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Official PA daily criticizes Hamas for not accepting Egyptian-brokered cease-fire

Op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, regular ‎columnist for the official PA daily
Headline: “Why did you refuse the ‎Egyptian [peace] initiative?”‎

     ‎“Hamas leaders describe the Egyptian ‎‎[peace] initiative as ‘defeatist,’ and ‎consider it a ‘surrender initiative’ – even ‎though they know it is a copy of the 2012 ‎Hudna (armistice) agreement between ‎Hamas and Israel. So then, on what ‎grounds did they, at the time, consider the ‎Hudna [proposed] by the deposed ‎president of the Muslim Brotherhood, ‎Mohamed Morsi, a ‘victory’ – even though ‎‎[in the armistice] [Hamas’] resistance was ‎referred to as ‘acts of aggression’ – while ‎they [now] consider the Egyptian initiative ‎of National Egyptian President Abdel ‎Fattah el-Sisi as ‘defeatist’ and a ‎‎‘surrender?!’ The initiative’s central aims ‎are to stop the Palestinian bloodshed and ‎the destruction of their houses and ‎property, and to prevent the US from ‎giving Israel a ‘green light’ to do what it ‎pleases in Gaza, with the excuse of ‎protecting its citizens. But at the same ‎time, it could have, despite its ‎shortcomings, prevented the occupation ‎government from expelling tens of ‎thousands of civilians from the northern ‎and eastern Gaza Strip, stopped the ‎spilling of the blood of innocent people ‎and stopped the counting of Martyrs ‎‎(Shahids), wounded and homes brought ‎down on the heads of their residents, as ‎happened to the Batesh and Kaware ‎families, may they rest in peace. ‎

Yet external commitments and party ‎interests proved stronger than national ‎reconciliation, and struck down the ‎initiative – as Netanyahu had hoped, to ‎allow him to move ahead in achieving the ‎cabinet’s strategic goals, which have not ‎yet been declared. This man, ‘the fox,’ is ‎ready to do anything that will keep him in ‎power – all the easier when the polls have ‎already given him additional strength, as ‎most Israelis – 53% – oppose the ceasefire ‎and halting military operations until their ‎objectives are achieved…‎

We do not rule out the possibility that ‎Hamas will agree to a ceasefire or to a ‎new Hudna, provided it comes from ‎regional players like Qatar or Turkey – ‎even if its contents are the same, but ‎‎[merely] formulated differently. This is ‎because Hamas will never agree to the ‎initiative of the new Egyptian government; ‎for its leaders included in their ‎calculations that one of their goals in this ‎war was to raise the value of the Muslim ‎Brotherhood’s stocks, which have crashed ‎on the political stock market. Therefore, in ‎the event that they agree to the [Egyptian] ‎initiative, they will be seen as having left ‎or severed their ties with their mother ‎organization – the Muslim Brotherhood – ‎to seek refuge in the shade of the new ‎Egyptian leadership. In addition, despite ‎its agreement to the National Consensus ‎Government, Hamas will not agree to any ‎initiative that fails to recognize it [Hamas] ‎as the one and only decision-maker in the ‎Gaza Strip.‎

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri’s ‎statements, in which he conveyed his ‎party’s opposition to the Palestinian ‎leadership’s agreement to the Egyptian ‎initiative, and his comments inciting ‎against [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, ‎are concrete proof that some of this war’s ‎objectives can be classified as ‎propaganda for the next presidential and ‎parliamentary elections.”‎