Egypt, Israel, and the US agreed to a ceasefire in southern Gaza which began at 6 AM local time, Reuters reported on Monday, citing two Egyptian security sources. The lull in Israeli attacks will last several hours, to allow the Egyptians to open the Rafah border crossing, and will end at 2 PM.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Office on Monday morning issued a laconic statement saying: “There is no ceasefire.”
The Rafah Border Crossing is the only crossing point between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, located on the Gaza–Egypt border.
According to Reuters, supply trucks are still waiting in Al Arish in the Sinai for permission to enter the Gaza Strip, presumably with humanitarian supplies.
Egypt, which had kept the Rafah crossing sealed tight since the start of the war, on Monday claimed the crossing had been kept open, but Israeli bombardments kept local Arabs from being able to cross over to the Egyptian side. The only thing that defies that statement is thousands of pictures and videos showing Gaza Arabs crowded outside the sealed Rafah gates with no Israeli bombardments whatsoever.
The American embassy in Jerusalem said the situation at Rafah is “fluid and unpredictable and it is unclear whether, or for how long, travelers will be permitted to transit the crossing,” but the embassy encouraged US citizens in Gaza who felt safe enough to do so to move towards the crossing.
I should note here that an American medical student friend of mine whose parents back in the States insisted she come home, took an embassy-charted flight to Athens on Sunday morning, and then continued on another US government flight to Paris, where she received an urgent email from the US embassy in Israel to move as soon as she could to southern Gaza and await the opening o0f the crossing to Egypt.