Israel and Hamas Deny Reports of Ceasefire Agreement, Talks Still Ongoing
Tel Aviv, Israel-- Officials from both Israel and Hamas have said that there has not been an agreement on terms of a ceasefire, as was reported by multiple international media outlets. However, they said significant progress has been reached towards a long-term truce. The Israeli security cabinet and Hamas officials will meet tonight to talk about the progress in negotiations.
Senior officials from both Hamas and Islamic Jihad told Haaretz that progress has been made in the ongoing negotiations, but a ceasefire agreement has yet to be hammered out.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told diplomats that the reports about the agreed upon ceasefire were “far from reflecting reality.”
Hawkish Economy Minister Naftali Bennett visited Ashkelon, a city that has been constantly under siege throughout the conflict, telling its citizens: “I came here to say thank you. The image that we are getting from you is power. You are giving us the time and strength to act responsibility, but I believe that Hamas’ time is over.”
Just as the five-hour humanitarian truce that had already been violated by Hamas expired at 3:00 p.m. local time, Islamist militants fired rockets into multiple cities in Israel. Rocket barrages were fired into the Israeli cities of Beersheba, Ashkelon, Zikim, Shaar Hanegev, and Eshkol.
Separately, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency For Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) admitted Wednesday that twenty rockets have been found at one of their schools in Gaza. The UN agency has been severely critical of Israel during the ongoing conflict. UNRWA has a documented history of using their facilities to not only promote anti-Israel and anti-Jewish propaganda. They also have in the past been accused of aiding and abetting radical jihadists in Gaza.