Hamas: No Agreement to Extend Ceasefire
Hamas deputy leader Moussa Abu Marzouk said on Wednesday there has been no agreement to extend a 72-hour ceasefire with Israel that is set to expire on Friday, according to AFP.
"There is no agreement to extend the ceasefire," wrote Abu Marzouk on Twitter. He is part of a Palestinian Authority delegation holding indirect talks with Israel in Cairo, the report noted.
Israel indicated on Wednesday it was prepared to extend the ceasefire as Egyptian mediators pushed for a durable truce, but Hamas was quick to reject that notion, with a spokesman saying that the sides would "resume fighting immediately at the end of the 72-hour ceasefire, at 8:00 am Friday."
Another Hamas official, Ismail Radwan, said that "there is no extension of the truce."
There will be no extension of the ceasefire, he declared, because Hamas “to this moment has not yet received Israel's response to its demands.”
A Palestinian Arab official told AFP members of the delegation had not been notified of Israel's acceptance to prolong the ceasefire.
But Palestinian members of the delegation had earlier on Wednesday described the negotiations as "serious and detailed."
On Wednesday night, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stressed in an international press conference that the IDF stands at the ready in the event the current ceasefire is violated, however.
"We closely monitor the implementation of the ceasefire on the ground, and we are holding position in the event it is violated," he stated. "The army is in the field, with reinforcements, to meet any scenario."
Hamas, meanwhile, has rejected an Israeli demand that terrorists in Gaza disarm.
A senior Hamas official in Cairo said on Tuesday the terrorist group would not even consider laying down its weapons, which include an arsenal of unguided rockets and anti-tank missiles, and issued a stern warning to those who would try to disarm it.
"Whoever tries to take our weapons, we will take his life," said Ezzat al-Rishq on Twitter.