Israeli War Cabinet Votes Unanimously to Continue War in Rafah, Reopen Talks

IDF tank (IDF)

The Israeli war cabinet voted unanimously on Monday to continue the attack on Hamas’s last stronghold in Rafah — while also sending diplomats to Cairo, Egypt in an effort to explore whether Hamas is really interested in ceasefire.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office posted on Twitter / X (with some translation via Google Translate):

Prime Minister’s Office:

The War Cabinet unanimously decided that Israel continues the operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas in order to promote the release of our hostages and the other goals of the war.

At the same time, although the Hamas proposal is far from Israel’s necessary requirements, Israel will send a delegation of working-level mediators to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement under conditions acceptable to Israel.

The war cabinet’s decision came after Hamas announced that it had agreed to a ceasefire — under terms that Israel said were not on the table. That, in turn, came after Israel began warning residents of Rafah to begin to evacuate.

The White House seized on the news of Hamas’s “agreement” — though national security spokesman John Kirby could not tell reporters what was in the agreement, nor could he say whether the “ceasefire” was a “trick” by Hamas.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced: “The IDF is currently conducting targeted strikes against Hamas terror targets in eastern Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Details to follow.”

Social media sources reported a combined air and ground attack on eastern Rafah, which appeared to have taken locals by surprise, even as Hamas broadcast images and video of celebrations in Rafah at the so-called “ceasefire,” which Israel had not actually acknowledged.

Palestinians celebrate in a street in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, after Hamas announced it has accepted a truce proposal on May 6, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on May 6, informed mediators Qatar and Egypt that his Palestinian militant group had accepted their proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza after nearly seven months of war. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The apparent contradictions in the Israeli stance recalled the words of the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin: “We must fight terrorism as if there’s no peace process, and work to achieve peace as if there’s no terror.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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