Israel, Palestine, Peace negotiations

Hamas and the Peace Process

hamas-fatahOn May 13, 2008, Yuval Diskin, the director of the Israeli Internal Security Service, Shin Bet, met with U.S. Ambassador Richard Jones to discuss the prospect of a “cooling down” period with Hamas. The conversation was recorded in a government cable released by Wikileaks, and sheds some light on the military strategy that Israel has pursued in Gaza since 2008, including three major confrontations with Hamas: Operation Cast Lead (2008-09); Operation Pillar of Defense (2012); and Operation Protective Edge (2014).

I have pasted the relevant portion of the cable below:

¶15. (S) [Shin Bet chief] Diskin said that Israel does not like the tahdiya [truce] — seeing it as a means whereby Hamas and other groups can regroup and re-arm — but also dislikes the current situation. The ISA, he said, believes that the best option now is a large-scale ground incursion into the Gaza Strip that allows the IDF to take over the southern part of the Gaza Strip and to stop smuggling and increase pressure on Hamas. “If you do this, it will cause big problems for Hamas’ survival in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “We can do it,” he added. He continued: “None of us like the idea of a military operation in the Gaza Strip, but we also believe we cannot avoid it. I do not believe in this ‘cooling down’ that the tahdiya would afford. Even if it starts, it will not last long. The way we are now treating the current situation is not effective. It is a waste of time, money and life. A ground invasion may lead to loss of life, but would be more effective. We need to be ready to take over the southern Gaza Strip and hold on to it for as long as necessary. Months and years if need be. Strategically, all of us understand that we cannot avoid the Gaza Strip if there is to be a roadmap and a peace process.” Diskin added, “My job is to tell the inconvenient truth. I am glad that others are finally realizing that the situation in the Gaza Strip is intolerable and getting worse every day. The situation in Lebanon makes it easier for us to make our case. We need to be very tough in dealing with the problem of the Gaza Strip. Egypt will not resolve the problem for us, and Abu Mazen will not and cannot.”

The current strategy in Gaza seems to be more or less in line with what Diskin described in 2008. Against this backdrop, Israel has maintained that it is committed to the peace process, and that its actions in Gaza are somehow consistent with that commitment. As one hears time and again, the wars against Hamas are wars against a party dedicated to the destruction of Israel, “the Palestinian version of Al-Qaeda,” as Benjamin Netanyahu put it during his visit to Washington in 2011.

Is Hamas dedicated to the destruction of Israel? Its 1988 Charter, one is frequently reminded, makes that clear: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad (holy war). Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with.”

On the other hand, anyone who has spent any time at all paying attention to the Arab-Israeli conflict is quite aware that Hamas started distancing itself from this document within a few years of its publication. Today, after repeated overtures to the West and Israel that it will end the conflict in exchange for peace within the parameters of the Arab Peace Initiative, the Hamas charter has all the relevance of an adolescent anarchist phase in a politician’s history. Was that really Hamas? Sure. Is that Hamas today? No.

In the 1970s, Israel viewed the PLO in much the same way it views Hamas today. Its security services assassinated PLO figures to prevent back-channel diplomacy efforts between the Palestinians and the US. The preferred strategy has almost always been the one summarized in the cable above: “We need to be very tough in dealing with the problem…”

Here’s a quick round-up of statements made by Hamas officials over the past 15 years on the subject of peace with Israel. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions.


May 17, 1999 – “In an interview, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of the terrorist Islamic resistance movement Hamas, called last week for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and for the first time suggested he might recognize Israel’s right to exist. But he threatened to continue terrorist activity if there’s no movement. In a major departure from all previous statements of Hamas policy, Yassin said Thursday that the conflict could be ended if Israel withdrew from Gaza and the West Bank of the Jordan River. Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Six-Day War. Yassin offered an immediate end to Hamas attacks on Israeli targets following such a withdrawal and said relations with Israel should be left to future generations to decide.”

“Sheik Yassin is recognizing here for the first time Israel’s right to exist within the 1967 borders,” said Ehud Ya’ari, a leading Israeli analyst of Middle East affairs. “Until now, the sheik has only offered a 10-year recess in the conflict. He is now apparently suggesting deferring the resolution of the conflict to the decision of future generations.”

January 26, 2004 — “A top official of the main Palestinian militant group, Hamas, has said it could declare a 10-year truce with Israel if it withdrew from territory occupied since 1967. Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi said late yesterday Hamas has concluded it was “difficult to liberate all our land at this stage, so we accept a phased liberation…We accept a state in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. We propose a 10-year truce in return for (Israeli) withdrawal and the establishment of a state,” he said by telephone from hiding in the Gaza Strip.”

February 2, 2006 — “”One of the last surviving founders of Hamas”, Mahmud al-Zahhar, told a French newspaper that Hamas’s demands for Israel’s destruction was a “myth” invented “by the United States and the Zionist media”. It is “ridiculous” to assume “that a small organization like Hamas could destroy a state such as Israel, which has nuclear weapons”, Al-Zahhar said in an interview with the French newspaper Liberation website, published on 2 February. He said Hamas’s priorities include “the restoration of order and discipline”. “We will disarm the gangs and mafias that provoke chaos,” he said. Al-Zahhar remained defiant on the question of aid, saying: “If necessary, we will use our own resources.” He defended Palestinian “right to resist”, saying “Resistance will end once the violence of the occupation ends.”

February 9, 2006  –“Hamas yesterday offered a long-term ceasefire if Israel withdraws from all land occupied in 1967. The announcement by Khaled Meshaal, one of Hamas’s most senior leaders, was its clearest policy statement since winning the Palestinian general election last month. Mr Meshaal was speaking before a crucial Hamas meeting in Cairo on how the Islamist movement will form the new Palestinian government. While he promised a possible “long-term ceasefire” he refused to commit the organisation to a full renunciation of violence, which is demanded of Hamas by the international community and Israel.

Its charter warns that Israel faces elimination by Islam and calls for holy war or jihad against non-Muslim claimants of Palestine. Mr Meshaal said he wanted to send a message to the Israeli government that Hamas would be ready to talk if Israel met conditions that included a withdrawal to the 1967 boundaries. Hamas would then “possibly give a long-term truce with Israel”, he said.

February 27, 2006 — “In an interview with The Washington Post, Ismail Haniyeh, the top Hamas member in the Palestinian parliament and the man tapped to serve as prime minister, suggested that Hamas had no hatred of Israel and was prepared to consider recognition of the Jewish state as long as Israel pulls back to its 1967 boundaries and allows for the creation of a Palestinian state. Such recognition is considered a prerequisite by Israeli officials as well as much of the international community for Hamas’s place at any negotiating table.

But in the flurry of attention following the interviews indicating a more pragmatic bent, Mr. Haniyeh either retracted or clarified the statement, saying that his position had not been accurately portrayed.

Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza Sunday that he “did not tackle the issue of recognizing [Israel] in my interview with the Washington Post.” Rather, he restated the Hamas position that was outlined by the group’s founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and which other senior members of the organization have repeated in the weeks since the group’s surprise victory on Jan. 25: If Israel withdraws from land it captured in the 1967 war to make way for a Palestinian state and allows Palestinian refugees to return, Hamas would consider a long-term truce, or hudna.

May 24, 2006 — “Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s recent comment that peace was possible if Israel withdrew to the 1967 lines was a step toward recognizing Israel’s right to exist and was likely timed to coincide with a meeting of EU officials in Brussels to discuss funding to the Palestinians a European diplomatic official told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

Haniyeh in an interview with Ha’aretz Monday said If Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders peace will prevail and we will implement a hudna for many years. He said his Hamas-led government was “prepared to maintain a long-term cease-fire with Israel.”

June 28, 2006 — Hours before Israeli troops moved back into Gaza last night, Hamas, the militant Palestinian movement, made a historic policy reversal by signing up to an agreement implicitly recognising the right of the Jewish state to exist.

Hamas hailed the policy U-turn as ending weeks of tense negotiations with the other main Palestinian political force, Fatah, which had spilt over into violent clashes on the streets.

”It is the beginning of a new era in common and united work on all political questions, the resistance and the internal situation,” Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas spokesman, said.

Various Hamas spokesmen stressed that there was no outright recognition of Israel, although they could not deny the historic importance of the agreement.

April 21, 2008  — Hamas said today it would accept a Palestinian state on land occupied in the 1967 war, but it would not explicitly recognise Israel.

Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, said the group would “respect Palestinian national will even if it was against our convictions”, an apparent reference to a referendum on a peace deal.

His comments came at a news conference in Damascus, Syria, after a rare series of meetings between the former US president Jimmy Carter and Hamas Islamists in the West Bank, Cairo and Damascus.

At an earlier press conference, Carter said Hamas would accept a two-state peace agreement with Israel as long as it was approved by a Palestinian referendum or a newly elected government.

May 5, 2009 — “The leader of the militant Palestinian group Hamas said Monday that its fighters had stopped firing rockets at Israel for now. He also reached out in a limited way to the Obama administration and others in the West, saying the movement was seeking a state only in the areas Israel won in 1967.

”I promise the American administration and the international community that we will be part of the solution, period,” the leader, Khaled Meshal, said during a five-hour interview with The New York Times spread over two days in his home office here in the Syrian capital…

… [He] urged outsiders to ignore the Hamas charter, which calls for the obliteration of Israel through jihad and cites as fact the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, ”The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” Mr. Meshal did not offer to revoke the charter, but said it was 20 years old, adding, ”We are shaped by our experiences.”

December 2, 2010 — “Hamas would respect any peace deal reached between Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, provided it is approved in a global Palestinian referendum, the top Hamas official in Gaza said Wednesday.

In a rare news conference for foreign media, Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of Gaza’s Hamas government, staked out seemingly pragmatic positions. He said Hamas seeks dialogue with the West and wants to be “part of the solution, not the problem.” He also denied Israeli allegations that Al-Qaeda operates in Gaza and that Gaza militants planned to carry out attacks in neighboring Egypt.

February 2, 2012 — “Khaled Meshaal, 55, the Hamas leader in exile long based in Syria, went to Jordan to see Western-backed King Abdullah, whose father made peace with Israel in 1994. He may move his headquarters there or to the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar, which brokered his first visit since Jordan expelled Hamas in 1999.

From the Gaza Strip where he serves as Hamas’ Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, 48, set off for talks with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President Israel’s sworn enemy.

Iran is displeased with Hamas’ failure to support Tehran’s main Arab ally Syria in its crisis. A diplomatic source says Iran has provided no funds to Hamas since August.

Analysts believe Mr. Meshaal has decided to end his close association with Syria to pursue reconciliation with the pro-peace Fatah movement of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President, and to soften his anti-peace stance.

“Meshaal has been showing a tendency towards more flexibility. He is sincere about accomplishing reconciliation and he was flexible about President Abbas’ peace moves,” said Hani Habib, a Gaza political analyst. “His position did not go down well with Gaza leaders.”

Israeli analyst Matti Steinberg of Haifa University says Mr. Meshaal “quite clearly wants to advance reconciliation with Fatah” and to speak about a Palestinian state within the lines created by the 1967 Middle East war, rather than recovering the Palestine that existed before Israel’s creation in 1948.

He is also ready to suspend the jihad against Israel and go along with Mr. Abbas’s idea of “popular resistance” through non-violent mass protests, Mr. Steinberg said. Hamas hardliners insist on the right to “armed resistance.”



85 thoughts on “Hamas and the Peace Process

  1. QN,

    Very simple, all Hamas has to do, instead of you putting words in their mouth, is say that they are willing to live in peace alongside Israel. In the recent interview Meshaal gave Charlie Rose, Rose tried to coax that out of him to no avail. He would not accept Israel in any form as part of the solution.

    Why don’t you call the Hamas representative in Lebanon and asking him this directly instead of employing wishful thinking? The rep is called Osama Hamdan and I heard he is more amusing than a barrel of monkeys.

    Posted by AIG | July 31, 2014, 4:55 pm
  2. “…Hamas started distancing itself from this document within a few years of its publication”

    How can an organization “distance itself” from its own charter?! If it changed its mind, it could simply amend the charter. Otherwise it’s just dissimulation to fool the naive I think.

    Posted by Rani Geha (@RaniGeha) | July 31, 2014, 4:57 pm
  3. Here is the delightful Hamdan explaining how we Jews make matzos:

    Maybe you can ask him about this also?

    Posted by AIG | July 31, 2014, 5:01 pm
  4. AIG

    I just quoted you a dozen statements by Hamas officials. How is that me putting words in their mouth?

    Hamas has repeatedly said that they are willing to live in peace alongside Israel. What they have not said is that they are willing to recognize Israel. This is a structural part of their rhetoric, and no one should hold any breath waiting for it to change. That doesn’t mean that they won’t abide by a peace plan that is negotiated by the PA and accepted in a referendum by the Palestinians. That sounds good enough for an end to hostilities.

    The only meaningful response to all this evidence that they are willing to be pragmatic is that they are lying. Maybe that is true. But I think it’s silly to keep pointing to the 1988 charter as if it matters.


    Organizations distance themselves from their zealous beginnings all over the world, and all through history. I agree that they should officially declare it null and void, but Hamas is not the most media-savvy organization in the world.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 31, 2014, 5:04 pm
  5. And this is Hamdan talking about Israel and how it views its inhabitants:

    So again, instead of wishful thinking, why don’t you give him a call?

    Posted by AIG | July 31, 2014, 5:05 pm
  6. AIG

    Sounds to me like you are evading the question, once again. I quote you statements from the leaders of Hamas on the question of a peace settlement, and you quote me the ramblings of an idiotic apparatchik. Do you really want to play the “let’s-demonstrate-how-the-other-side-is-racist-and-ignorant” game? I personally find it tiresome.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 31, 2014, 5:07 pm
  7. QN,

    Apartchik? Hamdan is one of the leading spokespeople for Hamas.
    Listen to the Charlie Rose interview from a few days ago and tell me your position holds water.
    Better still, instead of guessing, why don’t you actually interview a Hamas official and ask him point blank? I recommended Hamdan because he is in Lebanon and you can probably get his attention.

    Posted by AIG | July 31, 2014, 5:22 pm
  8. Remove the settlements and then talking becomes easy.

    Posted by Mustap | July 31, 2014, 5:30 pm
  9. Netanyahu has recently said that there can be no two state solution. Why is it that people think it makes sense to make demands of any Palestinian political force that are not made of the state of Israel?

    Posted by freespeechlover | July 31, 2014, 5:44 pm
  10. As a side note, why did Israel just agree to an unconditional 72 hour ceasefire to be followed by talks in Cairo for a permanent ceasefire as announced by Kerry and Ban Ki Mon just now?

    Is it because Hamas’ claim of having killed 130 Israeli soldiers so far are in fact accurate, and Israel is afraid of facing the truth? If that is the case, then what did Israel just prove other than it only responds in a positive manner when it is made to pay a heavy price? What changed on the ground since Kerry left few days ago other than destroying the hospital, the power plant, the schools, the public market and killing few hundred additional innocent Palestinians?

    Posted by Mustap | July 31, 2014, 6:30 pm
  11. As is often the case, many are interested in treating superficial phenomenon. The root of the problem is that Israel treats Gaza as a prison , it imposes an illegal siege and even limits the caloric intake of its residents. You want to hold Gazans responsible under international law then treat them as a responsible autonomous entity. Dismantle the siege and do not interfere with their domestic affairs. The US has a moral responsibility for all of this suffering not because of what it has done but because of what it has neglected to do.

    Posted by Ghassan Karam | July 31, 2014, 6:43 pm
  12. AIG

    Osama Hamdan is not Khaled Meshaal or Ismail Haniyeh, both of whom have publicly committed to abiding by a peace agreement, on many occasions, as I demonstrated above.

    In the Charlie Rose interview, Meshaal cultivated the same ambiguity that he has in the past. Have a look:

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 31, 2014, 6:47 pm
  13. QN,

    I think Hamas has proven time and again that they are liers and not to be trusted. You can turn a blind eye to their rhetoric, their disregard for human life and their twisted priorities, but no sane
    government can trust them.

    Many are hoping Israel can crush the Hamas leadership because they know with Hamas (as with other despots), history repeats itself

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 31, 2014, 7:02 pm
  14. James Zoghby just crushed Dan Senor on CNN.

    Posted by Mustap | July 31, 2014, 7:30 pm
  15. The root of the problem is that Israel treats Gaza as a prison , it imposes an illegal siege and even limits the caloric intake of its residents.


    The root problem is Hamas and their ideology of death. The blockade began in 2007, 20 years after Hamas was founded. The GOI and Rabin also tried to work with Hamas to no avail. During those 20 years WITHOUT a blockade, Hamas engaged in numerous terrorist acts, including killing MANY Palestinians.

    The “piece de muqawama” was Sharon’s return of Gaza for no treaty at all, and no blockade. Here Sharon knew in advance this would help the GOI politically. Because if the Palestinians did what he expected, use Gaza as a launching pad for further attacks, no one would have the GALL to ask for more concessions from Israel.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 31, 2014, 7:52 pm
  16. Has Anyone Seen Assa Sami? NewZ

    From the Egyptian Press:

    “Gazans must rebel against Hamas today. If they don’t, then they deserve to be bombed. If Gazans revolt against Hamas, Israel will stop bombing them and the Egyptian army would support them militarily to eliminate this terror movement.”

    “Bless you, Netanyahu, may Allah make a lot of people like you to destroy Hamas,” Sami wrote on Facebook three weeks ago in a post that has since been removed, blogger Elder of Ziyon noted on Monday.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 31, 2014, 8:08 pm
  17. AP

    Can you please keep your email/moniker spelling consistent so you don’t keep getting stuck in moderation? Thx.

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | July 31, 2014, 9:07 pm
  18. AIG,

    Ayelet Shaked said much worse remarks than Hamdan and she is a lawmaker in the Knesset. That does not mean Israel is hell bent on wiping out the entire Palestinian population, or does it?

    Posted by Maverick | July 31, 2014, 9:17 pm
  19. Akbar Palace:
    This is a quote of Dov weissglass a Sharon advisor in 2004:

    “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process … And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with … a [US] presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress … The disengagement is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”

    The charter, the 3 youth, the few small rockets… are just destractions. The disengagement was only “formaldehyde”.

    Posted by gkaram | July 31, 2014, 9:24 pm
  20. It just occurred to me that with Dov Weissglass’s formaldehyde and AIG’s cow (remember when he said that cows give you sh*t, the milk you have to take?), we might be able to scrape together a Damien Hirst-esque art installation! 🙂

    Posted by Samer Nasser | July 31, 2014, 10:25 pm
  21. GKaram,

    I don’t know who Dov Wineglass is. The bottom line is Israel and the Palestinians came fairly close to an agreement before Sharon became PM. There’s always an excuse; even with left leaning governments like Rabin, Barack and Olmert.

    If Hamas isn’t killing Israelis or firing missiles, they’re killing their own people.

    How anyone with a semblance of intelligence can support this dangerous group is beyond me.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 31, 2014, 10:30 pm
  22. Anyone here care to admit they once supported Bashar Assad? Maybe you still do…

    Posted by Akbar Palace | July 31, 2014, 10:59 pm
  23. Akbar Palace,
    It is rather simplistic, to suggest that one either supports Hamas or Netanyahu. Has it ever occurred to you that Netanyahu is using Hamas as an excuse to just wage a war. Those who are objecting to the daily destruction, killings and the illegality of the Israeli war on civilians and knocking on roof …are necessarily supporters of Hamas as a party but of the rights of the Gazans not to be living in an open prison that is attacked whenever the warden feels like it. If that is not enough then the warden gets upset when the prisoners get fed up with the daily abusive policies.

    Let me help you learn who is Dov Weisglass. He was a top advisor to Sharon and then later on to Ehud : Here is another piece that would shed light very clearly on the Israeli duplicity in its campaign against Gaza:

    Sixx and a half years ago, shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections and took charge of Gaza, a senior Israeli official described Israel’s planned response. “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

    Although Dov Weisglass was adviser to Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of the day, few observers treated his comment as more than hyperbole, a supposedly droll characterization of the blockade Israel was about to impose on the tiny enclave.

    Last week, however, the evidence finally emerged to prove that this did indeed become Israeli policy. After a three-year legal battle by an Israeli human rights group, Israel was forced to disclose its so-called “Red Lines” document. Drafted in early 2008, as the blockade was tightened still further, the defense ministry paper set forth proposals on how to treat Hamas-ruled Gaza.

    So as you can see the intention at the beginning was to just kill the peace process and it even evolved to put the Palestinians on a diet.Enough said.

    Posted by gkaram | July 31, 2014, 11:30 pm
  24. The competition of “he most fascist quote” from the other side is quite pointless.
    Equality pointless is quoting moderate statements by Hamas leaders, or anybody else.
    Talk is cheap, especially in English.

    Formaldehyde or No Formaldehyde, the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza saw Israelis put in a down-payment in two hard currencies: settlers and territories.
    Hamas’s actions, not words, showed his intentions.
    Right from the get-go was to put everything it had in terms of man-power, materials and money into ‘resistance’.

    I can sadly mark that development as the point where my own political views started to shift toward the right, not unlike many of my kind in the Zionist left.

    So, nowadays, when I head Mashaal talking of a 10-year Hudna in return for *everything*, it carries no weight in my mind, I only wonder if he means to keep it a little longer than the original Hudna back in the 14th century.


    Posted by G | August 1, 2014, 12:24 am
  25. What does it mean to put down payment in two hard currencies: settlers and territories after withdrawing from Gaza?

    International law prohibits an occupier from building on occupied lands, neither does it recognize the settlements as legitimate.

    Whose actions are speaking louder than words in this case?

    If you don’t recognize international law, then you should stop pretending you’re seeking recognition from your victim as a means to circumvent this law.


    Posted by Mustap | August 1, 2014, 1:04 am
  26. QN,

    Yes, Israelis are going to take a chance based on Hamas “ambiguity” when as G says we see their actions everyday. What is so difficult to make their position clear? Why the games?

    In any case Hamas accepted the same Egyptian offer that they could have taken 2 weeks ago before Israel even started the ground offensive. Israel is going to shrug off the effects of this war quickly while Gazans will suffer for years. The genius of Hamas on display. Some people just learn the hard way.

    Once a war begins, both sides are losers. There are no winners in wars. But the weaker side loses much more and needs to be much more careful not to make the mistake of getting into one.

    Posted by AIG | August 1, 2014, 1:10 am
  27. Is it not obvious that G and AIG are one and the same poster using two different names to reinforce the well known Zionist tactic of distractionism?

    Posted by Mustap | August 1, 2014, 1:33 am
  28. Mutsap, back in 2007 I had a conversation with an Iraqi refugee who insisted that the United States was suffering huge troop losses in the war in Iraq and was covering them up by burying the bodies in mass graves in the desert. My response to him will be my response to you. Whenever an American or Israeli soldier dies, his name and biography are released to the public. If a soldier died and his name was not released, his family, friends and everyone else in his unit would know. Israel might exaggerate how many militants it kills but it can’t practically hide its own losses. As for the timing of the ceasefire, for the last few days Hamas rejected any ceasefire that would allow a continued Israeli presence in Gaza while Israel rejected any ceasefire that would force it to leave. This ceasefire leaves Israeli soldiers in place, so it is Hamas that conceded.

    Qifa, I think the reason people are skeptical of these quotes is that a “truce” is not a very durable structure for peace. If Hamas wanted to break a “long-term truce” it could almost certainly find an excuse: an arrest, the suppression of a riot, an act of violence by a Jewish extremist etc. Look at the last ten years. A series of truces that lasted until they didn’t. “Phased liberation” is an especially ominous basis for a truce, basically Hamas saying they will destroy Israel but are willing to do so slowly out of pragmatic considerations.

    A couple of the quotes at the end are admittedly more promising, but the last article seemed funny to me. “Analysts believe Mr. Meshaal has decided to end his close association with Syria to pursue reconciliation with the pro-peace Fatah movement of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President, and to soften his anti-peace stance.” Is that why, or is it because Hamas was ideologically aligned with the Sunni Islamist groups opposing Assad?

    Posted by Rotsapsky | August 1, 2014, 1:41 am
  29. Rotsapski,

    Your story about the Iraqi refugee is irrelevant to this discussion. Whether Israel suffered 61 losses from among its soldiers as it conceded so far or 131 as Hamas claims, the conclusion that Israel would only respond in a positive manner when it pays a heavy price is still valid, as the two figures are equally a high price to pay for what was accomplished – basically nothing for Israel.

    And for those claiming the new ceasfire is the same as the one put forward by Egypt two weeks ago, they need to learn a lesson or two on how to read terms of ceasfires. The original Egyptian crasefire no longer exists. The new ceasfire recognizes Hamas’ demands regarding the blockade and these demands are now on the table. The demands were adamantly rejected by the Israelis who were would only talk about tunnels and missiles in the original proposal.

    So, Hamas did bring its points to the talks and is now recognized as an essential component of the PA even by Israel and the US, a status quo which Israel sought to upset and was the real intention of Israel’s recent aggression against Gaza.

    So, even politically Hamas has won and looks far more effective than Abu Mazen’s authority which is seen more and more as a eunuch.

    Posted by Mustap | August 1, 2014, 2:03 am
  30. MUSTAP;
    It’s funny, I post so rarely on any of the many blogs I read and immediately am claimed to be someone else…

    No, I am not AIG nor do I have any Idea who he is – not the insurance company, probably.
    I use the G moniker simply because its the 1st letter of my first name.

    I am curious as why would you think it matters so much.
    Anyway, based on my anecdotal experience the views I posted here represent a public of Meretz and Labour voters.


    Posted by G | August 1, 2014, 2:06 am
  31. Reblogged this on innermitigation and commented:
    A good read with a lot of history and sources

    Posted by Matthew | August 1, 2014, 2:13 am
  32. The common denominator of Zionist distractionism gives you away as another AIG.

    It doesn’t matter how you vote. That’t your own business. It’s what you said here.

    Usually, Zionists are known distractionists and they offer nothing of value. The challenge is to identify their distractions and keep them on track.

    So you may not be AIG as you claim but the difference is minute.

    Posted by Mustap | August 1, 2014, 2:29 am
  33. MUSTAP;
    Thanks. Quite illuminating indeed..

    G who is not AIG but apparently not different enough.

    Posted by G | August 1, 2014, 3:17 am
  34. You quite welcome.

    Correction: G who CLAIMS not to be AIG but the difference is ACTUALLY quite minute.

    Posted by Mustap | August 1, 2014, 3:40 am
  35. Elias,

    There’s a little sophistry going on here. Call a spade a spade.

    Peace agreement and peace settlement are not the same as “10 year truce”, etc.

    Posted by Gabriel | August 1, 2014, 3:55 am
  36. Sadly I think that the BBC’s Jonathan Marcus summed it up quite well when he wrote:

    in the absence of any broader peace initiative on the horizon, once Operation Protective Edge is over, the countdown will begin towards the next upsurge in violence

    Posted by Badr | August 1, 2014, 4:55 am
  37. The ceasefire collapsed moments after it came into effect. Israel began the shelling and notified Ki Mon.

    Posted by Mustap | August 1, 2014, 5:34 am
  38. Rotsapsky

    I agree that’s a reason for people’s skepticism, and perhaps it means that Hamas is not serious at all. But if they weren’t, one could also ask the question of why they are even bothering making overtures in the first place.

    I’m not arguing that Hamas is a poor neglected peacemaker. I don’t like this organization, and I think they’ve been bad for the Palestinians. They are far less sophisticated and calculated in their movements than Hizbullah, which also makes them much less accountable. Still, I don’t think they’re crazy, and the whole “phased liberation” and “long-term hudna” rhetoric has more to do with the strategy of the cigarette pack, if you know what I mean. (Most regular readers of this blog will…)

    Posted by Qifa Nabki | August 1, 2014, 7:30 am
  39. Akbar Palace,

    It is rather simplistic, to suggest that one either supports Hamas or Netanyahu. Has it ever occurred to you that Netanyahu is using Hamas as an excuse to just wage a war.


    “Using Hamas”? What does that mean? Missiles are not imaginary objects. They are quite tangible, make normal living difficult and can cause serious destruction and cost lives. No other country would put up with this. Just the PRESENCE of Missiles in Cuba and Europe almost started WW3 and caused cold wars, and Gazan missles are quickly becoming more sophisticated, longer in range and more accurate. This is a clear and present danger for the state of Israel. You take on Hamas now, or it only gets harder in the future. I hope this is making sense to you.

    Those who are objecting to the daily destruction, killings and the illegality of the Israeli war on civilians and knocking on roof …are necessarily supporters of Hamas as a party but of the rights of the Gazans not to be living in an open prison that is attacked whenever the warden feels like it. If that is not enough then the warden gets upset when the prisoners get fed up with the daily abusive policies.

    I’ve pointed out before, that Gaza is twice the size of Washington, DC and even has a smaller population density of Washington DC and a coastline! Why isn’t DC a “open prison”? The only difference is the open borders. Due to Hamas’s history, both Egypt and Israel have closed the border. Israel is at war with Hamas. And the border closed after the frequent terror and missile attacks. Hamas has a choice to make, and they obviously prefer confrontation with Israel than improving their lives. I have no qualms if people, arab, jew or anyone feels empathy for the Palestinians. But if you need someone to blame, the buck stops in front of the Hamas “leadership”.

    Let me help you learn who is Dov Weisglass. He was a top advisor to Sharon and then later on to Ehud : Here is another piece that would shed light very clearly on the Israeli duplicity in its campaign against Gaza:

    Sixx and a half years ago, shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections and took charge of Gaza, a senior Israeli official described Israel’s planned response. “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

    Although Dov Weisglass was adviser to Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of the day, few observers treated his comment as more than hyperbole, a supposedly droll characterization of the blockade Israel was about to impose on the tiny enclave.

    Last week, however, the evidence finally emerged to prove that this did indeed become Israeli policy. After a three-year legal battle by an Israeli human rights group, Israel was forced to disclose its so-called “Red Lines” document. Drafted in early 2008, as the blockade was tightened still further, the defense ministry paper set forth proposals on how to treat Hamas-ruled Gaza.

    So as you can see the intention at the beginning was to just kill the peace process and it even evolved to put the Palestinians on a diet.Enough said.

    Here’s the “peace process” GK, Hamas drops their charter and they merge with the PA and adopts their government in Gaza. That’s step 1. Step two, enter into final peace talks with the GOI.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 1, 2014, 8:26 am
  40. The solution is simple, apply international laws… Yet the problem is International laws are on the side of the Paelstinians … Can’t have that, can they? So they give no choice but to continue resistance…

    Posted by Marion Mourtada | August 1, 2014, 8:37 am
  41. Muqawamista Alert

    So they give no choice but to continue resistance…

    “No Choice”? Pul—eeeze….

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 1, 2014, 8:44 am
  42. seems like a bunch of terrorists have been kidnapped again… will see the veracity of this report (totally possible giving the elitness of these baby killers)

    Posted by 3issa | August 1, 2014, 9:20 am
  43. This frog, this wart covered toad finally moves its #$%$ off its toad stool and croaks after almost 4 weeks of carnage and massacre. This towel headed clown who was falling over itself, rushing from pillar to post to organize “the Friends of Syria” group and who to this day, insists on arming, funding and supporting ISIS, Al Nusra, Jund Al Sham, etc all in a stated effort to “protect civilians and help the moderate rebels” in Syria, finally looks over to Gaza and says something about “war crimes” in Gaza?

    For weeks now, crowds have been demonstrating through the streets of London, Paris and New York. Where are the demonstrations in Riyadh and Jeddah? This cowardly slob who has sold the blood of his people for a “mess of pottage” and has just this year, signed multi-billion dollar arms deals with America, France and Britain cannot summon the courage to act and defend the civilians in Gaza but, just couldn’t do enough to shed the blood of fellow Arabs in Syria and Iraq. What a fetid piece of putrid anal cake!

    Posted by Vulcan | August 1, 2014, 1:03 pm
  44. The Wise King gave Meshaal the opportunity to become a full fledged statesman in 2007 when the King gathered all the Palestinian factions in Mecca. They all swore an oath to abide by an accord which they all agreed upon. Meshaal reneged on his oath the moment he landed in Damascus chosing instead to become a puppet for the now defunct resistance axis. Meshaal is now paying the price of his foolish choices. The Wise King is always forgiving when and if Meshaal and his people truly repent.

    The Wise King along with his subjects are the biggest supporters of the people of Gaza in terms of aid and humanitarian relief. They channel this aid directly to the Gazans and they don’t channel it through Hamas.

    All Meshaal has to do is pick up the phone and call the King, repent and denounce the defunct resistance and his foolish choices he made in the past and publicly say all that.

    Posted by Mustap | August 1, 2014, 1:58 pm
  45. If anyone’s really interested in understanding why the state of the world and current politics is the way it is, you need to dig into researching the most powerful and insanely lucrative business ever … which is Oil.

    The cutting off that supply is what caused Germany to lose the war.

    Just ask Putin.

    Posted by Ray | August 1, 2014, 4:39 pm
  46. It is possible that the diplomats are talking to the wrong people expecting their efforts to bear fruit into bringing some kind of ceasefire, temporary or lasting?

    Who kidnapped the Israeli soldier just 90 minutes after the latest negotiated ceasefire came into effect?

    1) Israel? It certainly has the motive as it did when the three teenagers were killed. Let’s be clear Israel wants to destroy the Palestinian reconciliation using whatever means are at its disposal. The war of genocide on Gaza was not started because of the teenagers. It was started specifically because of the Palestinian reconciliation.

    2) Hamas? Which Hamas? We need to distinguish between the political wing headed by Meshaal and the military wing headed by Mahmoud Zahar and Muhammad Daif? The latter may not be accountable to Meshaal and may have their own agenda which is more aligned with that of the so-called resistance axis. However, both wings of Hamas have adamantly denied responsibility.

    3) Islamic Jihad? This group is headed by Mahmoud Zahar and answers directly to the Quds Brigade. We never hear any statement coming out of this group but they deginitely have the strongest motive to make sure a ceasefire never lasts. Their interests are best served by keeping the war going and hence are the strongest allies of BB Netenyaho.

    4) Was it a combination of 1) and 3)? Most likely.

    Posted by Mustap | August 1, 2014, 6:18 pm
  47. 5) “Hannibal Doctrine” rules in the IDF; kill your own if captured.

    Shahid ’em

    Posted by lally | August 2, 2014, 2:17 am
  48. lally

    Why are you throwing a bone? 😀

    R u bored?

    Posted by danny | August 2, 2014, 8:37 am
  49. The war on Gaza is a war of genocide supported by all ordinary Israelis. The so-called Israeli liberals are nothing but a dying breed, and even the very few survivors behave like pathetic apologists. The actual code name for the Israeli genocide in Gaza means Falling Cliff in Hebrew and not protective edge as wrongly translated into English. Falling Cliff indicates that the Gazans will be thrown off that cliff. Such code names find wide positive resonance among all Israelis.

    CNN reporter Diana Magnay was recently pulled out of reporting because she witnessed and tweeted the following:

    “Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong’. Scum.”

    Posted by Mustap | August 2, 2014, 12:05 pm
  50. The Israeli society (whatever that means) is predominantly racist against Arabs, Muslims and Africans as a whole. But yeah they have painters, jazz players, possibly authors… they have right wingers and leftists and even a center. As you know they have loads of atheist Jews (who sometimes join a prayer when they feel like it. Prayer to a non God ?) They also have a vibrant startup scene. Beside all that “cache-sexe” it’s a state built on stolen land acquired though terrorism.

    So these cool israelis who don’t reject the zionist state are all part of it.

    Hence the joy they feel when they see daring Palestinians fighting for their lives being massacred. Palestinians are the worst nightmare of Israelis because they are a constant reminder that their state is illegitimate. That’s why they wouldn’t mind seeing all the Palestinians disappear.

    So how can you allow a people you want to see vanished, get united (Hamas/PLO), get stronger, get recognized? You can’t. So when they dare opening their mouths: white phosphorus and US artillery, with a specific focus on children.

    Thus is the Jewish democracy implanted in historical Palestine.

    Posted by 3issa | August 2, 2014, 12:44 pm
  51. I wonder how they will pronounce President Jean Kahwagi’s name on English speaking news channels ?

    Posted by Ray | August 2, 2014, 1:38 pm
  52. Jean the Barrister

    Posted by Mustap | August 2, 2014, 1:44 pm
  53. The typical Israeli that they don’t want you to read. Meet Yochanan Gordon, and when Genocide is Permissible,


    Posted by Mustap | August 2, 2014, 8:17 pm
  54. I am but a weak woman, Danny…….)

    Posted by lally | August 2, 2014, 9:52 pm
  55. A canine from the mountains is a woman’s best friend. A leash and a bone is all you need

    Posted by Mustap | August 2, 2014, 10:31 pm
  56. Is that some sort of Lebanese version of the “dozens”?

    I tend to prefer the big mountain cats. No leashes and they get their own bones.Thanks.

    Posted by lally | August 3, 2014, 12:03 am
  57. 27 reasons to make you change your mind,

    And the mountain part should be a no brainer.

    Posted by Mustap | August 3, 2014, 12:13 am
  58. So Hizbollah’s strategy to fight the Takfiris in Syria was as complete of a success as Israel’s incursion into Gaza will be.

    May God bless these wise Leaders that protect us and keep us from harm’s way.

    Posted by Ray | August 3, 2014, 6:24 am
  59. Ray,

    I know it’s a tiny point, but what about Gaza’s incursion into Israel? And how has that worked for the Palestinians? Let’s tell the whole story habibi.

    Posted by Akbar Palace | August 3, 2014, 8:38 am
  60. Downton Kerry!


    Posted by Ray | August 3, 2014, 10:51 am
  61. The terrorist army bombed another UN school today. Well done racist state ! Seems like if you want to survive in Gaza you have to stay away from the schools and from the children.

    And we hear on the western media that “a nation is grieving” as they bury one of their terrorist young chap who has been taken down by the palestinian resistance.

    Also, Der Spiegel has evidences that israel was phone tapping John Kerry last year… LoL.
    US of A. What a power, what a strength, what a world leader who is independently defining its foreign policy with.

    Posted by 3issa | August 3, 2014, 1:44 pm
  62. There are simple reasons why Oil and Nuclear energy remain the top two favorite sources of power for insecure children that believe they were born into the world to harness it. They can’t successfully bully other humans without it.

    Posted by Ray | August 3, 2014, 7:07 pm
  63. ? The idea is to fight the takfiris wherever the hell they show up. Thanks to the genocide state and my disgrace of a government, Lebanon’s military is limited to arms and equipment suitable for a Boy Scout troop rather than a national defense force in the gun sights of multiple enemies. Gaza is practice for Lebanon. I would hope El Presidente Jean Kahwaji will explore weapons platforms that have nothing to do with the Western supply chain. No vetos by the enemy allowed.

    The Emir can pay.

    Posted by lally | August 3, 2014, 11:19 pm
  64. Obviously Hassouna’s Syria adventure backfired and he should be held accountable for his unilateral actions. As Presidente Suleiman said few days ago, Hassouna never consulted anyone before he went to Syria. Why should anyone care for Hassouna’s wars?

    When you bite more than you can chew you end up choking. Hassouna will vomit soon. Watch out when he does.

    Any way, we’re here talking about the real Resistance which is Gaza. Hassouna’s resistance turned out to be a mockery.

    Posted by Mustap | August 3, 2014, 11:43 pm
  65. So is 500 an accurate estimate of Hassouna’s dead men in Syria so far? How many received the full promised compensation? How many received half the promised? How many received none?

    Posted by Mustap | August 3, 2014, 11:57 pm
  66. No one needs Nasrallah as an excuse.

    Donniyeh in 2000, Nahr El Bared, 100s of Army Personnel injured and killed in Tripoli over the last 3 years,

    Lest we forget February 2013 in Arsal when Lebanese soldiers were ambushed and killed

    and now this..

    the problem is salafi, takfiri, intolerant islam

    Posted by tamer k | August 4, 2014, 1:53 am
  67. Hassouna must be arrested, tried for treason and executed.

    Posted by Mustap | August 4, 2014, 9:08 am
  68. It’s all God’s fault!

    Posted by Ray | August 4, 2014, 1:11 pm
  69. QN,

    Tens of policemen and soldiers taken hostage by Islamists in Arsal and the Lebanese state twiddles its fingers while the Lebanese just continue with business as usual. I suggest you organize a few liberals and sit around and discuss as “talk is underrated”.

    In the middle east, if your elites are not part of the army, if you treat the army as mercenaries so that you can sit around and solve problems by talking, you are going to end up sucking up to some bearded warlord.

    Posted by AIG | August 4, 2014, 2:12 pm
  70. “For the sake of world peace, humanity has to use whatever resources it has to dismantle the Jewish State and its lobby.”

    Posted by Mustap | August 4, 2014, 2:35 pm
  71. A terrorist is here lecturing the natives on how to handle their affairs. Shoo tzeu pah.

    Posted by 3issa | August 4, 2014, 4:11 pm
  72. So the Messiah has finally arrived into Judea in the form of Benjamin Netanyahu?

    Posted by Ray | August 4, 2014, 4:34 pm
  73. Biggest mistake by Palestinians is that none ever claimed to be the direct descendants of the Prophet Mohammed.

    Posted by Ray | August 4, 2014, 4:50 pm
  74. Don’t know what credit to give to this story from the Angry Arab*

    There is nothing that an Israeli official will say on American TV that he/she won’t get away with, no matter how absurd. When Netanyahu was rising in Israeli (and American) politics, he appeared on one TV news show. He elaborated on his fascist concept of war on terrorism. The host asked him: but how will you reach an agreement with the Arabs? Netanyahu told him–I kid you not, as I was watching: I am very popular among the Arabs. My last book on terrorism was on the best seller’s list in Amman (as if they have best seller’s list of Amman). The host only nodded his head in admiration.

    It would be hilarious to see the video…

    *Again the angry one is showing his despicable (sectarian?) support for hizbullah’s intervention in Iraq saying its just commanders that the yellow jacks are sending to the maliki regime,,,just commanders, not fighters. LoL. So called arab leftists have lost the battle a long time ago and… Dinosaurs…

    Posted by 3issa | August 4, 2014, 4:55 pm
  75. Mustap, I’m not following here. Before the genocide war on Gaza started you stated that the zionist state is no enemy of the Arabs or to KSA, only Iran was.

    Me confused ! Keyf ?

    Posted by 3issa | August 4, 2014, 4:59 pm
  76. Final word, have you notice lately how the bashar lovers try to benefit from the assault on Gaza to deflect the attention from the crimes committed by their fearless doctor engineer leader (on holidays in Sotchi? the Kish island? the Atlantides?).

    Posted by 3issa | August 4, 2014, 5:04 pm
  77. Iran is still the enemy of the Arabs, but now Israel is killing Gazans so, currently it is the enemy.

    The Wise King can never be wrong. We must all show allegiance to the Wise King. Never question his wisdom. He wiil destroy all the enemies of the Arabs including Bashar and Hassouna.

    Posted by Mustap | August 4, 2014, 5:09 pm
  78. Biggest mistake by male Christians is believing that Joseph was not responsible for impregnating Marie, but that GOD was.

    Joseph obviously was a douche.

    And Marie was … ?

    Posted by Ray | August 4, 2014, 5:21 pm
  79. Is this someone desperately trying to exercise his freedom of speech ? Or yet another arap impressed by the white man’s “insolence” ?

    Arf… la hawla wa la quwata ila billah

    And for you Mustap, I guess…well, la hawla wa la quwata ila billah…too

    Posted by 3issa | August 4, 2014, 5:37 pm
  80. Daily Star reporter tweets:

    Kareem Shaheen @kshaheen · 9h
    Three rockets have landed already on this Shiite village near Arsal in the absence of an Iron Dome and nobody is freaking out.

    lol. Nice one.

    The IDF is the only army in the world that considers counting coup on dead children just as (if not more) satisfying as killing an enemy soldier; bloodthirsty undisciplined amateurs that they are.

    Posted by lally | August 4, 2014, 9:15 pm
  81. “What longer-range future? asks another legendary National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger. In a 2012 interview with the New York Post, Kissinger made the following blanket statement:

    “In 10 years, there will be no more Israel.””

    Posted by Mustap | August 5, 2014, 12:29 am
  82. Follow ( Israeli Peace Activist)

    Elizabeth Tsurkov
    Channel 10’s Or Heller: IDF is investigating suspicions that Israeli soldiers looted homes & used children as human shields in Gaza.
    Reply Retweet Favorite More

    2:51 PM – 4 Aug 2014

    Posted by lally | August 5, 2014, 12:31 am


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