Hamas says it will not accept a permanent cease fire with Israel.
According to the Deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, Moussa Abou Marzouk, the group would not talk about a permanent cease-fire so long as Israel continued its "occupation," and would instead continue the "resistance." He said that Hamas stands by its demand that Israel immediately halts its offensive, withdraws from the Gaza Strip, and opens all of the border crossings.So the Philistines of Gaza, who voted overwhelmingly for Hamas, are now pawns of Hamas in their permanent war with the Jews.
The borders between Israel and Gaza were closed when Hamas took control of the area in a violent coup against Palestinian Authority forces in June 2006. In July 2008, a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel was signed which permitted the borders to be opened permanently so long as Palestinian rocket fire into Israeli territory ceased. As rocket fire persisted, Israel periodically closed the borders. In December 2008 Hamas declared it would not renew the ceasefire due to Israeli "violations."
There are signs Hamas may be weakening.
GAZA CITY, Gaza – Israel ordered a three-hour pause in its Gaza offensive Wednesday to allow food and fuel to reach besieged Palestinians, and said it welcomed a cease-fire proposal as long as Hamas halts rockets and weapons smuggling.It seems reasonable. Stop the rockets and prevent future attacks and the war is over.
Hamas said any deal must include an opening of Gaza's borders. But the proposal still could mark the first sign of a possible break in 12 days of deadly fighting.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in Paris that both Israel and the moderate Palestinian leadership in charge of the West Bank had accepted the truce proposal, but Israeli officials did not confirm that.
In Turkey, meanwhile, a diplomat said that country will be given the task of constructing an international force for Gaza.
Both Israel and Hamas appeared to seek guarantees about the details of a cease-fire, before agreeing to halt the fighting.
Israel said it would support the proposal only if it halts "hostile fire" from Hamas in Gaza and includes measures to prevent the militant group from rearming, said government spokesman Mark Regev.
Despite making war on Gaza, Israel is allowing food and water into Gaza. A very strange kind of war.
More than 500 aid trucks have been shipped into Gaza since operations began. But even when aid crosses into Gaza military operations have prevented officials from distributing it, leading to food shortages in some areas.There is one minor difficulty. Hamas will not engage in direct talks with Israel because it refuses to recognize Israel.
A World Bank statement Wednesday said there are growing signs of a severe public health crisis in Gaza because of a shortage of drinking water and an escalating failure of the sewage system.
Militants hit the Israeli city of Ashkelon on Wednesday with a medium-range rocket, causing no casualties. Rocket fire has fallen off somewhat as Israeli troops tighten their hold on Gaza, taking over open areas used to launch rockets, but Gaza residents say militants are still launching from heavily populated areas.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said the initiative he proposed with Sarkozy calls for an immediate cease-fire by Israel and Palestinian factions for a limited period to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and an urgent meeting of Israel and the Palestinian side on arrangements to prevent any repetition of military action and to deal with the causes.
Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 13:58 GMTOf course Israel is within its rights to refuse to recognize Hamas. With Gaza falling apart it will be interesting to see how much longer Hamas can hold on to its crumbling position. The Philistines and their muslim enablers seem to go from one nakba (catastrophe) to another. Every war they fight leaves them worse off. Let me offer them the advice Gerd von Rundstedt once offered some German Generals who asked him what to do after the Allies had established themselves in Normandy, "Make peace you fools".
The demand that Hamas renounce violence and recognise Israel is at the heart of a dispute with Western donors who have cut off direct aid.
Unity talks continue between Hamas and the other Palestinian faction Fatah.
On Monday, the factions appeared to make some progress with agreement on a candidate for prime minister.
A Hamas spokesman said on Tuesday that Hamas "was not favourable to the two-state solution [a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel] because that would entail recognition of Israel".
Cross Posted at Classical Values