Prof. Jacobson posted yesterday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. This morning Israel’s security cabinet accepted the Egyptian proposal.

The New York Times reports:

Israel has accepted Egypt’s proposal for a cessation of hostilities with Hamas and other militant Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip, the prime minister’s office announced at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, the appointed hour for the start of the cease-fire in the proposal made by Cairo on Monday night.

“In accordance with the government directives, the I.D.F. now holds fire,” Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said in a statement nearly two hours later, using the abbreviation for the Israel Defense Forces. “We remain alert and preserve high preparedness levels, both defensive and offensive. If the Hamas terror organization will fire at Israel, we shall respond.”

Hamas, as The Washington Post reported, rejected the Egyptian proposal.

A senior Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, called the proposal “unacceptable” and complained that Egyptians have not spoken with the Gaza leadership. The group’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigade, wrote on its Web site that the initiative was “not worth the ink it was written with” and “the resistance will continue until all the demands of our people are met.”

Arutz-7 reports that according to the IDF approximately 35 rockets have been fired into Israel since the ceasefire. One hit a house in Ashdod but there were no injuries:

Between 10:00a.m. – 11:00 a.m., four rockets hit open areas outside the Eshkol region. No injuries nor damage were reported. Sirens rang in the Eshkol region, Ashkelon, and communities near Gaza.

Between 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., the Iron Dome shot down at least two missiles over Ashdod, and sirens rang in Sderot, Sha’ar HaNegev, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Hof Ashkelon, Beit Raban, Gan Yavne, Kannot, Kiryat Malachi, Be’er Tuvia, and the Eshkol region.

Since 12:00 p.m., have sounded once again in Sderot, the Eshkol region, the Shefelah, Ashkelon, Ashdod and S’dot HaNegev; rocket fire is also spreading northward, with sirens in Rehovot, Yavne, Zihron Ya’akov, Carmel, Haifa, and Menashe. At least two rockets have hit in Eshkol; no injuries or damage reported.

UPDATE: As of 3 PM Israel time, the IDF has resumed Operation Protective Edge.

Diplomatic officials said that the IDF actions, which came at 3:00 pm, six hours after Israel held its fire and responded positively to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal, were the result of Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejecting the cease fire.

IAF aircraft began striking targets on Tuesday afternoon following the decision. The IDF stated that it would strike all “elements that are behind terrorist attacks on Israel.”

The rejection of the ceasefire by Hamas prompted Secretary of State John Kerry to blast the terrorist organization, “I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire, in which Egypt and Israel worked together, that the international community strongly supports.”

[Photo: CNN / YouTube ]


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