EBKAfile Exclusive Report July 15, 2014
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accepted President Abdel-Fatah El-Siisi’s proposal to mediate the halt of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas faction ruling the Gaza Strip and agreed to a ceasefire going into effect Tuesday, July 15 at 9:00 a.m., debkafile reports.
The Prime minister informed senior security cabinet ministers Monday night, July 14, that he had reached this decision after conversations with Washington and Cairo, stressing that the mediation process did not mark any change in Egyptian and Israeli policies for Hamas and the Gaza Strip. The Gaza blockade would not be lifted, and Israel would not hand over the Palestinian prisoners, released for the Israeli soldier held hostage, and re-arrested again last month during the hunt for the three Israeli teenagers whom Hamas abducted and murdered. These demands were the price set by Hamas for halting its rocket fire against the Israeli population.
Netanyahu also reported the Egyptian president was fully aware that Israel would insist on any deal with Hamas being contingent on the creation of an international mechanism to dismantle and remove Hamas’s rockets stocks and production facilities from the Gaza Strip. The ministers gained the impression from his presentation that El-Sisi had not objected to this demand.
Monday night, the Hamas prime minister of Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, announced in a speech that his movement had accepted Cairo’s proposal to negotiate a ceasefire with Israel. He held Israel responsible for initiating the military campaign against Hamas.
Official Egyptian sources published some high points of Cairo’s proposal Monday night, whereby Egyptian officials would meet with each side separately for talks held in accordance with the Cairo-brokered ceasefire of 2012 (which ended the Israeli Defensive Pillar operation).