Hamas offered Israel a full truce. Ahmed Youssef, a senior Hamas member and aide to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said in an interview published Tuesday that Hamas could halt its rocket salvoes if Israel were to agree to extend a cease-fire called in the Gaza Strip last November to the West Bank.
“Israel’s agreement to extend the cease-fire to the West Bank would enable the government headed by Haniyeh to convince the groups to cease-firing Kassam rockets,” Yussuf told Ha’aretz. “We have the tools to enable us to do this. We are interested in a comprehensive cease-fire, and the question is whether Israel is also interested.”
Israeli officials have made clear that they consider the Gaza truce over. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Monday that Israel has to press its current military campaign against Hamas.
“We have to understand, as we have understood in the past, that sometimes a cease-fire is also a kind of illusion,” she told reporters. “And we need to understand that even during periods when there is apparently quiet, Hamas exploits it in order to build up its power.”