December 19, 2007

HAMAS seeks a ceasefire - why?

Isma'il Haniyah, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority's HAMAS-led government, called for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Haniyah claims that repeated Israeli air strikes and military incursions over the past months, especially in the last few weeks, have taken an unacceptable toll on the Palestinian people. In a two day period, Israeli pilots killed two HAMAS fighters and 10 members of the Islamic Jihad organization

Haniyah sought to bolster his demands for a ceasefire by blaming Israel for hurting his efforts to rein in the more radical Islamic Jihad terrorists responsible for launching hundreds of homemade Qassam rockets into southern Israel, mostly into the town of Sderot.

Let me see if I understand this. The HAMAS prime minister, himself a member of a designated terrorist organization - HAMAS is an acronym for the Arabic words meaning "the Islamic Resistance Movement" (harakat al-muqawamah al-islamiyah) - is attempting to help Israel and control the Islamic Jihad. While on an intellectual level, that makes sense. On a gut, reality level, I am not buying it.

HAMAS is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state. Israel has said it will talk to HAMAS once the group renounces violence, recognizes Israel and pledges to honor existing agreements made with the Palestinians, primarily with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Islamic Jihad denied any such attempts on the part of Haniyah or HAMAS to stop firing Qassam rockets into Sderot. In fact, the group reaffirmed its commitment to continue the attacks.

I think I hear Haniyah crying kafi, kafi - "enough." The Israelis are finally hitting home and inflicting enough damage to bring about a change in behavior. It will undoubtedly continue until the rockets stop.