Israel Rejects Kerry's Ceasefire Proposal
Israel rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza on Friday evening.
According to reports in the Israeli media, the Cabinet which met on the issue unanimously voted to reject the proposal.
"The security cabinet has unanimously rejected the ceasefire proposal of Kerry, as it stands," Channel 1 News reported, adding that ministers would continue discussing it.
According to Channel 10 News, even though the ceasefire proposal was rejected, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would still prefer to avoid an extensive ground operation in Gaza at this time.
Earlier on Friday, the London-based Al Hayat newspaper reported that Hamas had agreed to a five-day "humanitarian ceasefire" on terms suggested by Kerry.
Kerry's proposal reportedly includes some of the unprecedented terms proposed by Hamas leaders, but not all. According to the daily, the truce would not see any terrorists released, despite Hamas's demands.
An official involved in the negotiations for a ceasefire told The New York Times earlier Friday that Kerry has proposed a two-stage plan that would first impose a weeklong truce starting Sunday.
As soon as the truce took effect, Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials would begin negotiations on the principal economic, political and security concerns about Gaza, with other nations attending.
It was not clear if the final plan would be endorsed by Hamas, noted The New York Times.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal declared on Wednesday that Israel must accept his list of unprecedented conditions for a ceasefire in order for any truce to be declared.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)