At the request of the United States, officials from the Palestinian Authority approached Hamas to try to broker a Hamas-Israel ceasefire deal, to no avail, Palestinian sources told The Times of Israel on Thursday.
American diplomats led by Philip Gordon, Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, visited Ramallah on Wednesday and held talks with PA officials, senior Palestinian officials said. The Americans urged the PA to reach out to Hamas in an effort to put an end to its rocket fire on Israel. PA officials indeed spoke to Hamas, but were told that “there’s nothing to talk about.”
The Palestinian officials said the US diplomats also met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also expressed no interest in a ceasefire. Netanyahu does not want American mediation, or anybody else’s, and indicated that he intends to continue the conflict with Hamas, the officials said.
Palestinian sources also said that Norway’s ambassador in Cairo met with Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, and heard from him as well that Hamas was not seeking a ceasefire. The sources said it is clear that the Hamas military wing is dictating developments to the Hamas political leadership. And the military wing is refusing to discuss a ceasefire, the sources said.
According to the sources, the Hamas military wing is desperate to see the Rafah border crossing reopened, to ensure the transfer of funds that are critical to the well-being of its regime and to move closer to Egypt and warm up the deadlocked relations.
Another goal is to undermine Mahmoud Abbas’s leadership, the sources said, adding that the military wing does not want Hamas to continue the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation process once this conflict is over.