Israel Dismayed at US Role in Faux Ceasefire Deal

( – Israeli officials have expressed frustration at the US, saying agreements were made with Hamas without their knowledge. On May 6, Hamas announced it had accepted proposals put forward by Qatari and Egyptian negotiators, but Israel said it was surprised by the announcement because it did not receive written details until afterward, and it contained elements that the Jewish state would not agree to. Furthermore, Israel said the US was involved in the deal but did not inform the Israeli government.

Senior Israeli officials said the negotiators presented an agreement to Hamas that was composed with the knowledge and cooperation of CIA director Bill Burns. The officials said Israel “got played” by the US and that the mediators drafted “a new deal” guaranteeing the war would end with the release of hostages and that President Biden was committed to ensuring the agreement was implemented.

Israel, however, has said it will not end the war at hostage releases but continue until Hamas is wholly dismantled. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in early May and told him he is “not interested” in an agreement with Hamas, adding that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) offensive against the designated terror group in Rafah will go ahead.

State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters that Mr. Blinken made American opposition to a Rafah incursion clear to Mr. Netanyahu. He added, however, that Blinken emphasized to the Israeli Prime Minister that he believes Hamas is the primary obstacle to peace in the region. He reportedly gave the same message to Israel’s President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem the same day.

Meanwhile, Israel has warned Palestinians in Rafah to vacate the area as an IDF ground invasion is imminent. The United Nations and the United States have both urged restraint as around a million civilians are sheltering in the region Israel describes as the last stronghold for Hamas fighters. Hamas warned of “consequences” if the Israeli action goes ahead.

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