The ongoing attempts for a ceasefire of the Israeli/Hamas conflict is complex and includes multiple countries and parties. They include the US, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority (PA) under President Mahmoud Abbas from the West Bank and Hamas political bureau, Khaled Mashaal from the Gaza Strip. Israel and the US have previously stated they only recognize Egypt as a legitimate cease-fire broker.
Hamas rejected Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s call for a cease-fire amid concerns that an agreement won’t be reached before other parties are drawn into its conflict with Israel
Wednesday’s speech by the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Mashaal, in Qatar, did not constitute good news. One way or another Mashaal made clear that the fighting is likely to continue for a considerable time. The stance he presented, which is accepted by all wings of Hamas — military and political, in Gaza and overseas — is that there will be no ceasefire without the full lifting of the blockade on the Strip.
The blockade mentioned by Mashaal is the Rafah border crossing between Israel and the Sinai Peninsula, currently guarded by the Egyptian army. It is the main route in which Hamas can continue to receive arms and men to ensure survival.
Mashaal made one more interesting point that relates to the US. He claimed that Secretary of State John Kerry called his friends in Qatar and Turkey at the start of the conflict and asked them to broker a ceasefire. If this is true, it’s nothing less than a scandal because it would mean Kerry had cut out the ground from beneath the Egyptian ceasefire proposal.
While Khaled Meshal haggles with ceasefire brokers in Qatar, his agents are known to have appealed urgently to Tehran to find the weapons they need and deliver them at top speed to the Gaza Strip – possibly from Libya by the Iranian-terrorists’ arms smuggling route through Egypt.
For now, Egypt is still protecting Israel’s southern border.
Egypt: Army shoots suicide bomber near Gaza border
The Ma’an news agency quoted an Egyptian army source to the effect that the attacker carried an explosive device and was shot after he attempted to cross the border with Israel south of Rafah.
The source claimed that the Egyptian army had also destroyed a vehicle loaded with Grad missiles in Sheikh Zuweid in the North Sinai district, killing at least two operatives inside.
The Egyptian army said that it had thwarted a total of two missile attacks against Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge on July 8.