Hamas and Islamic Jihad React to Ceasefire, Demand Border Control


Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two Iranian-backed Palestinian militant groups in Gaza, formally responded Tuesday to the U.S. ceasefire proposal, requesting several modifications, including control over the Gaza-Egypt border.

President Joe Biden introduced a three-stage plan on May 30, which did not call for Hamas to disarm and relinquish power. He erroneously claimed the plan was Israel’s idea. The State Department later acknowledged that the plan closely mirrored Hamas’s demands rather than Israel’s.

The U.S. translated the plan into a non-binding United Nations Security Council resolution, which passed on Monday. On Wednesday, Hamas submitted a response to Qatari and Egyptian mediators, seeking further negotiations.

Axios reported:

Hamas has given Qatari and Egyptian mediators its official response to the Israeli proposal for a hostage and ceasefire deal, according to two sources with knowledge of the issue. … Hamas’ response included a comment regarding the description of the ceasefire and a demand for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Rafah crossing and the Philadelphi corridor between Egypt and Gaza.

The Philadelphi corridor is the road that runs along the Egyptian border with Gaza on the Gazan side. It has been a major smuggling route for Hamas, allowing it to move weapons and goods into the Gaza Strip from the Sinai desert.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently took control of the entire Philadelphi corridor, dismantling dozens of terror tunnels and rocket launchers that were placed in plain sight. The IDF also exposed an overpass that enabled Hamas to transfer goods across the border with Egypt, bypassing checks by Egyptian or international authorities.

Control of the border would enable Hamas to re-arm. Therefore, Israel is likely to reject the demand for the Philadelphi corridor.

Joel B. Pollak
Joel B. Pollak
South African-American conservative political commentator, writer, radio host, and attorney.

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