Israel decries EU official who falsely claimed ‘Hamas accepted, Israel rejected’ truce deal

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell attends a meeting with European and Arab foreign ministers held in Riyadh on April 29, 2024. (Fayez Nureldine / AFP)
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell attends a meeting with European and Arab foreign ministers held in Riyadh on April 29, 2024. (Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

Israel calls remarks on Tuesday from EU foreign policy Josep Borrell blaming Israel for “rejecting” Hamas’s ceasefire proposal “a dangerous mix of ignorance, hostility and legitimization of terrorism.”

“In the midst of the negotiations for the release of the 132 hostages and to achieve humanitarian relief, Hamas chose to launch rocket fire towards the Kerem Shalom humanitarian crossing area, killing four Israeli soldiers,” writes Foreign Ministry spokesman Oren Marmorstein on X. “The rocket fire that killed the four Israelis was launched from Rafah.

“The organization that fires at the humanitarian crossing in attempts to kill the deal for the release of the hostages and humanitarian relief is the Hamas terrorist organization,” he continues.

Ahead of a meeting in Brussels of EU foreign ministers, Borrell told reporters that “Hamas accepted, Israel rejected and the land offensive against Rafah has started again, in spite of all the requests of the international community – the United States, the EU member states, everybody asking Netanyahu not to attack Rafah.”

Marmorstein says that “accepting Hamas’s media manipulations encourages terrorism,” and pledges that Israel will continue working to secure the release of the hostages and to destroy Hamas.

While Hamas claimed to have “accepted” a deal outline, the US and others have admitted since that it was essentially a counter-proposal, with crucial changes from the Israeli offer it was responding to.

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