Israel denied Hamas a proposed six-month truce in the Gaza Strip on Friday, claiming such a lull would be used by Palestinians to prepare for future attacks against Israel. The cease-fire bid was seen by Israel as a “game” by Hamas, as Israeli airstrikes and commando raids continued in Gaza.
Israel today dismissed a proposal by Hamas for a six-month truce inside the Gaza Strip, saying the Palestinian group would use the period to prepare for more fighting rather than peace.
The Hamas offer, issued yesterday following talks with Egyptian mediators, departed from previous demands by the group that any ceasefire apply simultaneously in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
Israel is reluctant to enter into any formal agreement that could strengthen Hamas against its West Bank-based rival, Fatah. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah’s leader, is currently pursuing US-sponsored peace talks with Israel.