Translation: We really need to re-arm.
In 2008, Khaled Mashaal himself said of cease-fires: “it is a tactic in conducting the struggle. … It is normal for any resistance that operates in its people’s interest … to sometimes escalate, other times retreat a bit. … The battle is to be run this way and Hamas is known for that.”
Additionally, there are the prescriptions of Islamic law. From Umdat al-Salik (Reliance of the Traveler), a Shafi’i Islamic jurisprudence manual certified as “reliable” by Egypt’s Al-Azhar University:
Truces are permissible, not obligatory….Interests that justify making a truce are such things as Muslim weakness because of lack of numbers or materiel, or the hope of an enemy becoming Muslim…If the Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary, for the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) made a truce with the Quraysh for that long, as is related by Abu Dawud….The rulings of such a truce are inferable from those of the non-Muslim poll tax; namely, that when a valid truce has been effected, no harm may be done to non-Muslims until it expires. o9.16
“Hamas offers year-long truce, opening of Gaza crossings,” by Khaled Abu Toameh, Yaakov Katz, and Herb Keinon for the Jerusalem Post, January 25:
Hamas is prepared to reach a one-year truce with Israel if the border crossings into the Gaza Strip are opened, Hamas legislator Mushir al-Masri said on Sunday.
He said that a Hamas delegation currently holding talks in Cairo with Egyptian government officials made it clear that the movement would not agree to a long-term or permanent truce.
In Cairo, Ayman Taha, a member of the Hamas team, said after meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman that Hamas rejected an Israeli offer for an 18-month truce. He said the offer had been relayed to Hamas through Suleiman and other Egyptian officials.
“Hamas has proposed a one-year truce that would be evaluated [by Hamas] when it expires,” Masri said. “We are talking about a temporary truce that would be contingent on the reopening of all the border crossings, including the Rafah terminal, and lifting the blockade.”
A permanent truce would “contradict Hamas’s right to pursue the resistance for as long as the occupation exists,” he said.
It is worth reiterating that in talking about “occupation,” Hamas does not recognize a square inch of Israeli land.
The Hamas delegation also expressed the movement’s readiness to accept the presence of European and Turkish forces at the border crossings, Masri said, pointing out that Hamas remained opposed to the deployment of international troops inside Gaza.
“Any foreign troops in the Gaza Strip would be regarded as an occupation force,” he said. “But to ensure that the border crossings are reopened, we suggested that they be placed under the supervision of international monitors. We don’t want the border crossings to remain at the mercy of the Israelis or any other party.”
One Israeli defense official said Jerusalem was considering linking the opening of the Gaza crossings with the negotiations for the release of St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit.
“The operation has created new understandings between us and Hamas,” one Israeli official explained. “Hamas knows that if it renews attacks we will not be restrained.”
However, Masri said the truce issue had nothing to do with Schalit.
“The Israeli soldier is not linked in any way to the issue of the truce or the border crossings,” he said. “Rather, the case of the soldier is connected to a future prisoner exchange. No one should dream that Schalit will see his family if the border crossings are reopened.”
However, according to Palestinian sources quoted in the London-based pan-Arab daily A-Sharq al-Awsat, considerable progress has been made toward a deal to free Schalit, which could go through within three weeks if Israel changes its position on freeing prisoners with “blood on their hands.”
Meanwhile, the IDF is maintaining a high-level of alert along the Gaza border and is bracing for the possibility that Hamas will renew rocket attacks against the South in the near future.
Last week, Hamas said that if Israel did not open the crossings to all goods and not just humanitarian supplies, it would renew Kassam and Katyusha attacks on Israel.
IDF sources downplayed the significance of Hamas’s threat but said that large forces were deployed along the border and were “prepared for any development.”…