At 12:00 p.m. EDT an open-ended cease-fire began between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas. Both sides agreed to end hostilities and Egypt has agreed to allow some goods (including some construction goods) to rebuild Gaza through the border crossing but under the supervision of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ forces.
Senior Israeli officials said that their cabinet ministers were updated by phone that Israel would accept the cease-fire. The eight-person security cabinet was briefed on the decision to accept the cease-fire, but not asked to vote on it.
The Egyptian proposal which the sides agreed to includes an unlimited cease-fire letting material in to rehabilitate Gaza under supervision. In addition, each side will raise other demands within a month which will be discussed.
While Hamas is claiming victory the truth is Hamas accepted a deal on the 50th day of operation protective edge they could have gotten on the 25th day. The real reason for the deal was the Hamas terrorists have lost their will to fight and wanted to find a way out.
The number one issue was much Hamas’ on the ground leadership were killed in the last week. Among those killed were Hamas’s top financial chief Mohammed al-Ghoul, and three top commanders of Hamas’s “military wing,” the Al-Qassam Brigades. Those strikes are said to have triggered “panic” among Hamas ranks, and sparked a bloody campaign of executions of suspected informants.
Senior Israeli security officials said the morale amongst rank an file Hamas fighters was sinking because of the high number of their fighters killed, the destruction of their key military instillation including their rocket making factories and the destruction of the tunnels which Hamas believes was their chance to launch a major blow against Israel.
The JPOST is reporting the IDF beleves the attacks in Gaza — including damage to the homes of senior Hamas commanders — the killing of commanders as well as damage done to the more junior military level led in many instances to a breakdown in Hamas’s chain of command, and even the abandonment of the rank and file on the battlefield.
According to these assessments, in some cases, mid-level commanders – concerned that their homes would be destroyed – preferred to flee with their families from the areas of fighting. As a result, those fighters who remained often felt abandoned and lost the will to continue to fight.
In other cases, according to the assessment, some of the Hamas fighters felt their superiors completely abandoned them. One instance was reported where 14 Hamas fighters were trapped for 20 days in a tunnel, surviving only on water and dates – with no effort by their commanders to rescue them. Some of the men starved to death.
While there was dissatisfaction toward the commanders from the rank-and-file, there was also often dissatisfaction from the commanders toward the fighters, especially in the eastern sector of Gaza where there was displeasure among the senior ranks to the resistance put up against the IDF ground incursion.
According to these assessments, the intensity of the Israeli attacks, the damage down to the commanders, the intelligence and the destruction of the tunnels surprised Hamas officials, some of whom did not believe that Israel was prepared to make a ground incursion into Gaza.
The real question is will Israel win the cease fire. That will be determined by whether Hamas will be able to rearm itself (and how quickly) and whether the construction materials designated to rebuild Gaza is diverted to rebuilding the tunnels