Israel accepts Egyptian proposal for ceasefire in Gaza, Hamas rejects

Israeli soldier

GAZA CITY: Israel has accepted a proposal by Egypt for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip but the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has rejected it.

The armed wing of Hamas Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades on Tuesday rejected the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza and threatened to “intensify” its conflict with Israel.

“A ceasefire without reaching an agreement is rejected. In times of war, you don’t cease fire and then negotiate,” a spokesman for Hamas Fawzi Barhum also said.

Hamas said that it will not hold its fire without Israel agreeing to a list of demands including an end to its eight-year blockade on the Gaza strip, along with the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

On Monday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry presented a three-step plan over the Gaza conflict, which starts with a 12-hour ceasefire that would take effect on Tuesday.

“0600 GMT has been set for the beginning of the implementation of truce arrangements between the two sides,” a statement said.

The ministry further said that the truce would be followed by the opening of border crossings and talks in Cairo between the sides.

The proposal welcomed by the US President Barack Obama and the Arab League came on the eve of a scheduled visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Egypt.