Report: Israel Wants to Complete ‘Missions’ Against Hamas Before Ceasefire

YERUSHALAYIM -
A long exposure picture shows Iron Dome anti-missile system fires interception missile as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, as seen from Ashdod, early Sunday. (Avi Roccah/Flash90)

Israel has made it clear that it is not currently seeking a ceasefire with Gaza’s terror groups despite a number of proposals raised to halt the fighting, according to a report.

Channel 12 news reported that several initiatives have been proposed to end the violence, but Israel’s political leadership favors several more days of fighting to enable the IDF to complete the missions it wants to carry out against Hamas in Gaza. There were no further details given on those objectives.

“This is not the time for a ceasefire. We are continuing,” a senior Israeli source was quoted as saying by the network.

At the same time, the source said, it was clear that there would be ceasefire discussions in the coming week because although Israel believes it still has diplomatic room for maneuver, there is an awareness that this is not unlimited, the report said.

Gaza terror groups have made it clear that they are ready for an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire and will abide by it if the Israeli retaliatory strikes on Gaza stop, according to a report on the Saudi Al-Arabiya channel. Other media reports have suggested that Hamas — which believes it has achieved victories throughout this conflict, including by asserting itself as the Palestinian protector of Jerusalem, rocketing Israel incessantly for days, forcing the closure of the airport, helping incite Arab-Jewish violence inside Israel, and marginalizing the Palestinian Authority — will probably seek ceasefire conditions, including demands regarding Yerushalayim, that Israel is unlikely to accept.

Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal told a Turkish news agency Friday that the terror group is ready for a ceasefire but has not received a response from Israel.

He said the U.S. and Russia were involved in the talks. Another Hamas official told the Arabic al-Meyadeen outlet that there had not been any progress in negotiations.

An Egyptian intelligence official with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press that Israel rejected an Egyptian proposal for a year-long truce with Hamas and other Gaza terrorists, which would have started at midnight Thursday had Israel agreed. He said Hamas had accepted the proposal.

Egypt has been playing a major role in the current efforts to end the violence, holding calls with Hamas officials as well as Qatar, the U.S. and other countries, though not with Israel directly.