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Israel mum on international efforts for cease-fire with Hamas

Israeli ministers have refused so far to address the possibility of an internationally mediated cease-fire agreement with Hamas, demanding that the group first stops unilaterally all hostilities.
United Nations peacekeeping forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrol in the town of Qlaile, Lebanon, May 14, 2021. Three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon toward Israel, a Lebanese military source said.

Israeli authorities have been quiet so far on international attempts to advance a cease-fire with Hamas. Reports this morning claimed that an Egyptian delegation, which arrived yesterday to Tel Aviv to negotiate a cease-fire, returned to Cairo empty-handed. The report said Israel refused an offer for a temporary cease-fire, as a first step for calming down tensions with Hamas. Other reports said Israel was not interested in a mutual commitment for a cease-fire, and is demanding that Hamas first stops unilaterally all hostilities. A France24 report said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had called late on May 12 Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, but failed to convince him to accept a cease-fire compromise. The report also mentioned efforts by the United Nations and Qatar to advance a temporary truce.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said May 12 that according to senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk, the group would accept a cease-fire on condition that Israel halts strikes and on condition of the international community pressuring Israel to end “military actions” at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Reports said Israel rejected that offer.

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