As part of Egypt’s efforts to halt the fighting between Hamas and Israel, Cairo proposed to the Palestinian organization’s leadership and to the Israeli government that they mutually stop the fire for 40 hours, after which a broader ceasefire agreement would be discussed — but Hamas rejected the offer, The Times of Israel learned from Israeli and Hamas sources.
The offer was presented to the deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, by Egyptian intelligence officers last week. Abu Marzouk rejected it after a brief consultation with the terror group’s military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades, the sources said.
Israeli officials said they were open to the possibility of stopping the fighting for an agreed-upon period before negotiating the terms of a longer-term truce.
Egypt does not intend to publicly blame Hamas for Cairo’s failure in its efforts to reach a ceasefire, the sources said, but believes the Islamist organization will bear the responsibility for its refusal. The sources said the Egyptian proposal did not include an outline for a long-term truce, but did include various ideas that different officials – European, Egyptian, and others – were discussing with the goal of securing a ceasefire deal.