Monday, July 14, 2014

Hamas Rejects Proposed Egyptian Ceasefire; Rockets Hit Eilat, Ashkelon

While Israel accepted the ceasefire proposed by Egypt, Hamas has rejected it :

Hamas rejected Egypt’s proposed ceasefire in Gaza on Monday night, as Arab foreign ministers in Cairo called on "all parties" to accept the proposal.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the group would not accept a truce without a fully-fledged deal to end hostilities, according to AFP.

"A ceasefire without reaching an agreement is rejected. In times of war, you don't cease fire and then negotiate," he told the news agency.

Barhoum added Hamas had not received any official proposal and that "the weapons of the resistance are a red line."

Earlier Monday night, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the group would not agree to any ceasefire that does not “meet the demands of the Palestinian people.”

“Today we are facing an important stage in the conflict with the Israeli occupation. Years of a blockade did not prevent our resistance from taking all possible measures to protect the Palestinian people,” he added.

“The Zionist enemy forced the war on us and planned it. Today we are fulfilling our duty to protect our people and our honor," declared Haniyeh.

Meanwhile, the Arab foreign ministers said in a statement they "demand all parties concerned accept the Egyptian initiative" and commit to its terms.

The armed wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades likewise rejected the proposed ceasefire:

As the security cabinet (ed. note - meaning Israel's) started discussing the Egyptian ceasefire initiative on Tuesday morning, Hamas' armed wing rejected the initiative completely, saying it was "a surrender" to Israel

"If the offer is what was reported, then this is surrender. We'll intensity our fight against the enemy," the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement.

Hamas spokesman Fauzi Barhum said that the Egyptian ceasefire offer was unacceptable.

"A ceasefire without an agreement is out of the question. During a war, you don't hold your fire and only then start negotiating," he said.

Hamas political bureau member Ezzat Rishq claimed that the Egyptian initiative was not discussed with Hamas, Islamic Jihad or one of the other factions in the Strip.

Hamas official Osama Hamdan added the Egyptian initiative was a "joke."

"We did not receive this declared paper from the Egyptians ... which means it's an initiative for the media. It's not a political initiative," he told CNN.

The initiative was meant to "push the Palestinians into a corner and aid the Israelis."

This is an example of the spin Hamas and its groupies will use if there is a ceasefire to claim 'victory' over Israel, as I mentioned earlier.

The ceasefire, if both sides had approved it was due to start at 9 Am Israeli time. It's 9:20 AM there now, and as I mentioned, rockets just hit Eilat, blew up a parked car and injured several people. It remains to be seen if Netanyahu is willing to sit back and impose the non-existent ceasefire on the IDF for awhile. Rockets were also fired at Ashkelon.

As I expected, only Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Economic Minister Naftali Bennett voted against the proposed ceasefire. They deserve a great deal of credit for seeing things as they are.

Now there's no need now to discuss a ceasefire any further. Hamas just did Israel a huge favor and the people it rules a major disservice. Time to get the ground assault  going and finish Hamas off.

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