The Hamas terrorist organization has agreed to an Egyptian-brokered one-year ceasefire with Israel, according to Palestinian sources who spoke to the Arab television news network Al-Arabiyah on Sunday, February 1.
Hamas officials will reportedly travel to Cairo on Monday to hammer out the last few details of the deal, after which both the terror group and Israel will announce that they have signed on to the Egyptian agreement.
At first glance, the deal appears to fail to meet at least one of Israel’s demands during last month’s Gaza war.
While it does promise an end to the incessant rocket fire on southern Israel, the deal takes Israel out of the loop in regards to security along the Egypt-Gaza border. Hamas is expected to agree to allow the deployment of forces loyal to the rival Palestinian regime of Mahmoud Abbas to man the Rafah border crossing, so long as its agents are also present.
But the deal appeared set to collapse before getting off the ground as Gaza-based terrorists fired four rockets and several mortar shells into southern Israel on Sunday.
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that his government had promised to respond disproportionately to any further attacks on southern Israel, and that’s just what he intends to do.
“We won’t give the terror groups warning as to when and how we’ll react, but Israel will respond and act at the time and place of its choosing,” said Olmert.
Such threats from the Olmert government have traditionally failed to translate into action.