Copyright: US State Department/Public Domain
On Tuesday evening, August 26, 2014, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry announced that its ceasefire propsal has been accepted and would enter into effect at 7 pm:
“In order to preserve the lives of innocent people and prevent bloodshed, and in accordance with the Egyptian Initiative of 2014 and the Cairo 2012 memorandums of understanding, Egypt has invited the Israeli and Palestinian sides to a comprehensive and mutual ceasefire with the opening of the crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel to allow a speedy entry of humanitarian aid and relief, reconstruction supplies and fishing permissions from six nautical miles. Indirect negotiations over other topics are to start in a month. As both sides accepted the ceasefire, it shall start at 7pm Cairo time on 26 August 2014."
Israel accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal from the start. Because of the military pressure Israel put on Hamas in recent days, Hamas accepted the same ceasefire proposal it previously rejected.
The Egyptian ceasefire proposal has no time limit. It includes none of Hamas’ declared conditions for ending the fighting: Hamas does not receive an airport; Hamas does not receive a seaport; Hamas does not receive the release of prisoners; and Hamas does not receive money for its payroll.
If Hamas honors the ceasefire, within a month indirect negotiations will begin, during which Israel will raise the issue of the demilitarization of Gaza.
As it repeatedly stated from the beginning of the hostilities, Israel has nothing against the civilian population of Gaza. According to the Egyptian proposal, reconstruction equipment and supplies will be transferred to Gaza. The transfer will be subject to an oversight mechanism between Israel and the international organizations operating in Gaza. The fishing zone will be restored and in the future, the possibility of its expansion will be evaluated.