Six-Month Ceasefire Announced…But Then There Was None

“I am all peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” Psalms 120:7 (The Israel Bible™)

Israeli Media reported on Monday that Hamas agreed to a six-month ceasefire but just a few hours later, Hamas denied that any agreement had been reached.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported in its Monday evening broadcast that an Egyptian-brokered agreement was reached between Israel and Hamas for a six-month cessation of hostilities along the Gaza border. Times of Israel reported that the agreement included “a Hamas obligation to halt violent incidents along the border fence, maintaining a buffer zone 300 meters from the border; an end to the launching of incendiary balloons at Israeli communities and nighttime clashes between Gazans and security forces; and a stop to flotillas trying to break through the maritime border between Gaza and Israel.”

“In return, Israel will once again allow fishing at up to 15 nautical miles off Gaza’s coast, enable United Nations cash-for-work programs, allow medicine and other civil aid to enter the Strip and open negotiations on matters relating to electricity, crossings, healthcare, and funds.”

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The report claimed that the agreement had a clause that if calm is held for six months, work would proceed on a more permanent ceasefire that would include the return of the bodies of two IDF soldiers killed in the 2014 incursion into Gaza that are currently held by Hamas and the release of two Israeli civilians held in Gaza.

In the last year, countless thousands of aerial incendiary devices launched from Gaza have burned thousands of acres of agricultural fields and nature preserves. Violent riots have challenged the security fence with burning tires, rock-throwing, explosive devices, and Hamas snipers. Several rounds of rockets have been fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas into Israeli cities, the most recent taking place earlier this month, totaling nearly 700 projectiles and killing four people.

In point of fact, hostilities continue unabated on Israel’s southern border. Palestinians recognized Nakba (catastrophe) day last Wednesday on May 15, commemorating when Israel declared independence in 1948. Hamas health officials reported that some 60 Gazans were wounded as 10,000 rioters clashed with IDF troops n Nakba day. At least nine fires were caused by incendiary devices launched from Gaza.

The Prime Minister’s office denied the existence of a ceasefire, issuing a statement saying simply, “There are no new understandings with Hamas.” The statement went on to describe the ongoing efforts to return the bodies of the two soldiers.

Hamas also denied there was a ceasefire.  Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Bahroum made a statement on Monday night.

“What was agreed by Egyptian, Qatari and international mediation between the resistance [Palestinian armed groups] and the occupation is a temporary ceasefire as long as the occupation implements all understandings,” Bahrouns statement read.

The popular resistance committees, an umbrella organization for Palestinian terrorist groups, also issued a statement on Tuesday morning.

“There is no de-escalation with the occupation and the Israeli report about it is misleading,” the statement said.