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Netanyahu Considering Imminent Hamas Ceasefire

PM discusses with senior security officials, as Egypt waits for an Israeli answer on month-long truce proposed to start tonight.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/25/2014, 9:30 PM

Binyamin Netanyahu, Moshe Ya'alon
Binyamin Netanyahu, Moshe Ya'alon
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz as well as other senior security officials on Monday night, to discuss a proposed month-long ceasefire with Hamas.

A diplomatic source told Walla! that Egypt gave Israel a detailed document outlining the ceasefire, adding that the Nile state is interested in a long-term ceasefire beginning Monday night, and that it is waiting for responses from all parties.

The Israeli delegation and Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas and Islamic Jihad delegations will return to Egypt to discuss the length of the ceasefire if all sides agree, added the source, noting that it remains unclear if Israel will agree.

The last ceasefire was breached by Hamas last Tuesday. In the increasingly fierce rocket and mortar barrages on Israel since then numerous Israelis have been seriously wounded, and four-year-old Daniel Tragerman hy''d was murdered by mortar fire in his Kibbutz Nahal Oz home.

An Egyptian source told the Palestinian Arab Ma'an news agency that "we are getting closer to a ceasefire tonight," as cited by Walla!. Other senior Egyptian sources added that they are waiting for an Israeli response to the proposal.

The proposal would include the full removal of the Gaza blockade, the extension of the Gaza fishing zone which was limited for security reasons, as well as opening the Gaza crossings to the passage of people and funds.

What Israel would receive in the deal remains to be specified, as the main Israeli demand to demilitarize Gaza has been postponed until later talks, along with the Hamas demand for a Gaza sea and airport.

The Egyptian sources claimed that Israel had given its blessings to the ceasefire proposal, and in principle agreed to the ceasefire, and that likewise the Palestinian Arab delegations had consented as well.

Agreeing to a loss?

Earlier on Monday, Israeli security officials said that the government is set to accept the long-term ceasefire for an undefined period, which is to last no less than a month.

Likewise Islamic Jihad official Khaled al-Battash said in a press conference that a long-term ceasefire would be coming into effect "within hours." However, Hamas said it would not accept the ceasefire, demanding the conditions of sea and airports be fulfilled first.

The previous Egyptian truce proposal was countered by a Palestinian Arab amended version that included terrorist releases and numerous other hidden caveats.

Israel's leadership has come under criticism by some for negotiating with the Hamas terrorist organization without taking decisive military action against it, and in general for not entering Operation Protective Edge with clearly defined goals.

Barak Seener, an Associate fellow at Britain's Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, told Arutz Sheva on Monday that Israel is “choosing not to win” the war in Gaza, saying the Jewish state "should not subject itself to norms and procedures that no military of any western liberal democracy would ever consider."