New Details on Hamas' Counteroffer for a Ceasefire Emerge, and They're Hot Garbage

AP Photo/Mohammed Hajjar

It seems Hamas has made a counteroffer to a proposed ceasefire agreement. Israel is calling it a "non-starter." I would have called it a "You've got to be freaking kidding me."  Shaiel Ben-Ephraim, whose social media bio says he's a "Liberal Zionist," has the details, and he took to X to share them with us.

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Let's look at a few of the individual items.

1) On the first day Israel has to withdraw from all the populated areas in Gaza. 

2) On the third day Israel has to withdraw from Saladin route and Al-Rashid street, all IDF facilities in Netzarim will be dismantled and Israel will withdraw from the Philadelphi route. 

3) Hamas will release 32 live hostages and not 33 in the first stage. 

First, it's not that easy to just vacate an area of operations that fast. There's more to it than just hopping in trucks and rolling out; there is a long, logistical train that has to be rolled up, with the shooters last out. It's basically the reversal of what happens when you move in, with the priority being getting all your people and equipment out safe, complete, in good order, and ready to fight again. You know, like we didn't do in Afghanistan. And what makes Hamas think they are in any position to dictate when and how many hostages will be released? The proper response from Israel to this part would be "Give us back all the hostages, then we'll talk." The offer continues:

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6) By the end of the first stage there should be no IDF soldiers in Gaza at all. 

7) The first stage will end with Israel declaring a permanent end to hostilies. (sic) 

Number 6 is just a license for Hamas to re-arm, and number 7? Hah! This means nothing. Israel can declare a permanent ceasefire until their eyes bleed, but I would bet my favorite four-wheeler against a single bean that Hamas won't consider themselves bound to any permanent end to hostilities. They will attack again as soon as they are built back up. They can't even bother to hide their intention; just read that: Israel declaring a permanent end to hostilities. There is no mention of Hamas doing so.


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Here's a real howler:

13) Israel will provide Gaza all the electricity it needs. 

I know Israel has provided electricity and water to Gaza in the past, but it would serve Hamas right if Israel told them, "You know what, guys, screw you. Figure out all that electricity and water for yourselves. Maybe one of those other Muslim-majority nations around the area can help you out with that. What, they haven't given you anything at all up until now? That's tough. Well, good luck."

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Read the whole thing, by all means. This counterproposal is, to put it bluntly, crap. Israel should (and likely will) reject it out of hand. At this point, it's hard to see any way out for Israel but through, and if that means hunting down every last single Hamas member one by one and changing them from bad terrorists to good terrorists, then that's what they should do, in the style of the Romans if necessary: Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. Since Gaza is already mostly desert, they're halfway there.

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