IDF Readying Forces Near Gaza as Cease-Fire End Approaches
As a 72-hour cease-fire with Hamas approaches its conclusion at midnight Wednesday, senior commanders of Israeli army reserve officers and soldiers sent alerts to several hundred key personnel to be ready to return to staging areas near Gaza, Israeli media reported.
The IDF and Air Force are preparing for a potential resumption of military action, in the wake of stalemated indirect Cairo-brokered talks with Hamas leaders of the Islamist coastal enclave, and Palestinian Authority (PA) interlocutors representing President Mahmoud Abbas.
“We’re ready to continue (military operations); we haven’t quit or ended. Our people are ready, and we hope that (a new round of fighting) will be conclusive,” a senior officer told Israel’s NRG News.
Egyptian interlocutors are asking both sides for another 72-hour extension, according to Army radio. Neither Israel nor Hamas has responded as yet to the offer, Army radio said.
Israeli representatives who returned from Cairo on Wednesday told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “there was no breakthrough in talks,” according to Walla News.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, speaking with visiting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that, “We don’t know yet whether we will watch in these hours the end of the hostilities and the end of the fighting.”
“No one knows, but we are very sure that if we will be forced to another round you will support us and give us all what we need in order to say to the terrorists – there is no way that you will bring down Israel,” Rivlin said in a statement released to the press.