White House Puts Pressure on Israel to Seal Ceasefire

(RightWing.org) – Officials from the United States, Qatar, and Egypt have been attempting to broker a ceasefire and hostage release agreement between Israel and Hamas. In a curious turn of events, the situation intensified between the two warring factions on Monday, May 6, with the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF’s) attack on the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Recent reports indicated that the US had been putting pressure on Israel to seal a ceasefire deal.

On May 5, Axios reported that two Israeli officials said that Biden administration officials placed a hold on a shipment of ammunition sometime during the week beginning on April 28.

The White House declined to comment on the revelation, but other media outlets picked up the story a few days later and reported that a US official characterized the move as a “shot across the bow” to emphasize the seriousness of the administration’s concerns about the looming attack on Rafah — which began in earnest this week, as detailed below.

On May 6 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), The Associated Press (AP) reported that Hamas had agreed to a ceasefire agreement proposed by Qatari and Egyptian officials. About an hour later, the news agency spoke with an unnamed official with insider knowledge of Israeli thinking who said Israel hadn’t accepted the terms of the agreement. The official said the proposal didn’t include the “framework” for a ceasefire proposed by officials in Jerusalem.

At about the same time, Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari confirmed that although Israel was considering the proposal, Israeli troops wouldn’t halt operations in the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-ranking officials approved a long-threatened military operation in Rafah, and IDF troops began striking targets there.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu said he would send negotiators to continue ceasefire talks even though the Hamas-sanctioned agreement didn’t meet “Israel’s essential demands.” He did note that the new deal went beyond the terms of the one Israel presented in late April.

On Tuesday, White House national security spokesman John Kirby spoke with reporters about the ongoing negotiations. He said administration officials were optimistic that the two sides could reach a deal despite the differences between Israel’s earlier proposal and the latest one agreed to by Hamas.

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