Israel and Hamas agree to new Egypt-brokered cease-fire

The flag of Hamas. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Israel and Hamas have agreed to a new Egypt-brokered cease-fire that began at 7 p.m. local time, marking the 12th attempted truce during the 50-day Gaza conflict.

Rockets continued to be launched and warning sirens continued to sound in Israel after the cease-fire went into effect. Just before the cease-fire, an Israeli man was killed by mortar fire from Gaza.

The latest cease-fire—which is not limited in time, unlike a number of failed 24-hour and 72-hour cease-fire deals initiated during Operation Protective Edge—reportedly stipulates that Israel will allow supervised entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza. In one month, both sides will return to negotiations over the demilitarization of Gaza, the loosening of the blockade on Gaza, the transfer of money to pay for Hamas salaries, and more.

The general parameters of the cease-fire, according to reports, are that Israel will allow humanitarian aid—under supervision—into Gaza to begin rebuilding, and that within a month both sides will raise other issues. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu briefed the Israeli security cabinet about the agreement, but made the decision to agree to the deal without consulting the cabinet for a vote. 

Senior Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk posted on social media that the agreement has been reached, “culminating in the resilience of our people and the victory of our resistance,” reported the Jerusalem Post.

The U.S. State Department welcomed the news of the cease-fire and expressed strong “support” for the agreement. But Knesset member and former deputy defense minister Danny Danon (Likud) said in a statement that “despite the heavy price,” Israel “did not defeat Hamas.”

Israel should have sent a message "to the entire Middle East, including Hezbollah, ISIS, and Iran, that you don't mess with Israel," said Danon.

"I'm afraid that in this matter we did not do enough… The policy of restraint and hesitancy hampered Israel's deterrent capability. The next round [of violence] is just a matter of time," he said, Israel National News reported.

Posted on August 26, 2014 .