Report: Netanyahu Seeking Pre-Election Truce With Hamas

Palestinians rioting on the Gaza border. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

A Lebanese newspaper quoting Egyptian sources reported overnight Wednesday that Israel has asked Cairo to help arrange a “long-term” truce with Hamas, to run at least through April, when Israeli elections take place.

According to the report in the Al-Arabi al-Jadid newspaper Thursday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that a truce would work in Hamas’s favor; if Hamas continued to provoke Israel, he would have no choice but to embark on a very strong military response – as the pressure would be on for a harsh Israeli response to the ongoing terrorism from Gaza. Netanyahu also asked Cairo to ease its restrictions on Gaza residents at the Rafiach crossing to reduce pressure in Gaza.

The Netanyahu warning applies both to Gaza and to Yehudah and Shomron. In June 2014, Hamas terrorists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens – Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha’ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19), Hy”d – a major contributing factor to Operation Protective Edge, the last major military confrontation between Israel and Hamas.

Israel has redoubled its forces in the south, after Hamas and Islamic Jihad said earlier this week that Friday would be “a day of great testing for the enemy.”

On Saturday night, the terror groups threatened to increase attacks against Israel, after four rioters died Friday after attacking Israeli soldiers. The four were shot during violent riots which continued along the Gaza border fence Friday afternoon. Gaza rioters threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers, who used anti-riot measures to keep rioters away from the border fence. Some 8,000 rioters were at the fence Friday, the 39th week in a row that the border riots took place.

Israeli sources told Channel 20 that if the terror groups once again began shooting missiles at Israel, the IDF’s response would be “harsh and powerful. We will not allow a repeat of the recent events” in which Gaza terrorists shot nearly 500 missiles at Israel withing several days. “The response will not be ‘measured’ this time, but will be a harsh strike at Hamas.”