Report: Israel, Hamas Close to Longer-Term Ceasefire

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinian terrorists during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza Israeli border east of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, last Friday. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

An agreement for a longer-term ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas was “almost ready,” Israeli officials were quoted as saying by The Los Angeles Times. The announcement of the agreement could be heralded by a reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza, officials close to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday. The reopening would take place if the ceasefire that was put into place last Thursday night remained intact, the officials said.

In its Tuesday report, The Los Angeles Times said that Israeli officials were waiting to see whether Hamas could stick to the temporary ceasefire before agreeing to the deal worked out by U.N. and Egyptian officials between Israel and Hamas. Israel expects that Hamas will not only end its rocket attacks on Israel, but also end the campaign of kite and balloon terror attacks it has undertaken in recent months.

Liberman is set to meet with defense officials Tuesday afternoon to discuss the security situation in the south, and it is expected that a reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossing will be discussed at the meeting.

On Monday, one fire was reported in the Gaza border area, but Israeli officials quoted in the report said that the cause of the fire was not due to Gaza terror. That was contradicted by Israeli fire officials quoted on Hadashot News, who said that the fire was caused by a terror balloon with a firebomb attached, and that several kites and balloons were found that did not start fires.

In last week’s flare-up, more than 200 Hamas rockets were fired at Israel. The IDF attacked 150 Hamas military targets, including an office building that was used as a command center by the terror group.