According to the mainstream media, it was Hamas’ military wing which rejected the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel. The acceptance of a difference between Hamas military and political wings is a result of media naivety and Western governments’ convenience. Blaming the rejection of the Egyptian deal on that supposed military wing as both NBC News and CNN have is an outright falsehood.
Separating the military and political parts of Hamas is a convenience created to allow Western countries to deal with the terrorists without dealing with the terrorists (Hezbollah and Fatah make the same distinction). However, the “wings” are two parts of the same whole. They work together, consult, plan operations all together.
The first Hamas officials rejecting the Egyptian deal were all political leaders.
Tuesday morning, at 3:45 a.m. Jerusalem time, a little more than five hours before the truce was supposed to begin, it was reported that Ismail Haniyeh, the deputy chief of the Hamas political bureau, rejected the deal, saying:
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“We will not agree to any ceasefire that does not cater to the demands of the Palestinian people and brings honor to its victims.”
“Today we are facing an important stage in the conflict with the Israeli occupation. Years of a blockade did not prevent our resistance from taking all possible measures to protect the Palestinian people,” he added.
“The Zionist enemy forced the war on us and planned it. Today we are fulfilling our duty to protect our people and our honor,” declared Haniyeh.
Haniyeh’s comments echo those of a Hamas official who reiterated earlier Monday that the group would not accept any deal without Israel meeting several harsh conditions for a truce, including releasing terrorists and stopping a blockade.
At about the same time, Sami Abu Zuhri, the spokesman for the “political wing,’ expressed the Hamas disapproval in a Facebook post. “The responses of resistance will continue until the demands of our people are achieved,” Mr. Zuhri wrote. “Any unilateral Israeli cessation has no value in the light of the large crimes and the disastrous humanitarian situation.” Then, about a half-hour after the truce was supposed to begin, Zuhri told the Associated Press that the group had rejected the proposal, claiming that Cairo had not consulted them. “We did not receive any official draft of this Egyptian proposal,” Sami Abu Zuhri said, adding that the plan, as is, was “not acceptable.”
Unsurprisingly, The NY Times first reported the Zuhri Facebook, post but edited it out 18 minutes later, perhaps because it didn’t comply with the “blame the military wing” meme.