Report: Israel acknowledges quiet on Gaza front; no long-term deal without captives’ return

A report in the Israeli media indicates that notwithstanding the relative calm along the Gaza Border, Israel has not yet struck a potentially enduring agreement with the Hamas terror group.

By: World Israel News Staff

While Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip is the most quiet it has been in weeks, a senior Israeli official quoted by Times of Israel indicated that any potentially longstanding deal with the Hamas terror group would require the return of Israeli captives and the remains of IDF soldiers.

The current truce is reportedly the handiwork of representatives of Egypt and the United Nations, who have served as go-betweens for Israel and Hamas.

In addition to the violent protests along the border orchestrated by Hamas, and the accompanying airborne arson attacks, the terror group also recently launched several lager-scale rocket attacks on Israel, striking residential areas and injuring Israelis. One recent attack resulted in Hamas rockets reaching the Israeli city of Beersheba, a first since 2014’s Operation Protective Edge.

The current calm appeared to involve Israel agreeing to reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza on Wednsday, which is one of the primary points of entry for goods entering the coastal enclave, in exchange for Hamas agreeing to ramp down arson attacks and cease rocket fire.

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A senior Israeli official quoted by Times of Israel cautioned, however, that there would be “no real arrangement without the return of our sons and citizens, and a commitment for a long-term calm.”

Hamas currently holds in captivity Israeli civilians Avira Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, in addition to the remains of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed in 2014.

Not all Israeli politicians supported the current truce, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday issuing harsh criticism of any agreement based on “temporary calm,” which he warned could give Hamas an opportunity to prepare for the next round of attacks on the Jewish state.