Egypt reportedly will announce a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on Tuesday, the same day U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to visit Cairo although neither Israel nor Hamas has expressed any public desire for an unconditional halt in the latest round of violence.
Egyptian media reported the ceasefire will be announced at 6 a.m. and it will take effect three hours later.
Kerry has been almost totally silent since the start of the current mini-war, but his plan to visit Egypt exactly when the Sisi regime reportedly will announce a ceasefire raises the obvious probability that the not-so-illustrious Secretary of State has been trying once again to “solve” problems in the Middle East, where he has left behind a mess almost every time he visits.
Egypt also would love to repair the damage of the Muslim Brotherhood regime and play the role as peacemaker.
Another bad actor in the ceasefire proposal is Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair , who met al-Sisi on Saturday to orchestrate a ceasefire.
Hamas has said it will not agree to a halt in attacks on Israel without its conditions being set, a bit ludicrous considering it has been literally knocked out and barely has retained consciousness. It also has been welcomed with a thunderous silence by the Arab world towards Hamas’ weakened status after having committed almost every diplomatic and military mistake possible.
Hamas needs the ceasefire if by doing so Egypt will re-open the Rafah crossing and allow free flow of goods and merchandise, the lack of which might have cost Hamas dearly in the eyes of Gazans.
One big benefactor of a ceasefire would be Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who would be in a position to gain more prestige from the international community to dominate the Hamas-Fatah unity government.
Kerry undoubtedly has lunatic ideas that a resumption of the “peace process” with the Hamas-Fatah regime would follow a “halt in hostilities,” as the Egyptian proposal described it.
Based on previous ceasefires, the Egyptian plan will not get very far, if it ever gets to the stage of being proclaimed.
Residents in southern Israel will be after the head of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu if he agrees to a ceasefire, having suffered the aftereffects of dozens of previous declared halts of violence that have lasted from a couple of hours to a couple of months.
The Security Cabinet will meet Tuesday morning to discuss the Egyptian proposal.
After Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 and the Pillar of Cloud campaign nearly two years ago, Israel agreed to ceasefires after pummeling Hamas, which used the breaks between resume violence to stockpile more missiles and rockets.
The difference for Israel in the current Protective Edge campaign is that the government is in a far better position than before. The world is increasingly fed up with Hamas, and the IDF has been unusually effective in proving that it has does everything possible to avoid civilian casualties while Hamas has been exposed as doing what it can it increase them. There are few accusations against Israel of “war crimes,” in sharp contrast to the previous counter terrorist campaigns.
As Netanyahu has stated, Israel defends its citizens against rockets while Hamas defends its rockets at the expense of its civilians.
Israel’s good standing may be the underlying reason why Egypt and Kerry are trying to float a ceasefire proposal now. If Hamas agrees to it, then Israel would finally be cast as the bad guy if it does not along with it. Israel would lose the advantage of the international community’s not having a soapbox to stand on to berate Israel.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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