Israel Terms Gaza Ceasefire Accepted By Hamas As 'Softened'; US Opposes Netanyahu's Operation In Rafah

Zinger Key Points
  • Hamas confirmed accepting a ceasefire proposal mediated by Egypt and Qatar.
  • An Israeli official described the ceasefire terms accepted by Hamas as a "softened" version. US opposes an operation in Rafah.

The Islamist group Hamas has officially accepted a ceasefire proposal mediated by Egypt and Qatar on Monday, as confirmed by Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. The announcement came shortly after Israel mandated evacuations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, signaling preparations for a possible military offensive.

Despite Hamas’s acceptance, an Israeli official described the proposal as a “softened” version of a previous Egyptian initiative, containing terms that are reportedly unacceptable to Israel. According to this official, who wished to remain anonymous, the proposal's acceptance by Hamas might be strategically aimed to portray Israel as the obstructing party in peace efforts.

President Joe Biden has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to restrain from escalating military actions in Rafah. The White House emphasized the importance of safeguarding Palestinian civilians in any military strategies executed in the region.

In a press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller confirmed that “Hamas has issued a response and we are reviewing that response now and discussing it with our partners in the region,” adding that conversations “will be ongoing in the next several hours.”

“There has been a significant offer on the table. The ball has been in Hamas’ court. We have made clear that they should accept that offer, that Israel made significant compromises,” Miller stated.

He added that “we cannot support an operation in Rafa as it is currently envisioned,” as it “would dramatically increase the suffering of the Palestinian people, would lead to an increase in loss of civilian life.” This city currently shelters approximately half of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents.

Answering to the closing of Al Jazeera broadcasting in Israel, Miller stated that the U.S. supports media freedom everywhere in the world, including in Israel, and he is “concerned about this action.”

The situation has also stirred significant unrest within Israel itself, where protesters have taken to the streets, blocking roads and demanding that their government agree to the ceasefire. The demonstrations underscore the growing domestic pressure on Netanyahu’s administration to seek a peaceful resolution.

Market Reactions: Israeli stocks, as tracked by the iShares MSCI Israel ETF EIS, rose 0.4% on Monday.

Oil prices dropped sharply following the announcement of Hamas’s acceptance of a ceasefire. However, they later regained most of those losses after it emerged that Israel considered the proposal to be a diluted version.

The United States Oil Fund USO, which tracks the performance of the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light crude, was up 0.8%, snapping a 5-day losing streak.

Read now: Stocks On Track For Third Green Session, Palantir Ignites Rally In Chipmakers, Commodities Rebound: What’s Driving Markets Monday?

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