(IsraelNN.com) French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that Israel has agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas. Israel has not confirmed.
According to the plan, Egypt agrees, for the first time, with Israel's demand to deploy international observers on the Egypt-Gaza border to help stop the wholesale arms-smuggling into Gaza. It insists, however, that Israel must cease its fire immediately and then discuss the details of a full-scale truce.
The plan is backed by Sarkozy and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Army Radio reports that Israeli officials rejected the idea out of hand. "We didn't start this offensive in order to buy a cat in a sack [an unknown quantity]," is the Israeli position.
Officially, Israel welcomes the Egyptian and French "efforts." A statement released Wednesday afternoon states, "Israel thanks the presidents of Egypt and France for their efforts to advance a solution for the cessation of terrorism from Gaza and an end to arms/weapons smuggling from Egypt into Gaza. Israel views positively dialogue between Egyptian and Israeli elements for the purpose of advancing the matter of a ceasefire."
Source: Arutz Sheva NewsDon't get excited yet, Ynet News is reporting that Hamas has rejected the proposal.
Ever notice how Israel must always stop first, before any further negotiations can continue?
Why is there no demand for Hamas to stop firing rockets into civilian areas?
The utter hypocrisy of it is astounding.
I guess that the IDF will get to continue killing terrorists for a little while longer.
**9.47am** This article in JTA reports that the P.A. has accepted the terms of the ceasefire.
I missed that wording in the original article in my haste to post.
**12.16pm** Apparently Sarkozy was a little disingenuous with his announcement, from Israel Matzav:
when the cabinet stated it viewed French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's offer "favorably" earlier in the day, it did not mean Israel wholeheartedly accepted it.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said that Israel was ready to accept parts of the offer which were in line with its own interests - a complete cessation in terror activity and a halt to weapons smuggling through the Gaza-Egypt border.