Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hamas rejects Egypt ceasefire plan for Gaza, "It was not worth the ink it was written with."


By Charlotte Armstrong - July 15, 2014
TAGS:
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [Operation Protective Edge] [Gaza]

 A rocket targets northern Gaza after Israeli military requested civilians evacuate on Sunday | Reuters

 

Hamas’ military wing has rejected an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, according to its official website. In a military statement issued on Tuesday, the Qassam Brigades said that it was not consulted over the terms of a truce deal “by any official or unofficial entities...the battle will continue.”

The Arab foreign ministers met in Cairo hours after the Egyptian government floated a truce proposal to halt the conflict, which has claimed 192 Palestinian lives to date.  At the emergency meeting held on Monday evening, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri asked Arab foreign ministers to support the ceasefire.

The initiative had set a deadline for 0900 GMT on Tuesday, but Shoukri told the ministers it would go into effect whenever Egyptian mediators received “a commitment by both sides to stop hostilities.” 

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the Egyptian ceasefire proposal overnight, and called on all Palestinian factions to accept it “in order to stop the bloodshed and protect the national interests of the Palestinian people.” He went on to express that the initiative would "pave the way to a diplomatic effort that would lead to an end to the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state."

Israel’s security cabinet met Tuesday morning and, after a 6-2 vote in favour, accepted the terms of the ceasefire. In accordance with this acceptance, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner stated that the Israeli military were holding fire. “We remain alert and preserve high preparedness levels, both defensive and offensive. If the Hamas terror organization will fire at Israel, we shall respond,” he said. 

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Khaled al-Batch, a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad armed group, said that the group welcomed “Egypt's role and efforts to end the Israeli aggression and defend the Palestinian people,” but will not accept the ceasefire without conditions.

 

“It is not acceptable to start observing a ceasefire for short term then negotiate the terms. We have experienced this in the past and it has failed,” he said. “What is needed now is to agree on the demands of the Palestinian people, chiefly ending the siege and opening the border crossing, then a zero hour can be agreed upon. Otherwise, history will repeat itself, period.”

 

As proof of their rejection, Hamas has reportedly fired 47 rockets at Israel since 0900 GMT, the time that the truce was meant to start.  

 

The terms of the ceasefire, however, have come under criticism with Mya Guarnieri, a Jerusalem-based journalist, questioning how “Hamas can possibly accept a ceasefire it wasn’t consulted on and especially one that would mean a return to the status quo, including the blockade that the United Nations calls collective “punishment”?”

 

Guarnieri goes on to label Israel’s acceptance of the ceasefire a “public relations move” and suggests that it could be used to “pave the way for a ground invasion.”

 

According to the IDF spokesperson on Twitter, the Israeli army have now resumed their operation against Hamas.  

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