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Hamas Plays Games with Unserious Ceasefire Proposal

Palestinian terrorist group feigns acceptance to paint Israel as obstructionist.

As the Israel Defense Force (IDF) prepared to destroy the last vestige of Hamas terrorists hiding out in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, Hamas leadership said it agreed to an Egyptian and Qatari ceasefire proposal. However, the conditions appear to be the same terms Israel has consistently rejected. It is just a sham, designed to make Israel look like a ceasefire obstructionist. The IDF has told citizens of Rafah to leave immediately in anticipation of a ground operation against the Hamas stronghold.

Israel Not Unclear About Its Objectives

There has never been any fuzz on what Israel demands – hostages held by Hamas returned, Hamas destroyed, a demilitarized Gaza, and deradicalization of Palestinian society. As Liberty Nation reported, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it abundantly clear that he would not detour from the objective of destroying Hamas.” Weekend negotiations had reached an impasse, and Israel reiterated its decision to destroy the remnants of Hamas terrorist battalions in Rafah, ordering civilians to evacuate. Following the IDF announcement, Hamas had a sudden change of heart. The New York Times reported:

“Hours later, Hamas suddenly announced that its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, had accepted a ceasefire proposal based on a plan proffered by Egypt and Qatar, which have been mediating the negotiations with Israel. The terms Hamas had agreed to were not immediately clear, but a senior Israeli official quickly said that the terms were not those that Israel had agreed to.”

Some reports maintain the primary sticking point to an agreement is whether there will be a pause in fighting, during which hostages will be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners, or a cessation to fighting, leaving the Hamas terrorists in charge in Gaza. The latter condition is untenable for Israel since it allows the terrorists to reconstitute and commit, as promised, Oct. 7 redux. “A Hamas official has vowed to repeat the horrific terror attacks on Israel … ‘again and again’ until the country is completely destroyed, insisting it has ‘no place on our land,’” the New York Post reported. Why would Israel not believe Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’ political decision-making group, who made the statement?

Another obstacle in the negotiations has been Hamas’ insistence that Palestinians returning to their towns and villages must do so freely without Israelis managing the return in search for Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists. Of course, this is a non-starter for the Israeli government, which insists there must be no opportunity for Hamas to reclaim its control over the Gazans. If Hamas is given license to re-establish its governmental control in Gaza, then Hamad’s threat will become a reality. Hamas is like an aggressive cancer. If one cell is left alive, it becomes two, two become four, and in a short time, the rancid stench of Hamas’ evil intent will be a menace to Israel again.

White House Content With Hamas Remaining in Gaza

The Biden administration has been cautious during the confusion over whether a possible ceasefire is in the works. However, during the daily White House press briefing, the president’s national security communications adviser, John Kirby, made clear, “We don’t support ground operations in Rafah.” What he didn’t say was how to eradicate the Hamas organization without taking the fight to Rafah, where Hamas is. “We want to get these hostages out. We want to get a ceasefire in place for six weeks. We want to increase humanitarian assistance. And the last thing I want to do is say anything at this podium that’s going to put that process at risk,” Kirby explained.

Often forgotten in the effort to protect Palestinian civilians in Gaza is that a majority of these same people have supported Hamas and Islamic Jihadists since 2007 in persistent attacks on Israel. During two days in May 2023, Israel sustained Palestinian terrorist attacks from Gaza that included 803 rockets launched against Israeli civilians. War is ugly and horrific, and every effort should be made to avoid it. However, when Hamas started this murderous business, the Palestinians who supported the training camps and provided their young men as combatants should have anticipated there would be consequences. Israel is working to ensure there will never be another Oct. 7 – a worthy objective. Don’t count your ceasefires until there is one.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliate.

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