What a ‘Truce’ Means to Hamas

FrontPage Magazine 5 December 2012
By Joseph Puder

Disparate reflections on the recently concluded ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, which followed eight days of fighting, were revealed in a November 23, 2012 New York Times report: "Palestinians erupted in triumphant celebrations here on Thursday, vowing new unity among rival factions and a renewed commitment to the tactic of resistance, while Israel’s leaders sought to soberly sell the achievements of their latest military operation to a domestic audience long skeptical of cease-fire deals like the one announced the night before.”

Hamas held boisterous rallies across the Gaza Strip the day after the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel went into effect, in spite of having lost 161 fighters and civilians, and being left with pulverized weapon stores and destroyed smuggling tunnels. According to CBS-News, "Gaza’s Hamas rulers claimed that Israel’s decision not to send in ground troops, as it had four years ago, was a sign of a new deterrent power.” Hamas’ Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, boasted that the "Resistance fighters changed the rules of the game with the occupation (Israel) and upset its calculations. The option of invading Gaza after this victory is gone and will never return.” Haniyeh pointed out that "Resistance can unite our people and bring us independence.” And he added, "The blood of Jabari [the terror master and so-called Hamas Chief-of-Staff killed by Israel] united the people of the nation on the choice of jihad and resistance.”

Unlike their political leaders, most of the Israeli public is cognizant of the nature of ceasefire agreements with Arab terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. They know that agreements mean very little beyond a respite in the fighting, and that as soon as Hamas manages to restore its depleted missile arsenal, the firing of rockets against Israel will resume.

For Hamas now, as for Yasser Arafat before, the ceasefire agreement with Israel is at best a hudna (Arabic for a temporary truce) and a reduction of hostilities against an enemy. It is a move meant to buy time until it is tactically advantageous to resume attacks. The model for Hamas and other Islamist terror groups is the Prophet Mohammed’s "peace treaty” with the Quraysh tribe known as the Treaty of Hudaybiah signed in 628 CE. The peace was supposed to last for ten years, but lasted for less than two. As soon as Mohammed became stronger, he violated the treaty and attacked the Quraysh, and captured their (and his native) city of Mecca (continue reading...)