Amos Gilad, the former IDF general who was a member of the Israeli negotiating team that worked on the Gaza ceasefire, said Thursday that the indirect negotiation process between Israel and Hamas was one of the most “tiring” experiences he had ever been through.
“You sit for hours in a room, waiting for the minor changes made by either Hamas or the Egyptians to the agreement, many of them designed to trick you into making a bad deal,” Gilad said of the process. Negotiations took place in a Gaza hotel, with Israeli and Hamas terror officials sequestered in different rooms. Egyptian officials ferried proposals and changes to the deal between both sides, who never met face to face.
“For Hamas, Israel does not exist,” Gilad said on Channel Two Thursday morning. “Even if I wanted to conduct direct talks with them, they wouldn't accept this. We also did not speak with members of the Palestinian Authority delegation. Everything was done by the Egyptians,” Gilad said.
Gazans had nothing to celebrate, Gilad added. As one who was privy to the negotiations and the full text of the ceasefire, Gilad said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was right when he said that Hamas had not gained anything in the deal. “There is no connection between reality and the celebrations in Gaza. Hamas agreed to a deal because we broke them militarily, not for any other reason. In the end, Hamas did not get anything, and agreed to the deal against its will.”