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An Egyptian Official Derailed Possible Gaza Ceasefire Agreement


IDF Forces in Gaza (IDF)

Egyptian intelligence was responsible for scuttling a possible ceasefire/hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas a few weeks ago. CNN reported that it changed the terms of a ceasefire proposal that Israel’s leadership had already agreed to.

Three sources told CNN that a senior Egyptian intelligence official named Ahmed Abdel Khalek was responsible for making the changes.

“Several alternatives and scenarios were proposed to overcome the main point of contention related to ending the war,” said one source.

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This apparently led to Hamas on May 6 announcing it too had agreed to the deal. However, once the Israeli government saw the changes made in the Hamas proposal it rejected them out of hand.

Headlines were made around the world when Hamas, on that day, announced that it had agreed to a cease fire deal that had been reached by negotiators from both sides meeting in Cairo. However, the deal that Hamas agreed to included conditions that were unacceptable to Israel.

One of these demands was that there not only be a six month long stop in the fighting, but that Israel would withdraw all of its forces from Gaza. Israel also said that Hamas changed the terms so that instead of releasing a specified number of hostages it holds in Gaza who are still alive it included the remains of a number of hostages who had been killed.

This caused a diplomatic conflict between the nations attempting to mediate between the parties.

“The changes made by Egyptian intelligence, the details of which have not been previously reported, led to a wave of anger and recrimination among officials from the US, Qatar and Israel, and left ceasefire talks at an impasse,” said CNN.

The agreement’s language about ending the war has been perhaps the thorniest issue throughout the negotiations. But what Hamas sent back, Netanyahu said, “was very far from Israel’s core demands.”

That same night Israel began its long anticipated military advance into Rafah, on the southernmost end of Gaza.



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