Late last night, Israel offered to extend a humanitarian truce that had held for much of Saturday. Hamas rejected it and resumed firing rockets through the night. On Sunday, after the Israeli Defense Forces started their counterattack, Hamas changed its mind.
From the Times:
Then, on Sunday afternoon, Hamas backtracked on its earlier rejection of the temporary cease-fire and said the “resistance groups” would agree to a 24-hour truce starting at 2 p.m. local time.
A Hamas official in Gaza released a statement saying that Hamas’s decision came “in response to the intervention of the United Nations” and out of understanding for the people of Gaza who are preparing for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that ends Ramadan.
Israel has reportedly rejected that ceasefire. From Haaretz:
Israel rejects UN and Hamas proposal for a humanitarian pause in fighting in the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli official says.
In an interview for CNN, Prime Minister Netanyahu accuses Hamas of offering a cease-fire on the one hand, and continuing to fire rockets on the other.
While the United Nations and international leaders attempt to get Israel and Hamas, along with the other terrorist groups in Gaza, to stop fighting (at least in the short-term), diplomats are continuing to have a difficult time ironing out a long-term political solution that will please both sides.
Hamas previously rejected an Egyptian ceasefire proposal that didn't include the broad lifting of Israel's blockade of Gaza, ensuring it of, at least, a public relations victory and the easing of goods and people into and out of Gaza.
Israel, beset by rocket fire, isn't keen on the idea of loosening the blockade and prefers to return to the ceasefire conditions that ended the last round of hostilities in 2012. Israel, along with the Palestinian Authority, reportedly voiced opposition to a ceasefire drafted on Friday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of Turkey and Qatar because it was said to be too tilted toward Hamas' demands.
In the meantime, the fighting goes on.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.