Breaking: Hamas, Israel agree to cease-fire; Update: Israel denies report; Update: Netanyahu spokesman says, “We’re not there yet”

posted at 11:48 am on November 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Both Reuters and Fox News are reporting that the Gaza war will be suspended shortly:

Israel and militants from the Gaza Strip have agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that will come into force at midnight local (2200 GMT), Hamas official Ayman Taha said, speaking to Reuters from Cairo.

“An agreement for calm has been reached. It will be declared at 9.00 p.m. and go into effect at midnight,” Taha said.

Why the delay?  It takes a while for word to get to the individual units, especially for Hamas, which lacks the kind of robust communication infrastructure of a modern army.  The delay allows for a period of exchanges that do not undermine confidence in the eventual cessation — unless they continue past the deadline, that is.

So far, no word on the terms has been given.  Israel had paused its ground offensive, in part to see whether a diplomatic solution could be reached, and in part because their air war had been effective in combination with the Iron Dome missile-defense system.  That may have been the driving force behind Hamas’ decision to halt the attacks, as they had not been effective at all in creating any widespread damage.

Stay tuned for updates.

Update: And just as those reports went live, Fox News has a headline up saying, “Israeli official denies Hamas claim of Egyptian brokered truce, says both sides still talking.”

Update: More from Fox’s Leland Vittert:

Fox News correspondent Leland Vittert just reported on a ceasefire apparently adopted by Israel and Gaza militants. Hamas leaders have confirmed to Reuters that a ceasefire deal is about to be announced. The ceasefire would take effect at midnight local time.

He reported that in the Middle East in the hours leading to a ceasefire, there is often a heightened amount of firing on both sides as they attempt to hit their final targets.

He continued, “Our own reporting here from Fox News in Jerusalem indicates the ceasefire deal has probably, in the best way to put it, this has been penciled in, it has not yet been signed in ink. In the Middle East, anything can fall apart at any moment.”

So perhaps the deal has been reached, but both sides want to wait a few ticks before making it official.

Update: Reuters notes that there has been no official reaction from Israel:

An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the Gaza conflict will go into effect later on Tuesday, a Hamasofficial said.

There was no immediate Israeli comment. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier he was open to a long-term deal to halt Palestinian rocket attacks on his country.

We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see whether this deal is for real — or a dodge by Hamas.  The Fox update, though, suggests that the Israelis are still engaged.  If this leak was a PR ploy, Israel will make an official comment quickly.

Update: Now we have an official response from Israel that the announcement was premature, at the same link as the last update:

Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev told Reuters the announcement was premature and Israeli military operations in Gaza, territory run by Hamas Islamists, would continue in parallel with diplomacy.

“We’re not there yet,” Regev said on CNN. “The ball’s still in play.”

The report from Fox’s Vitter says that a large increase in rocket attacks from Gaza has begun to overwhelm the Iron Dome defense, which means that Hamas wants to push it as much as possible before cutting off the rocket attacks — if they do at all.

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shame..

blatantblue on November 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Hamas needs to replenish their supply of rockets…

d1carter on November 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM

War is deceit….

Oil Can on November 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM

B. Obama sends a new stand down order.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Israel should agree to the cease fire then invade Gaza anyway.

Apparently, it pays to be a liar these days.

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 11:53 AM

We don’t point a pistol at our own forehead. That is not the way to conduct negotiations.
Benjamin Netanyahu

kingsjester on November 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I guess this news that the cease fire was going to happen and then now Israel denies, only makes Israel look like they are the ones holding this up?

God be with you Israel. I will continue to pray for you.
L

letget on November 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM

they are waiting on Hillary to get there so the Americans “appear” to be a player! esh

CoffeeLover on November 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Do. Not. Believe. It.

JPeterman on November 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Israel should do what Hamas does. Invade. Kill all the terrorists. Fake some pictures and claim Hamas did it to themselves.

The Rogue Tomato on November 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM

“The Israeli military also appeared to take over the frequencies of the radio stations of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militant group to broadcast a recorded, Arabic-language warning to the people of Gaza to stay away from Hamas installations and personnel.

“To the people of Gaza, Hamas is playing with fire and gambling with your fate,” said the message, which was broadcast every five minutes. “The Israel Defense Force is moving toward the second phase of its operation. For your safety, you should stay away from Hamas infrastructure and personnel.”

The message did not say what the “second phase” was, but thousands of Israeli troops are massed near the Gaza border, awaiting an order to invade should Israeli leaders decide on that course. Israeli Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon told Army Radio on Sunday that Israel has to be prepared to widen the operation if militants don’t back down.

The military spokesman’s office said it could not immediately confirm it was broadcasting this message, but said it has issued similar warnings over the radio several days ago….”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-attacks-hamas-media-operations-in-gaza/

workingclass artist on November 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM

DO not think that the results of our election have not been noticed by muslim terrorists.

jukin3 on November 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM

The IDF warns the palis to evaculate their homes near rocket launch installations and Hamas orders them not to:

http://goo.gl/5KKlH

Blake on November 20, 2012 at 12:05 PM

Why does this remind me of the movie Escape From New York?

platypus on November 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM

link to local news/live blogging in Israel

18:43

Senior Hamas official says no ceasefire deal with Israel yet but agreement is close, AP reports.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/rocket-fired-at-jerusalem-and-south-takes-beating-but-ground-op-off-the-table-for

workingclass artist on November 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Hamas plays the media like a drum.

The IDF can and should respond with a twitter barrage asking “Is this what a cease fire looks like?”

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Bullshiite. Christie all but offered to become a blood brother to the Dog Eater simply for showing up and taking a one-block tour of the damaged areas.

Now 3 weeks later Bark is in “Myanmar”, Butter Pants is appearing on SNL, and American citizens in the storm areas are living worse than people in Bangladesh.

Bishop on November 20, 2012 at 9:20 AM

I agree. We tried to warn people about Christie. RINOs will stab you in the back at the crucial moment.

SparkPlug on November 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM

A cease fire to a Muslim is this: Drop your weapons so we can cut your throat with ease.

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Oops. wrong thread.

SparkPlug on November 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

TED C nails it again.

SparkPlug on November 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Israel should agree to the cease fire then invade Gaza anyway.
ted c on November 20, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I agree. Decimate them.

rrpjr on November 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Oops. wrong thread.

SparkPlug on November 20, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I’m pretty sure that bashing RINOs is not technically a ToS violation nor is it ever O/T. But don’t quote me on that.

platypus on November 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM

With the publicized demands for certain conditions to enable a ceasefire that Hamas made yesterday, it has already set the stage to call any cease fire a victory.

a capella on November 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Israel should begin an armored thrust south through Gaza and, upon reaching a predetermined point, broadcast that they could continue to Cairo if they wanted to …….

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM

TED C nails it again.

SparkPlug on November 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Yeah, Allahpundit must be getting a little nervous. :)

platypus on November 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Israel should mock the president and issue each of their infantrymen the jawbone of an ass and call their mission “Operation Samson” ….they will be using them in lieu of bayonets this year.

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM

TPQ-34 ‘FireFinder’ was an orginal Hughes system. Detect, Track, mortars, graduating in capabilty to artillery. LM now has the 53 system and is larger. All this and missile defense (thanks to RR) is more than a reality. It ain’t cheep but neither is rebuilding a major city. (I’m referring to the Strategic level)
Iron Dome and Arrow and soon David’s Sling are all offspring of SkyGuard from ideas and persuits from the 1960′s and a bit before.
Missile defense is a REALITY. Right Mr. Postal? Or are you still saying it “can’t be done.”?
Again it ain’t cheep. War is many things and it IS expensive.
Oh and it is likely that Israel has fielded several C-RAM units also. They have afterall been getting rocketed for two decades now. Why would ANYONE deny them the right of self defense?
And Hillary … what, did they run out of fine wine in Australia?
Perhaps the IDF will ‘stand down’ their MD systems during her visit. And perhaps Hamas might ‘get luck’?

Shoot the missiles IDF. We’ll make more.

Missilengr on November 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM

they are waiting on Hillary to get there so the Americans “appear” to be a player! esh

CoffeeLover on November 20, 2012 at 11:58 AM

…oh?…she’s not there for a wine tasting party?

KOOLAID2 on November 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Stand strong bibi

Egypt brokered deal feels like lucy and the football deal the dems play on the gop

cmsinaz on November 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

The report from Fox’s Vitter says that a large increase in rocket attacks from Gaza has begun to overwhelm the Iron Dome defense, which means that Hamas wants to push it as much as possible before cutting off the rocket attacks — if they do at all.

The Iron Dome is only one aspect of theater missile defense. Similar to Operation Desert Storm, we had SOF teams–both US and British, involved in Scud hunting missions through western Iraq. I’m sure that the IDF is doing the same, at least I hope I’m right. Covert sniper/recce teams to overwatch launch sites through Gaza, in addition to drone overwatch for intel.

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I wonder if this story is being floated so later it can be said Hamas wanted a cease fire deal but Israel refuse?

Israel, don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.

Dan_Yul on November 20, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Ding ding ding letget

Going to blame them anyways

cmsinaz on November 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Hamas plays the media like a drum.

The IDF can and should respond with a twitter barrage asking “Is this what a cease fire looks like?”

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM

.
I believe there’s a “third party” using and orchestrating both of them.

listens2glenn on November 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Egypt brokered deal feels like lucy and the football deal the dems play on the gop

cmsinaz on November 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

yep, nothing like getting world opinion and the MSM to bite on the “cease fire” meme to gain the upper hand over the Israelis so that every shot they fire after the meme is floated makes them look baaaaaad. Wash rinse spit repeat.

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Yepper ted @12:21

cmsinaz on November 20, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Israel – show the Arab world what is in store for them if they keep *ucking with you.

redguy on November 20, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Israel wants no rockets or other violence from Gaza into Israel for 24 hours before they will consider a truce.

PastorJon on November 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Radio just said cease fire at midnight

What do they know?

cmsinaz on November 20, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I see no show of good faith by hamas:

IDF ‏@IDFSpokesperson
PHOTO – Residential building in the central Israeli town of Rishon LeZion hit tonight by rocket fired from #Gaza pic.twitter.com/MWpwmBrt

Blake on November 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Yet another kabuki dance.

VorDaj on November 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Fool me once a thousand times, same on you.

VorDaj on November 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM

When hamas starts calling for a truce, it usually means:

1) They’ve run out of rockets to fire

and/or

2) They’ve run out of women and children to hide behind

BruthaMan on November 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Tell Hamas to hand over all their terrorists and all their weapons. Nothing less.

dczombie on November 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

lol. love this old dance.

Hamas sends loads of rockets, Israel responds, UN types jump in demanding a cease fire, Hamas agrees and reloads.

Rinse, repeat.

I guess as long as this predictable dance is all we get every 5 years, perhaps its the best that can be managed at this point.

rickyricardo on November 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

I think Instapundit’s link to the story about Iron Dome’s manufacturer says it all. Israel is the only country in the market for a rocket defense system, because every other country on earth would invade a neighbor who was firing thousands of rockets at their civilians.

juliesa on November 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

…oh?…she’s not there for a wine tasting party?

KOOLAID2 on November 20, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Huma doesn’t like Israeli wine.

riddick on November 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Perhaps Hamas announced the cease-fire in order to add further pressure on Israel to agree to one. If Israel balks at it, Israel is made to look more warlike and intransigent.

A cease-fire helps only Hamas, not Israel, because it gives Israel’s enemies time to re-arm, re-organize, and re-position its forces.

KyMouse on November 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM

B. Obama sends a new stand down order.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM

That’s one order he’s good at giving.

Solaratov on November 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Isn’t there an Islamic haddith that encourages its warriors to “make peace” until they can come back and attack later? Seems to me I read about this characteristic when reviewing Islamic history.

MN J on November 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Depressing.

AlexB on November 20, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Hamas plays the media like a drum.

The IDF can and should respond with a twitter barrage asking “Is this what a cease fire looks like?”

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Seems to me it is the Media that is asking Hamas to provide them with material that meets their preconceived notion that Hamas is the victim and Israel the aggressor.

The Media is so biased against Israel that they are a bigger enemy than Hamas in reality.

Steveangell on November 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

http://www.foxnews.com/

foxnews is showing a photo of an israeli sympathizer being dragged through the streets of Gaza by men on a motorcycle.

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 2:30 PM

ted c on November 20, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Not an Israeli sympathizer, but an alleged collaborator. Summarily shot, tied to a motorbike and dragged through the streets.

Charming people we need to sign agreements with…

AlexB on November 20, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Israel needs a ground offensive. A ceasefire just allows Hamas to regroup, rearm, and start launching rockets again. It does not solve the problem. The only way to solve the problem is a ground invasion to forcibly remove Hamas as the government and begin the process of expelling the residents to the Sinai and annexing the land into Israel. The ideal situation involves Egypt annexing Gaza and letting it fall under the auspices of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, but Egypt isn’t going to do that…

Sometimes, to get something done right, you just gotta do it yourself.

solatic on November 20, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Both Reuters and Fox News are reporting that the Gaza war will be suspended shortly:

NOoooooooo! Invade! Get in there and kick plenty tuchus. Otherwise the whole exercise was a waste of time.

smellthecoffee on November 20, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Drudge has a link to the Daily Mail (UK) web site, which has, among other photos, one that shows a boy in Gaza holding a large rag doll which is suspiciously clean — free of soot, cement dust, etc.

An old trick, but no doubt effective in many corners of the world.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235635/Gaza-conflict-Egyptian-president-says-peace-Gaza-imminent-predicts-lasting-ceasefire-begin-tomorrow.html

Also has the sickening video of the “spy” being dragged down the street by motorcycle thugs.

How can anyone make peace with such evil people?

KyMouse on November 20, 2012 at 4:09 PM

When will we begin seeing Flat Fatima and Lou the Looter?

http://thepeoplescube.com/current-truth/flat-fatima-revolution-in-news-photography-t798.html

KyMouse on November 20, 2012 at 4:19 PM