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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776
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Day 22: Ramallah, Gaza Differ on 72-Hour Cease Fire Fantasy

As usual, one version comes out of Ramallah -- another emanates from Gaza. Ne'er the twain shall meet.
IDF troops waiting for orders at the Gaza border.  (Archive: 2014)

IDF troops waiting for orders at the Gaza border. (Archive: 2014)
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90

While Fatah-led Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah did their best to put a good face on things in Samaria, Hamas terrorists continued ‘business as usual’ in Gaza.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officials announced at a briefing to reporters in Ramallah late Tuesday afternoon that “all” PA unity government factions were willing to hold their fire under a 72 hour cease fire.

The announcement was allegedly based on a proposal advanced by United Nations special envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, according to PLO official Yasser Abd Rabbo — who said Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers had agreed as well.

However, Rabbo did not specifically mention the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization in his announcement. That group has been responsible for numerous long-range missile attacks on Israel in the past three weeks.

Together with Hamas, the PIJ has broken every cease fire that Israel has agreed to. This time, Israel did not race to respond with an agreement — a wise move, given the capricious nature of the enemy with which it must contend.

Less than an hour after Rabbo’s announcement, Fatah’s ‘unity government partner’ Hamas denied ever agreeing to the deal.

A spokesperson for the terrorist organization categorically denied the report from Ramallah and said that Hamas did not, in fact, agree with the announcement made by Rabbo.

A cease fire cannot exist with IDF forces present in Gaza, Hamas stated. No response from Israel.

Earlier Tuesday, international media reported that a delegation of representatives from various Palestinian Arab factions arrived in Cairo for talks on an Egyptian cease fire initiative proposed two weeks ago. Reportedly, the PIJ had sent a representative to that meeting.

Even as these words are being written, Code Red incoming rocket alert warnings have continued to flash across this journalist’s screen, making it clear there is a far cry between announcements of agreements to cease fires in Ramallah, and facts on the ground in Gaza.

Upon hearing rumors of the possible cease fire, IDF soldiers in Gaza, meanwhile, told reporters in the field, “We can easily overcome Hamas.

“Don’t stop us now.”

Hana Levi Julian

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


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