon (Likud) voiced disapproval of the Egyptian brokered ceasefire proposal saying, “A ceasefire is a slap in the face for the Israeli people.”
Likud MK Miri Regev also responded to the reports on the deal, saying, “I call on the prime minister not to agree to a ceasefire and to make a military decision that will weaken Hamas through action in the air, land and sea.”
According to her, “This window of opportunity won’t return and any ceasefire with Hamas will allow the organization to return to power.”
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