Hamas accepts the truce but Israel's doubts remain as it continues its operations in Gaza

The leader of the Hamas political office, Ismail Haniyeh, communicated to the Prime Minister of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, and to the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamal, the acceptance by the Palestinian jihadist group of the proposal of a ceasefire advanced by the two Arab countries. This is what an official note from Hamas reports. But every celebration or international satisfaction lasted a few minutes.

An Israeli official reacted to the news like this: “We await further details on Hamas' announcement. We will examine their response and try to understand which points were accepted and which were not.” The usually well-informed Israeli army radio is more clear-cut: “Hamas has in fact approved a modified Egyptian proposal which Israel nevertheless considers unacceptable.” Many then think that this alleged green light from the militiamen only serves to buy time and avoid the operation inside Rafah which could start as early as dawn tomorrow, i.e. in a few hours.

This development comes after a high-tension day that began at dawn with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) starting to evacuate Palestinian civilians from Rafah to refugee camps in the Khan Yunis and al-Mawasi areas, after the dropping of leaflets inviting the Palestinian civilian population to evacuate.

If Hamas really accepted the document approved by Israel and not a summary drawn up by Qatar and Egypt, everything could change, as an Israeli official who spoke to Ynet explained: “Everything is reversible; if Hamas accepts an agreement, the preparations for the attack on Rafah could be aborted.” The IDF however clarified that it is still “a limited operation aimed at moving around 100,000 people”. It is therefore possible that there is not a large-scale invasion by the IDF in Rafah, but rather a series of targeted actions aimed at seeking hostages and capturing Hamas military leaders Yaya Siwar and Mohammed Deif. Given the latest developments, the feeling is that the next 48-72 hours will be decisive with the Israelis now ready to enter Rafah.

Meanwhile in Rafah and Gaza the Palestinian population took to the streets to celebrate the news given by Hamas of an agreement reached.

At 9.30pm the note from the Israeli Ministry of Defense:

Office of the Israeli Prime Minister:
The War Cabinet has unanimously decided that Israel will continue the operation in #Rafah to exert military pressure on the Hamas terrorist organization in order to promote the release of our hostages and other war objectives.
At the same time, even if Hamas's proposal is far from Israeli demands, Israel will send a delegation of ruling class mediators to explore the possibility of reaching an agreement on terms acceptable to Israel.

Unconfirmed reports arrive from Rafah that Israeli soldiers have entered the southern area.


The truce is divided into three phases of 42 days in total.

During the first and second phases, there will be an exchange of prisoners held in Gaza with Palestinians in Israeli prisons: 50 for each hostage released. The first phase involves the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Netzarim corridor and the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes.

In the second phase, the definitive cessation of military operations will be announced directly. In the last phase there will be the complete lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip.