Israel, Hamas agree to longer cease-fire?

posted at 8:01 am on July 17, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

But for how long? That will be the question after Friday morning local time, which is still more than half a day away. Also, the cease-fire has been announced by Israel but at least so far not confirmed by Hamas, although the missiles from both sides have mostly stopped:

Israel’s military and Palestinian militant factions have agreed to a longer-term cease-fire deal, which should see both sides lay down their arms beginning Friday morning, an Israeli official told CBS News on Thursday.

The details of the apparent deal remained unclear, and crucially, one Hamas source told CBS News the group’s leaders were still meeting with other Palestinian factions to discuss the potential halt of violence. The source said the militant group had not confirmed it’s agreement to the terms.

News of the potential breakthrough came as both sides briefly held their fire Thursday morning for a five-hour humanitarian cease-fire which they agreed to the previous day at the request of the United Nations.

Egypt hasn’t heard from Hamas yet either:

The start of the short-term cease fire was rocky, but eventually held. CNN’s Ben Wedeman reported from the middle of it from Gaza City, where most people expected an Israeli ground invasion to begin at the end of the five-hour period:

Egypt blamed “Palestinian factions” for the collapse of their first cease-fire initiative, and said just before the five-hour pause that they were still working on a broader cease-fire. In fact, Egypt’s foreign minister strongly suggests that the blame for the deaths in Gaza lie firmly with Hamas and Islamic Jihad for rejecting the first cease-fire:

Egypt’s foreign minister said Thursday that his country’s proposal for a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas is gaining momentum, calling it the only viable way to stop an “intolerable humanitarian situation” in Gaza.

He also expressed frustration that “Palestinian factions” – a clear reference to Hamas – did not share what he described as Egypt’s “desire … to protect the Palestinian people in Gaza” by agreeing to the initiative.

“The only way to protect the people and to avoid additional bloodshed is acceptance of the plan,” Sameh Shukri said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. “The plan has been widely endorsed by the Arab League, it has been endorsed by the European Union … and it continues to gain momentum in terms of recognition.”

If Hamas expects the Egyptians to get more favorable terms for the longer cease-fire as a result of their first refusal, Egypt wasn’t inclined to be moved, at least not then:

“We hope that the five-hour cease-fire that has been declared will be extended and that all sides accept the Egyptian peace initiative which is on the table now for several days,” Shukri said. ….

Egypt “formulated this initiative after very intense consultation which took account of many of the various positions of interest that were expressed by those directly concerned,” he said.

“Had it been accepted by all parties, had it been accepted by Israel, had it been accepted by all factions in Gaza, we would have saved many lives that have been lost unnecessarily,” he said, indirectly blaming Hamas for the continuing bloodshed.

Hamas appears to be mostly holding its fire, but it’s still not confirming its acceptance of terms — and one can understand why they’re not anxious to do so. The war has been an utter disaster for them, from start to finish. They demonstrated that their rockets have a longer range, but they still can’t hit anything and do damage, thanks in large part to Israel’s Iron Dome system that protects the larger cities. Firing missiles made targets out of Gaza, though, and Israel demonstrated that international pressure would not prevent them from responding.

Even worse, the international pressure on which Hamas counted to cripple the Israeli response never materialized. Egypt blames Hamas publicly now, and with the fall of Mohamed Morsi and the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, few people have much sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots, direct or indirect. Hamas looks impotent in an area where impotence has deadly consequences, and Gazans will eventually have to ask themselves just how much longer they’re willing to act as human shields for these terrorists. At some point, they’ll conclude that they can do better by dealing with the Israelis rather than having targets painted on their backs by their so-called leaders as a PR stunt.

Update: Israel says Hamas has now agreed to the cease fire:

One rocket was launched at Ashkelon, though:

Technically, the cease fire wouldn’t start for several hours, but any exchange at this point would probably scotch the deal.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Hamas needs a couple extra days to build more rockets.

Oil Can on July 17, 2014 at 8:02 AM

This is stupid. The fire should cease only when Hamas has been so decimated it can no longer can shoot back.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 8:04 AM

so Hamas has stopped firing for now? I assume it’s because the Iranian resupply ship has been delayed getting to them…

todler on July 17, 2014 at 8:06 AM

few people have much sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots,

Perhaps they should show up at the Israeli border with teddy bears and soccer balls to put a softer face on their message.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 8:09 AM

Why aren’t my comments posting?

DethMetalCookieMonst on July 17, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Okay, for whatever reason my link talking about how the “cease fire” didn’t last long isn’t posting. So just go to CNN’s website to see what I”m talking about.

DethMetalCookieMonst on July 17, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Hamas needs a couple extra days to build more rockets.

Oil Can on July 17, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Hamas couldn’t build a spear because the knife they needed to sharpen the stick was thrown at Israel.

Iran and North Korea build their rockets.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Why aren’t my comments posting?

DethMetalCookieMonst on July 17, 2014 at 8:10 AM

There’s nothing in the mod queue, so I don’t know what happened.

The CNN story about the rockets fired 2.5 hours into the cease fire was during the UN-brokered 5-hour cease fire, which Ben Wedeman reports in the video above. However, the IDF tweeted that air raid warning sirens are on again in Ashkelon, so we’ll see.

Ed Morrissey on July 17, 2014 at 8:15 AM

The over-under for Hamas violating the ceasefire is 14 hours.

Wino on July 17, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Guess Hamas has to restock and reload, at which point it will resume firing.

Steve Eggleston on July 17, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Perhaps they should show up at the Israeli border with teddy bears and soccer balls to put a softer face on their message.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 8:09 AM

In reality, Hamas might do that, but would fill them with bombs first, and when they blew up blame the Israelis.

Fenris on July 17, 2014 at 8:33 AM

In reality, Hamas might do that, but would fill them with bombs first, and when they blew up blame the Israelis.

Fenris on July 17, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Good point. I had forgotten how much Hamas values human life.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Good point. I had forgotten how much Hamas values human life.

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Even the rest of islam views paleostinians as human trash.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Hamas has already dug their own grave, now it’s just a matter of smoothing the sides.

How many years have they spent indoctrinating everyone to hate Israel and never ever ever stop attacking the Israelis, so now all it takes is one jackwad to fire a missile or two that Hamas handed out like candy, and the deal’s off.

Bishop on July 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Guess Hamas has to restock and reload, at which point it will resume firing.

Steve Eggleston on July 17, 2014 at 8:30 AM

I am reminded by your post of a “Tonight Show” quote, which I’ll have to paraphrase:

How do you tell a moderate muslim from a radical muslim? The moderates are out of ammunition.

Wino on July 17, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Happy Nomad on July 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Nah, I don’t believe for a second that you forgot about just how very life-afirming the religion of (blow them to) pieces is.

Fenris on July 17, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Even the rest of islam views paleostinians as human trash.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Which is odd, because they created the situation on purpose to harass Israel. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc, they all own this.

Fenris on July 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

This is what they do. They fire enough rockets to provoke Israel which results in a hundreds of deaths of Palestinians. Then, when Israel says “That’s it!” we are rolling over you … they pull back for awhile. If I were Israel, the next time they start this, be it one week or one year, I would just roll into Gaza and be done with it. D-mn the intl uproar. They are d-mned if they do and d-mned if they don’t. Meanwhile – 0bama drones people to death and no one in the intl community makes a peep or cares…

djl130 on July 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

How do you tell a moderate muslim from a radical muslim? The moderates are out of ammunition.

Wino on July 17, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Exactly. The moderate muslim is the one that you got the drop on first, or has no means of killing you… today.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Yeah, like four dead boys who were playing soccer on a beach had nothing to do with it.

corona79 on July 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Well, being owned by Quds Force means Hamas has to do their masters work every now and then. Too bad their assist to the MB didn’t work out for them. The Egyptian Military and Security forces do not forgive, or forget. Hamas now has a two front war to contend without the support of Iran. This is what happens when you are the “dogs” of the Middle East.

flackcatcher on July 17, 2014 at 8:51 AM

Which is odd, because they created the situation on purpose to harass Israel. Jordan, Saudi Arabia, etc, they all own this.

Fenris on July 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

The “palestinians” are actually Jordanian arabs that were rejected by Jordan after the 1948 and 1967 wars.

ConstantineXI on July 17, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Yeah, like four dead boys who were playing soccer on a beach had nothing to do with it.

corona79 on July 17, 2014 at 8:47 AM

Yeah, like the three boys who were minding their own business and were kidnapped and killed.

HumpBot Salvation on July 17, 2014 at 8:53 AM

I am reminded by your post of a “Tonight Show” quote, which I’ll have to paraphrase:

How do you tell a moderate muslim from a radical muslim? The moderates are out of ammunition.

Wino on July 17, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Very true. The corollary – the moderate Muslim wants to be alive to be a part of the Worldwide Caliphate.

Steve Eggleston on July 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM

It still surprises me no one seems to have asked cui bono concerning this entire thing. I realize everyone seems to believe this is simply the normal Hamas raiding party and Israeli contingent response. Hamas gains virtually nothing via this latest action, the “dead babies” bit seems to have worn thin on most of the general media types, judging by the lack of coverage on that aspect of the Israeli response. So, cui bono? The obvious answer seems to be Iran; they’re currently in their nuclear end game diplomatically, developmentally and militarily.

Consider this: the Iron Dome system (IDS) has an exceptionally finite capacity, which it is rapidly expending at a rate well beyond replenishment time constraints. Attritional financial cost is a staggering win for Arab/Persian allies, with the shootdowns to date running near to $30M USD. A single Qassam/Katyusha unguided rocket is about $800USD, while a single Tamir missile from the IDS runs between $20-50k; assuming the low end for the Tamir, and a 1:1 intercept rate that’s a huge depletion on the cheap for Hamas/Iran. That’s not including other weapon delivery systems, such as their fancy new drones (one can only wonder where they got those from, right?).

The threat from that over the next year should be glaringly obvious: if Israel is forced to go it alone to make a strike against Iranian nuclear assets, they will be significantly depleted against Iran’s medium range guided ballistic missiles. Israel still has PAC-3/Arrow 2 systems for mid to long range intercepts, but the Iron Dome is the last line of defense and the primary counter to which Iran is currently squirming over. In 2012 Iran was claiming it would be introducing a new ballistic missile system, which seemingly never debuted, to penetrate Israeli defenses in the case of a strike against their nuclear ambitions. General public available intelligence seems to point to Iran having a limited medium/long range ballistic missile component, in the realm of hundreds, rather than thousands, of capable missiles. For Iran: what better way to penetrate Israel’s aerial tortoise shell than having them voluntarily remove its integrity by lobbing far cheaper munitions, by proxy, in a build up to the possibility of having a retaliatory strike? Add in that the remaining cache of short range anti-rocket/missile capability will undoubtedly already be involved with yet another Hamas barrage.

Ebola on July 17, 2014 at 9:05 AM

What is the point of cease fire is at least one of the sides is not interested in extending it?

Rix on July 17, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Why aren’t my comments posting?

DethMetalCookieMonst on July 17, 2014 at 8:10 AM

.
There’s nothing in the mod queue, so I don’t know what happened.

The CNN story about the rockets fired 2.5 hours into the cease fire was during the UN-brokered 5-hour cease fire, which Ben Wedeman reports in the video above. However, the IDF tweeted that air raid warning sirens are on again in Ashkelon, so we’ll see.

Ed Morrissey on July 17, 2014 at 8:15 AM
.

The NSA is messing you, DethMetal’ … was there anything in your comments they wouldn’t want to be made public ?
.
How long does this “cease fire” have to last, to be longer than the last one ?

.

listens2glenn on July 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

I wouldn’t be surprised if the beach deaths were by Hamas’ own rocket.

Zomcon JEM on July 17, 2014 at 9:16 AM

The over-under for Hamas violating the ceasefire is 14 hours.

Wino on July 17, 2014 at 8:18 AM

.
Is that from ‘Vegas ?

listens2glenn on July 17, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Ebola – certainly a possibility,a nd surely in the Israeli calculation in how they respond. Despite their disdain for Obama, they need our aid/munitions or else they are in trouble.

Zomcon JEM on July 17, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Good Lord, when is Israel going to realize that Muslims use cease-fires and peace negotiations as an opportunity to regroup? Hit them. Hit them hard and don’t let up until their backs are broken, Bibi.

Occams Stubble on July 17, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Zomcon JEM on July 17, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Agreed, but it still doesn’t deal with the deficit in Tamirs, much less the limited IDS launch platforms currently available to them. If there is a strike in their future, our logistical capacity to resupply them is almost strictly limited to the PAC generation of ballistic defense systems. Iran’s not particularly afraid of the long and mid range assets in place, which is unsurprising for the most part, though the recent upgrade from PAC-2 to PAC-3 would seem to increase mid-range capabilities significantly.

Tangent: the drone shootdown was apparently a PAC-3.

Ebola on July 17, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Occams Stubble on July 17, 2014 at 9:22 AM

That works both ways. Israel’s logistical infrastructure is considerably more complex. If you’re looking for who gains the most at either a tactical or strategic level from even a short cease fire, it’s the Israelis. After all, as you said, they’re going to be taking fire later regardless. This gives them down time; that means alot under fire.

Ebola on July 17, 2014 at 9:33 AM

No cease fire.
Evacuate Gaza. All of it. Into Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, etc.
All of Judea and Samaria back to Israel
Gaza, West Bank, Golan Heights. All of it. All Jewish state. All of it.

chuckh on July 17, 2014 at 10:32 AM

…keep shooting!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Israel and Egypt burning up the phones, cooperating like its 1979. And…so far as anyone can tell…Team America nowhere to be seen.

I suppose its possible that Kerry, Rice, Powers, Biden Obama are quietly in the trenches on this one helping get a deal done sans fanfare and self-puffery, but much less likely than for example the Cubs winning a World Series.

Sacramento on July 17, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Israel needs to completely decapitate hamas. Stopping short will only allow this to fester.

earlgrey on July 17, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Gee, it’s not as if those nice Palestinian people would ever do anything wrong….
http://www.timesofisrael.com/20-missiles-found-in-un-run-school-in-gaza/#!

So, libtards – explain again how it is all those Paleo civilians get killed…..

dentarthurdent on July 17, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Okay, for whatever reason my link talking about how the “cease fire” didn’t last long isn’t posting. So just go to CNN’s website to see what I”m talking about.

DethMetalCookieMonst on July 17, 2014 at 8:11 AM

You cannot post CNN links at HA, ditto CNBC and the website that begins with Market and ends with watch, and a couple of far-right conspiratorial websites.

slickwillie2001 on July 17, 2014 at 3:41 PM