Hamas Declares It Has Accepted A Ceasefire

Just hours after Israel on Monday warned Palestinian civilians in Rafah to evacuate ahead of a planned invasion into the city, Hamas claimed that it had accepted a ceasefire.

According to international media, Hamas declared that it had accepted the temporary ceasefire presented by Egypt and Qatar. This sudden acceptance comes after the terrorist group refused for weeks to agree to a deal with Israel unless the Jewish state agrees to end the war permanently. It also comes as Israel’s attack on Rafah, the last significant Hamas stronghold in Gaza, is imminent.

Israeli officials have said that the terms Hamas claimed to have agreed with has not been proposed or accepted by Israel.

In addition to requiring all parties to agree to an immediate pause in hostilities and combat actions, the ceasefire deal Hamas said it accepted requires the gradual withdrawal of the IDF from Central Gaza and the complete withdrawal of forces to the internationally recognized borders before the Oct. 7 attack.

The deal also included a deal for a prisoner exchange, which is expected to take place within days before further negotiations over the exchange of soldiers and prisoners sentenced to life.

Thousands of Palestinians have begun leaving Rafah after an order came in from the Israel Defense Forces for them to leave the city and move to the Al-Mawasi humanitarian zone and other places nearby.

A spokesperson for the Israeli government, David Mencer, has said that Israel’s call for the residents of Rafah to evacuate the city was not a bluff.

“The purpose of the operation in Rafah is to do exactly what the IDF has stated. Rafah contains the last four battalions of Hamas. We cannot leave them in power: it’s been stated quite clearly that if we do that they will simply retake Gaza. And consequently, they will attack us again, because that’s precisely what they have said,” he said.

Mencer, however, implied that Israel was still open to talks about a hostage deal. Noting how Hamas had “sabotaged” the most recent deal deliberately, he said, “We have stated many, many times that the Israeli government is committed to do whatever it is that is needed to get our hostages home.”