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Hamas officially reported that it did not accept the Egyptian brokered ceasefire because it would require them to recognize the State of Israel. The ceasefire, which was proposed on July 15, has been repeatedly rejected by Hamas.
Hamas’s deputy head, Moussa Abu Marzouk stated that, “Accepting this now would mean that Israel and the US have succeeded in imposing recognition of [Israel’s] legitimate existence on the 1967 borders through a ceasefire initiative; something they have not been able to do through siege and repeated wars.”
He stated, “We believe that the [Egyptian] initiative was drafted to embarrass Hamas. For if Hamas rejects it, that will give Benjamin Netanyahu the green light to strike the Gaza Strip; whereas if Hamas accepts it, that would be as though Hamas surrendered and declared its defeat, since we will have nothing to put on the table and negotiate over. At that point, the Gazans will have lost everything.”
However, Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly agreed to the Egyptian proposed ceasefire, stating on Monday the “Egyptian ceasefire proposal meets all the demands of the Palestinians, including opening the crossings and lifting the siege.”
The United Nations Security Council has called on an “immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire”. The statement released, which was drafted by Jordan “urges all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid (Feast of Breaking the Fast at the end of Ramadan) period and beyond. The Council called on “parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative.”
Israel’s UN envoy, Ron Prosor, criticized the calls for a ceasefire, asking the Council to “not be misled by Hamas’s propaganda. We have grown tired of the vilification and demonization of the only democracy in the Middle East… Hamas is also an extremist Islamist organization, with a jihadist ideology and a mission to eradicate Israel.”
He addressed Hamas’s tunnel network and government funding going to Hamas, stating, “Hamas has abused the hundreds of millions of dollars donated by your governments to build these terror tunnels. Your tax dollars are not being used toward education, civil services, or development. They are being used to develop a terrorist stronghold. The people of the world should be shocked by what we have uncovered in Gaza.”
Prosor defended Israel’s portrayal in the media, stating, “don’t believe the newspapers that claim both sides are equally to blame. We did everything we could to avoid this conflict, but Hamas refused to stop the attacks.”
He then addressed Hamas’s allies and supporters, Iran and Qatar, stating, “Make no mistake- Hamas is not working alone. It is funded by Qatar and Iran. Every rocket flying out of Gaza could bear the imprint ‘courtesy of Iran’ while every terror tunnel could have a sign ‘made possible through a kind donation of the Emir of Qatar’.”
He ended his speech, “Every time the international community calls for a ceasefire, we cease and Hamas fires… Stand with a nation that fights terrorism. Stand with good against evil, and for right against wrong.”
Despite the extension of the humanitarian ceasefire put into place Friday, a rocket was fired into Israel Monday morning, the IDF responding to the rocket fire. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reported that two terror tunnels were destroyed overnight as the IDF continues its “unlimited cease-fire”, meaning Israel will only hit targets when provoked or when terror targets are found
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated Monday that “The occupier is still refusing to a humanitarian lull with regards to the Eid al-Fitr festival. It is a disregard for the feelings of Muslims and their rituals” placing blame on Israel for Hamas’s violations.
Amir Tsarfati is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.