Israel decides to ceasefire but only if Hamas does too

The Israeli cabinet voted this morning (NZ time) to halt the offensive that has dealt a stinging blow to the Islamic militants of Hamas for the time being.

In announcing the unilateral cease-fire, Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert said in a televised address that Israel had achieved its goals, and more: “Hamas was hit hard, in its military arms and in its government institutions,” Olmert said.

Fighting will stop at 2 a.m. local time (midnight GMT), but Israel will keep troops on the ground for the time being, Olmert said. If Hamas holds its fire, the military “will weigh pulling out of Gaza at a time that befits us.” If not, Olmert said, Israel “will continue to act to defend our residents.”

Got that, if Hamas holds their fire then so will the Israelis. If the fire holds for a reasonable period then Israel will withdraw. If not then they will contiue on with the onslaught.

My prediction is Hamas will not ceasefire and will continue with the rocket attacks.