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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Israeli Cabinet accepted a ceasefire agreement proposed by Egypt, as Hamas rejected it

Israeli aerial strikes in Gaza
(Image: Haaretz)
Israeli military Operation Protective Edge aimed at elimination of Hamas militant activity in the region and restoring security continues for the second week in Gaza, despite the growing international pressure and high death toll in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Hamas in its turn continue its rocket strikes of Israeli territory including major cities such as Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Haifa and others. Southern Israeli cities also suffer from the Hamas rocket fire, and the reports stated that the resort city of Eilat, just on the border with Egypt, was hit by the Hamas rockets on Tuesday morning, leaving several people injured. Many of the rockets are being intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile systems protecting Israeli cities, that is why Israel didn’t suffer the great destruction and casualties, as it happens in Gaza.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
(Image: Al-Ahram)
Gaza’s death toll increases rapidly with every day of the military operation, as the enclave is densely populated, and Hamas military objects and rocket launchers are being stationed in the residential areas, so the Israeli aerial strikes cause that much damage and deaths in Gaza. Gaza’s Emergency Service and Health Ministry reported more than 190 people killed and more than 1300 injured in the Israeli military operation.

Egypt, which brokered the ceasefire deal and truce between Hamas and Israel during the 2012 crisis, has proposed a ceasefire agreement for the sides on Monday, 14 July. The agreement states that all the hostilities, violence and fire must be stopped by the beginning of Tuesday, 15 July. Israeli military should stop its military operation in the air, on the ground and on the sea, the same as Hamas militant wing and all the Palestinian factions in Gaza should also halt the violence and stop firing Israel with rockets. Special negotiation’s team consisting of the representatives of Israeli and Palestinian officials should head then to Cairo for the talks in order to resolve the deepening crisis and to stop the violence from the both sides. Egypt is ready to mediate, so that the sides shouldn’t talk directly, but through the mediators only. Egypt in its turn is ready to reopen its Rafah border crossing with Gaza for the civilians seeking medical assistance and help.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Image: Twitter)
The ceasefire agreement proposed by Egypt was discussed by the Israeli government early in the morning of Tuesday, 15 July, and it was supported by the Israeli government and Defense Ministry. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, voted for accepting the agreement and stated Israel is ready for this step. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his political power Fatah also accepted the ceasefire and are ready for the talks.

Hamas stated earlier that it will likely accept this agreement proposed by Egypt, but Hamas military wing, Ezzeddine Al-Qassam Brigades, declared on Tuesday that they reject this ceasefire agreement, as nobody provided them with the full text of the agreement terms and that this agreement is nothing but “kneeling and submission”. Thus, the fight will continue and intensify, as the Egypt proposed ceasefire is not serious without the real truce.

Hamas head in Gaza, Khaled Meshaal
(Image: Wikipedia)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his turn stated on Tuesday that in case Hamas will reject the ceasefire and will continue its fight, Israel will increase and intensify its military operation in Gaza until the goals will be reached. Though, there are the reports that Hamas is still considering the possibility of accepting the ceasefire and will announce its decision later on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Arab League members have gathered in Cairo to discuss the situation in Gaza and to work on the resolving of this crisis. USA State Secretary John Kerry is heading to Cairo to participate in the talks regarding Israeli military operation in Gaza, as USA is also ready to mediate and to broker the truce.