It would appear that Hamas are following what is technically know as the “Black Knight Doctrine”. It’s fully explained in this short documentary:
It appears Avi Issacharoff is correct. The Egyptian deal is far too humiliating for Hamas to accept and the fact that the Hamas leadership learned about it first through leaks to Egyptian media is just an added humiliation bonus. These guys live by honour and shame: this kind of stuff really matters.
My knee jerk reaction to talk of a ceasefire was that it would be another “hudna”: an Islamic term. It’s a pause in a war when the Muslims are too weak to fight successfully and for them to re-arm and gather strength before attacking again. As this deal was proposed by Egypt, no friends of Hamas, it’s pretty clear that isn’t the case here.
If they accept the Egyptian proposal, they will be perceived as having been heavily defeated in the latest round of conflict with Israel; a defeat that is close to a humiliation.
That’s because the conditions in the Egyptian proposal do not include any of the demands that Hamas has been repeating day and night in the last few days. As reported in the Egyptian media, there is no mention in the proposal of Hamas’s oft-repeated demand for the release of the dozens of its operatives, freed in the 2011 Shalit deal, who were rearrested in recent weeks by Israeli forces in the West Bank in the wake of the murders of the three Israeli teenagers. There is also no concrete commitment regarding the opening of the Rafah border crossing or the payments of the salaries of Hamas’s 40,000 clerks in Gaza. And there is no mention whatsoever of the situation in the West Bank. All these demands were raised by the Hamas military wing two days after Israel began Operation Protective Edge, and repeated interminably ever since.
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