Report: Gaza Ceasefire 'Within Hours'
A ceasefire between Israel and Gaza could go into effect “within several hours”, according to a Monday night report by the Al-Arabiya network.
The report said that the forum of nine senior Israeli ministers was expected to approve an initial outline for a ceasefire with Hamas.
According to the outline offered by Egypt and described in the report, Israel will stop the air strikes on Gaza and stop the targeted killings of senior members of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, in exchange for a complete cessation of the rocket fire into Israel.
The outline also says that if the ceasefire lasts for a period of 24 hours, Israel will consider steps to ease the naval blockade on Gaza.
In addition, the report said, Egypt will guarantee the ceasefire agreement and when it is signed, it will be in the presence of President Mohammed Morsi or another senior official sent on his behalf.
The nine ministers convened late Monday night to discuss the ceasefire proposal, according to a radio news broadcast. No further details were provided by the Israeli media regarding the discussion.
Earlier in the day, the Israeli government warned Gaza's terrorist organizations they had 36 hours in which to stop raining rocket fire on its families – or the country's Pillar of Defense ("Amud Anan" in Hebrew) counter terror offensive would be expanded to the next level.
The operation entered its sixth day on Monday, as the IDF attacked dozens of targets in Gaza, including hidden launchers, terrorist training camps, weapons storage sites and police stations belonging to Hamas.
Also on Monday, IDF planes targeted and eliminated four senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists.
The four were eliminated in a joint operation of the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). They were in a multi-storied apartment building, but were killed in a pinpointed "surgical" attack that did not hit any of the international media representatives whose offices are in the building. The four had holed up there thinking that Israel would refrain from bombing a building with media offices.
On Sunday night, the IDF bombed a Gaza City soccer field that camouflaged a Hamas underground missile launching site it used to attack Tel Aviv last Friday.
Covering an underground missile site with a soccer field is part of Hamas's strategy to use civilian sites as shields for terrorist activities.