For Hamas, a ceasefire is not a ceasefire

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

A senior Hamas official on Monday confirmed that it would be a mistake for Israel to enter into an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with the group's forces based in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Hamas' top representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, explained that the truce would not lead to a long-term cessation of hostilities, and may not even mean a full end to the daily attacks currently plaguing the residents of southern Israel.

"The Israelis appear to be confused about the [proposed truce]," said Hamdan.

But really it is Israel's leadership that is causing the confusion, as it waffles between acknowledging that Hamas must be defeated and bowing to international pressure to facilitate calm long enough to get an overall peace deal signed, regardless of the cost in Israeli blood.

A majority of the Israeli public recognizes that war must be made on Hamas, and that the longer Israel waits, the harder it becomes to do so. Israelis are also by this point wary of ceasefire pledges from the Palestinians, whether Hamas or Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

Israel has entered into a number of ad-hoc ceasefire agreements with the Palestinians in the past, only to have low-level violence against Israeli civilians and military targets continue.

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