Israel denies reports of ceasefire in southern Gaza

“Those who massacre children, rape women and kidnap babies do not deserve any mercy,” said Culture and Sport Minister Miki Zohar.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli army vehemently denied reports of a ceasefire, ahead of the expected opening of the Rafah Crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt to allow foreign nationals to leave the coastal enclave and for the entry of humanitarian aid.

Senior Egyptian military officials told Reuters and Arabic-language media on Monday morning that Israel had agreed to a ceasefire of several hours, in order to allow the crossing point to function.

But those reports were swiftly rebutted by the Israeli government.

“At the moment, there is no ceasefire for humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip and the exit of foreigners,” read a brief statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Multiple countries, including the U.S. and EU nations, have pressured Israel to agree to a ceasefire to allow their dual citizens to exit the Strip.

Several Likud party officials released their own statements railing against the proposition of admitting supplies into the coastal enclave.

“Those who massacre children, rape women and kidnap babies do not deserve any mercy,” said Culture and Sport Minister Miki Zohar.

Energy Minister Israel Katz, who approved the disconnection of the Strip from Israel’s electrical grid, said that he “bitterly opposes” the easing of conditions within the territory.

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“Our commitment is to the families of the murdered and kidnapped hostages – not to the Hamas murders and those who helped them,” he said.

However, in a media statement on Sunday evening, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted that Gazans would soon receive access to humanitarian relief.

“We’re putting in place — with the United Nations, with Egypt, with Israel, with others — the mechanism by which to get the assistance in and to get it to the people who need it,” said Blinken at a press conference in Egypt.

Notably, Reuters reported that several UN-flagged trucks were seen leaving the southern Strip late Monday morning, presumably en route to receive supplies at a crossing point.