4:22 p.m.: Hamas officially (and with great panache) rejected a temporary ceasefire, which had been reported earlier as a three-day truce to be announced by the Palestinian Authority. As Haaretz reported:
The head of Hamas' military wing, Mohammed Deif, told Hamas television that "there won't be a cease fire without the end of [Israeli] hostility and the lifting of the blockade." Hamas "will not accept interim solutions," he said.
Deif turned to the residents of the Gaza and praised them for their "resilience." Deif said: "Without your support we would not have reached results. We won't accept interim solutions, and Israel must know that it send its troops to hell."
The extent to which Gazans are supportive remains a matter of debate. There were also reports that Hamas executed 20 Palestinians who protested against the war. That figure may or may not be part of a total of 30 Palestinians were said to have been killed by Hamas for "collaborating" with Israel.
Meanwhile, intense Israeli shelling reportedly knocked Gaza's only power station out of commission earlier today, leaving 1.7 million citizens in the dark. Also, the Gaza Health Ministry announced that the Palestinian death toll in the three weeks of fighting has eclipsed 1200, although it's unclear how many of those 1200 are Hamas fighters.
That toll continues to rise with news that an IDF bombardment struck Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza, killing at least nine people. In related news, Chile and Peru announced they have summoned their ambassadors to Israel over the ongoing conflict.
9:45 a.m.: "Not so fast," sayeth Hamas. From Avi Issacharoff:
Hamas is expressing willingness for a 24-hour truce, but doesn’t know when it would begin, if at all, and is reluctant to make a public statement to that effect. In the meantime, its spokespeople have rejected PA claims that a truce has been declared.
Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s politburo chief in Qatar, has announced that Hamas is ready for a 24-hour truce. This message was transmitted to Israel.
We'll keep you posted.
Hamas and the other groups in Gaza are said to be set to announce a three-day truce, making the Gazans the latest side to play truce roulette.
From the Times of Israel:
According to senior PLO executive committee member Yasser Abed Rabbo, the Palestinians will declare a unilateral 72-hour ceasefire shortly.
For those keeping track at home, this would be the third unilateral truce put forth by a side in this conflict over the last day or so.
So proposed 24hr truce after Israel rejected 24hr truce requested by Hamas after Hamas rejected earlier 24hr truce. And that's just in 24hrs— Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) July 29, 2014
I feel like Gaza is a slot machine right now: everyone keeps pulling the lever, but three ceasefires refuse to lineup in a row.— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) July 29, 2014
Perhaps some proof that Hamas may be serious about the truce? They seemed to have enlisted the Palestine Liberation Organization to announce the truce on their behalf. This follows a night of especially heavy bombardment in Gaza by Israeli troops, which sent one CNN reporter ducking for cover.
According to reports, 100 Gazans and ten Israeli soldiers have died in the past several hours as fighting has intensified. Israeli also reportedly struck the home of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, who was not there at the time.