Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon (GPO)
Israeli war cabinet meeting with US defense officials, December 18, 2023.

Israel’s War Cabinet Monday night unanimously voted that Israel will continue the military operation in Rafah in Gaza to “exert military pressure on Hamas in order to promote the release of our hostages and the other goals of the war.”

The statement came in response to an announcement by Hamas that the terror organization had “accepted a ceasefire proposal” brokered by Egypt and Qatar. The announcement followed a discussion with the two brokers led by CIA head William Burns.


Latest Hamas Stalling Strategy: ‘Agree to Egyptian-Qatari Ceasefire Deal’

“At the same time, although the Hamas proposal is far from Israel’s necessary requirements, Israel will send a delegation of mediators to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement under conditions acceptable to Israel,” the War Cabinet added in response to the announcement by Hamas.

Multiple news outlets reported Monday night that the Hamas terrorist organization had announced that it agreed to a deal for the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza for the past seven months.

“We agreed to a proposal that includes a permanent ceasefire and a complete lifting of the blockade. Amendments were made to the proposal with American guarantees,” a Hamas source told the Saudi Al Arabiya television network.

However, there was no confirmation, nor were any details of the supposed “agreement” revealed.

Late Monday night, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed Israel’s military was currently engaged in “attacking and operating” against Hamas terrorist positions in a “targeted manner” in eastern Rafah.

Earlier in the day, the IDF urged Gazans in eastern Rafah to evacuate to the expanded humanitarian safe zone prepared for them in nearby Al-Masawi.

TPS contributed to this report.

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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, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.