Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Distant, as US Backs Continued Bombing of Gaza

'The truce is now held up because we are waiting for the Israeli side to respond,' said Hamas official

The ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas that seemed imminent on Tuesday appears distant today, as Israeli leaders claim Hamas’s truce terms are too demanding.

Israel has continued its bombing campaign on Gaza, yesterday dropping leaflets urging Gazans to leave their homes if they want to stay safe, an indication of possible escalation.

On Tuesday, Hamas, through Egypt, proposed a ceasefire deal which included their terms: stop assassinations; stop rocket fire from Gaza; ease border crossings (not open totally); the guarantor of ceasefire is the Egyptian government.

Israel at first said in order to agree to the ceasefire, Hamas would need to demonstrate a “period of calm.” Hamas showed signs of agreeing to this, announcing all rocket-fire would be halted Tuesday evening.

But now Israel claims the demands ask too much of Israel. And now the truce deal languishes.

“The Israeli side has not responded yet,” said Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq. ”The truce is now held up because we are waiting for the Israeli side to respond.”

Meanwhile, Clinton has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu twice in the past two days. The proposed ceasefire was not given any attention and she twice reiterated the US’s continued backing of Israeli aggression in defenseless Gaza.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.