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Hamas pressured Islamic Jihad to accept truce, wanted to stay out of fight — officials

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Supporters of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups take part in a rally to celebrate a shooting attack in Tel Aviv, in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 8, 2022. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)
Illustrative: Supporters of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups take part in a rally to celebrate a shooting attack in Tel Aviv, in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 8, 2022. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

Hamas was in touch with Egypt throughout Operation Breaking Dawn and pressured Palestinian Islamic Jihad to agree to a ceasefire, say senior Israeli officials this morning.

“We knew throughout that Hamas wanted to stay out” of the conflict, the officials say.

However, the officials say that Hamas failed in its responsibility to head off a conflict, which it should have done by pressuring PIJ before it started: “That is an expectation we have of someone who presumes to rule the Strip and its population.”

The officials argue that Hamas stayed out of the fight because of Israel’s military and civil policies over the past year. “That includes Operation Guardian of the Walls and the important economic incentives for the population,” they say.

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