Egyptians to Hamas: Either Stick to the Deal or Israel Will Attack

Palestinian rioters climb a fence at the Israel-Gaza border. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Egyptian officials have in recent days presented to Hamas leaders a new deal that would bring a long-term truce to Gaza, enabling the region to get back on its feet economically. Failure to accept the deal, the Egyptians warned, would lead to a major Israeli campaign that would probably bring about the end of Hamas rule in Gaza.

A report in the Lebanese Al-Ahbar newspaper Friday detailed the points of the Israeli proposal that the Egyptians presented to Hamas. In exchange for a long-term hudna, a cease-fire that does not necessitate the establishment of a formal agreement, Israel would liberalize many of its policies, including allowing more freedom of movement for Gazans, allowing more of them into Israel to work, and giving Gaza more access to money and resources.

The new deal is an extension of the previous understandings reached several months ago, in which Hamas promised to halt rocket attacks on Israel, along with balloon terror attacks. The attacks continued, although Hamas tried to blame those attacks on other terror groups.

The offer comes after a several-week period that has seen an uptick in violence. Red Alert warning sirens were heard in southern Israel several times over the past week, and two days ago at least two missiles fell in the Sderot area. A third rocket was disabled by an Iron Dome missile, with the explosion visible to over 4,000 people who were attending an open-air festival in Sderot. Several people were injured when they tried to flee the scene.

As a result, Israel cut the amount of diesel fuel shipped into Gaza by half. Reports Friday said that if the day passes without significant violence at the weekly Friday riots at the Gaza border fence, the full gas distribution would be restored next week.

According to the report, Hamas responded to the Egyptians that they were not responsible for the recent rocket fire. The IDF has said numerous times that it considers Hamas responsible for all incidents in Gaza.

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