Pictured: Palestinian rioters in Gaza burn the Kerem Shalom Crossing, used to transfer goods from Israel to the Gaza Strip, May 4, 2018. (Image source: IDF/Flickr)
These benefits for Hamas are exactly why the proposed truce is dangerous and sends the wrong message to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists. A truce now says that if you engage in violent, extortionistic acts, you get what you want.
This victory for Hamas will, of course, only increase the terrorists' appetite and motivation to continue their attempts to kill as many Jews as possible. They will see any truce as a retreat on the part of Israel in the face of violence and terrorism.
Hamas will now have more time to prepare for the next war against Israel. The proposed truce will give Hamas breathing space to smuggle more weapons into the Gaza Strip, dig new tunnels and recruit thousands of Palestinians to its ranks.
A real truce between Israel and the Gaza Strip will be achieved only after the jihadi terrorists are removed from power, and not rewarded for violence and threats.
It is no secret that most of the Arab countries do not trust Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group. President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, for instance, as well as many Palestinians, do not have any confidence in Hamas, particularly after the summer of 2007, when the Islamist movement violently seized control of the Gaza Strip. Earlier this year, Abbas threatened that “shoes will be pouring” onto the heads of Hamas leaders.
Now, however, Israel is being asked to trust Hamas. This request is coming from Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations, whose representatives have been working hard the past few weeks to arrange a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas.
According to unconfirmed reports, the proposed truce calls for reopening all the border crossings between the Gaza Strip on one side, and Israel and Egypt on the other. The truce also apparently calls for expanding the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip coast to 9 miles; paying salaries to thousands of Hamas employees, and increasing fuel supplies to the only power plant in Gaza. Qatar — a country that has long been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoot, Hamas — will be required to pay for the fuel and the salaries, according to the proposed truce agreement.
What will Israel get in return? Calm. This means a Hamas promise temporarily to stop launching terrorist attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip. This promise by Hamas also includes temporarily halting the weekly, Hamas-sponsored, violent riots along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Last weekend, there were already signs that Hamas was interested in reaching a deal with Israel. The protests that Hamas launched on November 2 along the Gaza-Israel were less violent than the previous ones. This change was the result of direct orders issued by the Hamas leaders, who have apparently reached the conclusion that a truce agreement, at this stage, will be good for their group.
“The restless efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the UN to end the blockade on the Gaza Strip are nearing success,” said senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya. Hamas and the other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip, he added, were now waiting for Israel's response to the mediation efforts made by Egypt, Qatar, and the UN.
Hamas has excellent reasons to be happy with the proposed truce with Israel. The agreement does not require Hamas to make any real concessions other than temporarily to stop its terrorist attacks on Israel.
The proposed accord does not require Hamas to disarm or dismantle its militia. Hamas is not being asked to relinquish control over the Gaza Strip, or pave the way for the return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza. Hamas is not being asked to destroy the terror attack tunnels it has dug along the border with Israel. Hamas is not being asked to stop smuggling weapons, for use against Israel, into the Gaza Strip. Hamas is not being asked to renounce violence or recognize Israel's right to exist. Hamas is not being asked to accept a two-state solution or abandon its dangerous, genocidal ideology.
All that Hamas is being asked to do is to sit quietly and behave nicely so that the group and its supporters can get salaries and fuel, and enjoy other privileges, such as economic and humanitarian aid.
These benefits for Hamas are exactly why the proposed truce deal is dangerous and sends the wrong message to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists. A truce now says that if you engage in violent, extortionistic acts, you get what you want.