Israel Enters 7-Hour Humanitarian Ceasefire, Hamas Rejects

Israel Enters 7-Hour Humanitarian Ceasefire, Hamas Rejects

MEVASERET, Israel — Israel announced late Sunday it would enter into a seven-hour humanitarian ceasefire at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, in which the IDF would hold its fire in most of the Gaza Strip to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and Palestinians to return to their homes. 

Israel said it would continue to operate in the southern Gaza town of Rafah and warned retaliation if attacked any time during the ceasefire window.

According to the Jerusalem Post, a Hamas spokesman told Al-Aqsa television that the ceasefire “was meant to divert world attention from the massacres committed by the occupation” and that Hamas would continue to engage.

An Israeli diplomat told the Post he was not surprised Hamas refused to comply, after the terrorist group previously broke a ceasefire Friday with a suicide attack that killed three IDF soldiers, including missing soldier Lt. Hadar Goldin.

“There is a feeling among those who put in a lot of effort that Hamas is not serious,” he said. “It is difficult to see them as a party to the ceasefire.”

Meanwhile, a Palestinian delegation consisting of Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad was in Cairo Sunday to present a list of demands for a ceasefire to the Egyptian government. According to the Times of Israel, these demands include the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip, the opening of border crossings, the lifting of the Gaza blockade, the opening up of fishing activities up to twelve miles from the coast, and the release of all Palestinian prisoners captured since the murder of three Israeli teenagers three weeks ago.

Hamas is also reportedly demanding the reopening of the Gaza airport, the elimination of “buffer zones” along the border with Israel, and free passage between the West Bank and Gaza.

Experts say Israel is unlikely to head to Cairo to negotiate on the Palestinians’ demands, particularly because there are so many, and they closely mirror the demands made in failed negotiations with Turkey and Qatar early in the conflict.