J Street condemns Hamas’ rejection of a proposed ceasefire with Israel, which the Israeli government accepted.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deserves credit for leading his government to accept the Egyptian-backed ceasefire proposal. As the security cabinet convenes to consider Israel’s next moves, we hope it resists pressure from hard-liners in the government like Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. This morning, the foreign minister irresponsibly proposed that Israel “go all the way” by reoccupying Gaza militarily, a move that would return the Israel Defense Forces to daily occupation and to control over 1.7 million Palestinians with no end in sight.
In the first hours during which Israel ceased attacks on Gaza, dozens of rockets were fired at Israel. As we have said many times before, Israel has the right to defend itself against indiscriminate attacks on its towns and cities. We mourn the Israeli man killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell near the Erez border crossing this morning.
As we pray for the safety and well-being of Israelis, we do so as well for Palestinian civilians, and express our deep sadness and concern over the mounting civilian death toll in Gaza.
We also commend Egypt for its mediation efforts as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas for endorsing the ceasefire proposal. We urge the United States to continue working with the Egyptians and other regional players to bring this violence to an end as soon as possible.