Tuesday, November 21, 2023

  • Tuesday, November 21, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

Times of Israel reports:
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday a truce agreement with Israel was in sight, raising hopes that dozens of the hundreds of people taken hostage in the terror group’s devastating October 7 attacks could be released.

Palestinian sources said a ceasefire of five days would be accompanied by the exchange of some hostages for prisoners held in Israeli jails.
There are two Arabic words that are commonly translated to English as "truce," "hudna" and "tahdiya."  Haniyeh apparently used the world "hudna."

But for Hamas,  both words mean a regrouping to get ready for more violence.

In June 2008, Hamas and Israel agreed to a truce, which Hamas called a tahdiya. At the time, Hamas leaders described its meaning:
Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’ leader, and his deputy in leadership, Musa Abu Marzouq, elaborated in recent months their interpretation of a tahdiya. In an interview with Al-Jazeera (April 26, 2008), Mashaal clarified that for Hamas, a tahdiya is “a tactic in conflict management and a phase in the framework of the resistance [meaning all forms of struggle].” He added that it “is not unusual for the resistance…to escalate sometimes and to retreat a bit sometimes as the tide does….The tahdiya creates a formulation that will force Israel…to remove the siege…and if it happens it will be a remarkable achievement….We are speaking of a tactical tahdiya….As long as there is occupation, there is no other way but resistance.”2

When asked about Mashaal’s “tactical tahdiya,” Musa Abu Marzouq explained that “the tahdiya is not a strategy or a goal itself, but it is a tactical step in this conflict….Our goal is to liberate our land and to bring about the return of our people. The resistance is a tool to reach this end.”
As it was, the tahdiya helped cement Hamas as the legitimate leader of Gaza, in the months after its coup. Those six months of the tahdiya encouraged Hamas to arm itself and prepare for the next war, which is exactly what it did almost to the day after the six months were over: it started a new volley of rocket attacks against Israel and declared a war, "Operation Oil Slick," which Israel later called Cast Lead. 

Hamas' previous use of "hudna" with Israel has been similarly tactical. It was famously used in 2004, when then-Hamas leader Abdel Azizi al Rantisi supposedly offered a long term truce where Hamas would get permanent benefits without any permanent concessions:
Top Hamas official Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi told Reuters late on Sunday Hamas had come to the conclusion that 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 in a telephone interview from hiding in the Gaza Strip.

Rantissi said it would not mean that Hamas recognised Israel or spell the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For Hamas, the only framework for dealing with Israel is jihad. Its founding covenant refers to itself  when it says "Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes." And also, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

Neither of the words for "truce" that Hamas uses contradicts Hamas' charter in the least. It will not agree to anything that does not strengthen it. And in its previous use of the terms tahdiyah and hudna, it became more violent on the other side of the truce, not less. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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