Israel Rejects Ceasefire Offer; Moves on Rafah

May 7th, 2024 - by ZeroHedge

Israel Moving Forward
With Rafah Ground Offensive

(May 6, 2024) — Summary: 

  • Hamas claims to accept ceasefire, hostage deal while Israel says: ‘This isn’t what we agreed to’
  • Bombardment and air strikes on eastern Rafah
  • Over 50 targets hit as IDF prepares for ground operation
  • President Macron warns against ground op
  • Civilians warned to evacuate. Tens of thousands of flyers dropped
  • Biden phoned Netanyahu to urge against Rafah ground op without acceptable evacuation plan
  • Axios reported that, for the first time, the US has paused ammo shipments to Israel
  • Palestinians on streets holding premature celebrations over Hamas accepting deal, but Israel rejects thus far
  • Senior official: Israel will achieve all its war objectives
  • Bibi is abandoning the hostages!’: Protesters in Jerusalem demand deal
  • Al-Quds Brigades fires rockets towards Israel
  • Israel says ground offensive necessary after four soldiers killed by rocket fire out of Rafah
  • European Union says offensive is “unacceptable”
  • Palestinian Authority alleges US not interested in achieving truce
  • Jordan says PM Netanyahu jeopardizing ceasefire by bombing Rafah

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Update (16:34 ET)The ground operation in Rafah is moving forward, Israeli officials have confirmed. There was earlier premature talk of Hamas having accepted an Egyptian and Qatari proposed ‘deal’ – but Israel has not signed on, but has only said it will examine it.

According to an Israeli media update:
Israel’s war cabinet decides unanimously to push ahead with an operation in Rafah “in order to apply military pressure on Hamas, with the goal of making progress on freeing the hostages and the other war aims,” the Prime Minister’s Office says in a statement.

The statement says Hamas’s latest truce offer is “far from Israel’s essential demands.”

Nonetheless, Israel is going to send working-level teams to hold talks with the mediators in order “to exhaust the possibility of achieving an agreement on terms that are acceptable to Israel,” says the PMO.

Israel struck at least 50 targets in Rafah on Monday, which appears preparation to send in ground forces. There have meanwhile been some sporadic early reports that the ground op might have already begun. It is expected to focus on eastern Rafah.

* * *

Update (12:55 ET)There are breaking reports from several Middle East outlets, including Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya that Hamas has accepted the ceasefire proposal of Egypt and Qatar.

Hamas says in a statement it has accepted the Egyptian-Qatari ceasefire proposal. However, almost immediately on the heels of the above statement came this rejection:
Israeli army radio journalist: “Sources in Israel: Hamas actually approved a softened Egyptian proposal that is unacceptable to Israel.”

Steven Starr — I expect that Hezbollah will attack northern Israel once this invasion begins in earnest. This opens up the wider war that everyone has been dreading. It is likely that Israel will resort to the use of nuclear weapons if it is unable to defeat Hezbollah.