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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Oh well... Hamas denies agreeing to 72-hour cease fire

Earlier this afternoon, the 'Palestinian Authority's Yasser Abd Rabbo (one of the sponsors of the 'Geneva Initiative') announced that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would unilaterally cease fire for 24 hours and that if Israel went along it would be extended to 72 hours. The cease fire was to go into effect immediately.
"After extensive calls and consultations with the brothers in Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian leadership announces on behalf of everyone the willingness for a ceasefire and humanitarian truce for 24 hours," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
"We call on all Arab and international parties to support this ... and hold Israel fully responsible for the consequences of refusing it," he said, reading out a statement.
He added that "there is also a suggestion from the United Nations to extend this truce for 72 hours and we are dealing positively with this suggestion."
The Israeli media fell all over itself to take the 'offer' seriously.
Israeli Channel 2's veteran Arab affairs analyst Ehud Yaari said that Abed Rabbo is "a serious person" and that an announcement of this nature probably has substance behind it. 
There was just one small catch....
There has been no cessation of the fire from Gaza into Israel and from Israel into Gaza so far, however. The IDF has been targeting the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza for the first time and telling residents of the eastern side of Khan Younis to evacuate their homes.
It turns out there was a good reason for that.
However, Hamas spokespersons have denied these reports and said they do not agree with this announcement and that a cease-fire cannot exist when Israeli forces are inside Gaza.

Israel did not immediately respond to the remarks.
Let's just forget the cease fire talk (we've had three and Hamas violated every one - including yesterday's) and finish the job. We never know when we will have another opportunity like this.

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