Egypt blames Hamas for IDF's ground offensive

Foreign minister says Palestinian lives could have been saved if Hamas would have accepted their cease-fire proposal.

July 17, 2014 23:16
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh gestures during an interview with Reuters in Gaza City May 10, 2012.

Ismail Haniyeh on a chair, looking expressive 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Egyptian foreign minister said Thursday that Hamas is at fault for the IDF's need to enter Gaza in a ground operation. 

 "Had Hamas accepted the Egyptian proposal, it could have saved the lives of at least 40 Palestinians," said Sameh Shoukri, Egypt's FM, as reported by Egyptian state news agency MENA.

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Egypt had attempted to broker a truce deal between Israel and Hamas. Israel accepted the plan, but Hamas rejected the plan.

The Israeli Security Cabinet on Sunday morning accepted the original Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire that, from Israel's perspective, went into effect at 9:00 am. Hamas quickly broke the ceasefire by continuing to launch rockets into Israel.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Monday night in response an Egyptian ceasefire proposal that his movement would not accept any truce that excludes the conditions of the Palestinian groups and people.

Following a day of heavy rocket attacks from Gaza, the IDF began a ground operation in Gaza on Thursday night.

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