Israel Says No Ceasefire Deal, Military Ops Will Continue

An Israeli official explained that Tel Aviv will not accept any of Hamas’s proposed changes to a deal proposed by Washington

Tel Aviv has no intention of reaching a peace deal with Hamas and the onslaught in Gaza will continue in “full force” after the destruction of Rafah, according to a senior Israeli official involved in negotiations. The comments come after President Joe Biden unveiled a ceasefire proposal allegedly backed by Israel in late May.

Biden’s initial peace plan first called for a six-week pause to hostilities, during which a permanent truce would be negotiated and then implemented. Israeli officials thought the language was vague enough that the two sides could enter the first phase without Israel actually committing to a lasting ceasefire.

Hamas said it received the offer positively and offered modifications to the deal that ensured the release of Israeli hostages would lead to the end of Israeli military operations in Gaza. Additionally, the group sought assurances that Palestinians released under the agreement would not be rearrested by Israel.

In response to the counteroffer, the senior official told the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that “there will be no negotiations on another outline. There is no factor that can change the Biden outline.” They added that “Hamas’ answer to this outline is like a complete refusal.”

The official explained that Israel planned to continue operations in Gaza after it was finished with its assault on Rafah. “Israel will continue to conduct a strong and effective military campaign. The army has prepared the continuation of the operations even after the end of the fighting in Rafah, and Israel will remain in Gaza.” They continued, “even after the IDF finishes the operation in Rafah, it will remain in the Strip in full force and on a significant scale to continue intense military activity.”

Prior to the invasion of Rafah, Israeli officials claimed the operations were necessary to smash the remains of Hamas and rescue hostages. However, the senior official indicated the Israel Defense Forces intend to continue military operations in the Strip, stating “The IDF has significant operational action plans that will be revealed later.”

Tel Aviv has refused to provide a plan for Gaza after military operations are completed. The White House has been pushing for an Israeli withdrawal and for Gulf Arab states to pay for the reconstruction of Gaza. However, the Biden administration has struggled to advance that proposal with any of its partners in the region.

Several Israeli officials, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, have called to rebuild Jewish settlements in Gaza following a unilateral pull-out from the territory in 2005. The plans for new settlements are often included with calls for the displacement of all or most of the Palestinian people from the Strip – or what the security chief dubbed “voluntary emigration.”

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.