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Tough choices for Netanyahu after Hamas upends expectations | BBC News |

The Hamas ceasefire announcement surprised most observers and upended Israel's expectations of what might happen in the next few weeks.

Israel's working assumption was that Hamas would not accept a ceasefire proposal that the Americans called "exceptionally generous". At first light, Israel warned Palestinians to flee the eastern side of Rafah, because of an imminent military operation.

The Americans oppose any ground operations in Rafah that could threaten civilian lives. The Israeli defence minister, Yoav Gallant, explained to his American counterpart that there was no alternative - as Hamas had rejected every proposal for a temporary ceasefire and a release of hostages.

Mediators from the US, Egypt and Qatar continued to push for a ceasefire. The head of the CIA, William Burns, spent much of the day in meetings with the prime minister of Qatar in Doha, the capital city that is also the base for the political leadership of Hamas.

By the evening, as Hamas announced it would accept a ceasefire, Palestinian sources hinted it might be ready for a long-term truce.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 10:51:08 PM EST
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