Foreign media reports that Egypt has successfully brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are untrue, government officials told Israeli media Thursday afternoon.
Israel had agreed to a five-hour humanitarian truce beginning Thursday morning. During that time, senior Israeli officials traveled to Cairo to take part in ceasefire talks. Jerusalem had already accepted an Egyptian truce proposal earlier in the week, but Hamas rejected the motion.
Gaza’s terrorist rulers insist that they have won this war, and that Israel must pay a price if it wants the rocket and missile attacks to cease. A 10-year truce proposal reportedly put forward by Hamas on Wednesday demanded that Israel pull its forces far back from the Gaza border, release all terrorists recently rounded up following the abduction and execution of three Jewish boys, end the blockade of Gaza and build an airport and sea port in Gaza.
With such terms on the table, many found it hard to believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given a green light to the kind of ceasefire deal Hamas would accept.
Earlier in the week, senior Israeli officials had signaled they were no longer interested in a ceasefire, and that the Gaza conflict could only end with Hamas’ surrender.
Former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz went a step further, and put forward a proposal for the terror group’s demilitarization, assuming it is truly interested first and foremost in nation-building, as some of Israel’s detractors claim.
Mofaz’s plan, in short, offers Hamas $50 billion in foreign investment in Gaza in exchange for giving up its arsenal of rockets and missiles, which at any rate represent a gross violation of Israel’s signed peace agreements with the Palestinians.
When Israel agreed to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal on Tuesday, Netanyahu suggested that it was in line with Mofaz’s thinking: “We agreed to the Egyptian proposal in order to give an opportunity for the demilitarization of the [Gaza] Strip — from missiles, from rockets and from tunnels — through diplomatic means.”