Hamas Declares Truce with Israel Over

Hamas has announced the end of its truce with Israeli.

Hamas Militants Photo Hamas militants demand the release of Palestinians being held in Israeli jails during a protest on 20 April 2007. The armed wing of Hamas has declared an end to its five-month truce with Israel as it claimed to have fired dozens of rockets into the Jewish state on its Independence Day. Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells toward Israel on its independence day Tuesday, and said they considered it the end of a five-month truce with Israel.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, whose Hamas-led government negotiated the cease-fire with its militant wing, blamed Israel: “We made great efforts at keeping the truce and there was a positive Palestinian position, but unfortunately this position was met by expanding the aggression and escalating it against the Palestinian people,” he said. “It’s not a Palestinian problem, it is an Israeli problem.”

Nine Palestinians were killed in fighting with Israel over the weekend, most of the militants, but also two civilians.

Given that the “truce” was always in name only, I don’t expect much to change.

Photo credit: Said Khatib, Agence France-Presse (file)

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Terrorism, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. So if the truce is over, it would be okay for Israel to randomly fire a rocket back for every rocket shot at them? Who cares where it lands?

  2. The Hamas Covenant can be read on line. The Avalon Project of Yale Law School has a copy but I prefer the translation by Raphael Israeli. It reads better and with a higher level of fluid grammar.

    Tammy Swofford

  3. B. Minich says:

    Israel responded by saying “truce? what truce?”

  4. Tlaloc says:

    So if the truce is over, it would be okay for Israel to randomly fire a rocket back for every rocket shot at them? Who cares where it lands?

    The preferred Israeli equivalent is to have helicopter gunships launch missiles/rockets at apartment buildings, regardless of who is inside.

  5. Tlaloc,

    Are you really arguing that a guided missile fired to hit a specific apartment in an building is equivalent the launching an unguided rocket in the general direction of an Israeli city?

  6. TheHat says:

    Yes, yetanotherjohn, Tlaloc is making a moral equivalence between the two. Dear Tlaloc, my position is to sort out the Palestinians. The ones Israel likes can stay. The rest have to go. I’m thinking they can stay in your country and you can see how well you like them.

  7. Tlaloc says:

    Are you really arguing that a guided missile fired to hit a specific apartment in an building is equivalent the launching an unguided rocket in the general direction of an Israeli city?

    Are you really arguing that the Israeli army has ever bothered to do that?

    Cause if so I got a few dozen pictures of demolished apartment buildings to show you.

    “Specific apartment” my ass. Notice that the Israelis have racked up a far greater body count of civilians than the palestinians have according to third party groups like the Red Cross. Try to square that with supposed Israeli restraint and you’ll get a strong buzzing sensation. We call it “Cognitive Dissonance.”

    It’s what happens when one’s world view is directly contradicted by available fact.

    Or you could just watch the video of the Israeli soldier who gunned down Iman al Hams, an unarmed 13 year old girl as she fled.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iman_al-Hams

    She was “suspected of planting a bomb” which means she accidentally wandered into a no-go zone. Israeli soldiers fired a warning shot and as she then turned to rrun away one of them gunned her down. Followed by walking up to her corpse and shooting her a few more times. Needless to say they found no weapons and no bombs on her mutilated corpse.

    She was just a schoolgirl who got lost. They found 17 bullet holes in her.

    Oh and the Israeli court acquitted the soldier who murdered her. No harm no foul, it’s not like the palestinains are people, or anything.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4440490.stm

  8. Tlaloc says:

    Dear Tlaloc, my position is to sort out the Palestinians. The ones Israel likes can stay. The rest have to go.

    At least you’re open in calling for genocide. It’s kind of refreshing to have it blatant instead of couched in euphemisms.

  9. Tlaloc,

    I don’t have time to pull the citations, but yes I can cite specific instances of Israeli helicopters firing hellfire missiles at a specific apartment building. These are intended to strike a vehicle, so hitting a specific window is well within the capabilities of the weapon system. Now can collateral damage be caused with a precision munition? Sure.

    So there is no cognitive dissonance of striking a specific apartment with a precision munition. But go back to the unguided rocket the Hamas is firing. It can’t help but hit a random target. Hence the unguided part.

    The real equivalent would be laying down an artillery barrage. But even there, if you look at some of the impact sites for Israeli artillery in South Lebanon you notice something unusual. A field of craters destroying a town, but an oasis of no destruction where the village mosque was. In short, the fire was not unguided, but directed to hit/miss specific targets.

    Notice what the release says. “Nine Palestinians were killed in fighting with Israel over the weekend, most of the militants, but also two civilians.” So 7 militants and two civilians, Does that sound more like random fire or targeted fire that also had some collateral damage?

    As to the example of the little girl, I agree this is sad. What would you do if you had a “no go” zone like that near you? Would you try to put up barriers and warning signs to keep kids from wandering into the zone? What if you were a terrorist organization and wanted to test out defenses? Would you send an unarmed person to see how close you could get to gather data for a future attack.

  10. Michael says:

    Tlaloc,

    The difference is that the majority of the “body count” on the Israeli side is collateral, where as the majority on the Palestinian side is intentional. Whether that difference in intent makes a difference in morality is subjective, and I can pretty well guess which sides both you and yetanotherjohn fall on.

    There is no way for Israel to fight this properly, because they have no legitimate military to target in the usual sense. This isn’t Israel’s fault, by the way. The only other option Israel has is to do nothing, which of course would not change their situation for the better, if at all.

    Israel’s responsibility is first and foremost the protection of it’s citizens, especially against foreign aggression. If you know of a better way for them to eliminate the threat posed by Palestinian terrorists, I’m sure they would love to hear it.

  11. Tano says:

    All this talk of “collatoral damage” is a semantic dodge to excuse behavior. Even if you wish to use that langauge, then you must conclude that the Israelis have managed to collatorally damage far more Palestinians than the Palestinians have managed to intentionally damage Israelis.

    Its a pretty easy ploy. All one need do is to tack on the label “suspected terrorist” or “suspected militant” to any anoymous dead Palestinian and suddenly the death is morally excusable.

    The Israelis are doing what they want to do – to continue the theft of Palestinian land for settlements. They do so through “legal” means – under laws that the affected Palestinians have no say over, backed with violence when necessary. Thats the bottom line. Words are deployed to maintain a moral facade – the principles expressed are all about maintaining a certain image in service of maintaining continued support in the West. Moral principles are in no way guiding the actions.

  12. Tlaloc says:

    Notice what the release says. “Nine Palestinians were killed in fighting with Israel over the weekend, most of the militants, but also two civilians.” So 7 militants and two civilians, Does that sound more like random fire or targeted fire that also had some collateral damage?

    First of all notice that the Israeli attacks were before the truce was “ended” by Hamas. Weird how if one side keeps killing after a cease fire the other side usually feels the need to respond (Israeli attacks were over the weekend, Hamas rocket attck on tuesday).

    Second of all just look at the numbers:

    second Intifada
    Israelis killed 1099 innocent Palestinians
    Palestinians killed 764 innocent Israelis

    Using the International Policy Institute for COunter Terrorism numbers.
    http://212.150.54.123/casualties_project/stats_page.cfm

    Now given that Israel is using the latest greatest in military hardware and the Palestinians are using crude rockets and suicide bombs how exactly is it the Israelis managed to kill 44% percent MORE civilians?

    Seriously, how is that even possible, when they have, as you say, missiles that can destroy one car on a busy highway?

    As to the example of the little girl, I agree this is sad. What would you do if you had a “no go” zone like that near you? Would you try to put up barriers and warning signs to keep kids from wandering into the zone? What if you were a terrorist organization and wanted to test out defenses? Would you send an unarmed person to see how close you could get to gather data for a future attack.

    Personally I think when I fired a warning shot and the girl ran away I wouldn’t have killed her for no reason then walked up to the body and unloaded the rest of my clip into her for funsies.

    But hey, maybe that’s just me.

  13. Tlaloc says:

    The difference is that the majority of the “body count” on the Israeli side is collateral, where as the majority on the Palestinian side is intentional.

    Bull. There is nothing “collatoral” about demolishing an occupied apartment building or shooting an unarmed girl dead.

    It is very much intentional. You simply cannot get around it. The Israelis have the capacity to target the people they want. They’ve long boasted that they can kill one terrorist in a crowd without hurting anyone else, and we sell the all the goodies to let them do so.

    But they CHOOSE not to. They choose to engage in warfare that they know will kill civilians.

    They are just as bad as Hamas.

    The difference is that we don’t give Hamas 4 billion dollars a year in military aid. And we shouldn’t give it to Israel either.

    Israel’s responsibility is first and foremost the protection of it’s citizens, especially against foreign aggression. If you know of a better way for them to eliminate the threat posed by Palestinian terrorists, I’m sure they would love to hear it.

    No they wouldn’t because the Israeli state uses “foreign aggression” as the boogeyman to keep themselves in power. They are constantly provoking a situation of siege so that their people are too afraid to rock the boat.

    the answer is the same as it always has been: stop stealing land, stop murdering civilians, stop provoking outrages. Try to work with your neighbors for a change. Remember that Israel has was founded as a theft of land from the indigenous people. As an American I can sort of understand that. It took us centuries of terrible abuse before we finally started regarding the Native Americans as human beings.

    Israel never should have been formed in the first place. Segregation is generally a bad idea. If it was going to be formed it certainly should not have been done by stealing land from the palestinians. And if you were going to steal their land then it should not have been followed by four decades of abuse and murder.

    And if they choose to do all that, and they have, at least we should have no part in aiding them.

    Stop shielding them with our veto at the UN. Stop giving them billions of dollars a year which, as a belligerent first world nation they in no way deserve.

    Watch how fast Israel becomes reasonable once they are no longer capable of bullying their neighbors.

  14. Eneils Bailey says:

    Harsh as it may sound, the future of Israel(and the USA) depends on killing the terrorists and their supporters in southern Lebanon and Syria.

    Declaring yourself an innocent citizen, while living among and supporting barbaric Islamnist Terrorists should not buy anyone a pass from anilihation and destruction.

    Too bad, you sit in your mud huts every night, watching the rockets fly into northern Israel, killing women, children, while praying to Mohammed that the “infidels” be destroyed.

    At the first sign of any disruption to your fourteenth century lifestyles, you cry foul. and then CNN, who will then display the appropriate weepy news footage on tv.

    I don’t have a lot of sympathies for these people, just hope it does not cost a lot to rid ourselves of their festering, rotten culture.

  15. Michael says:

    Even if you wish to use that langauge, then you must conclude that the Israelis have managed to collatorally damage far more Palestinians than the Palestinians have managed to intentionally damage Israelis.

    Indeed, I think I said exactly that.

    The Israelis are doing what they want to do – to continue the theft of Palestinian land for settlements.

    Palestine has passed on multiple opportunities to put an end to this, every time it has been rejected. It takes two sides to sustain a fight.

    Second of all just look at the numbers:

    second Intifada
    Israelis killed 1099 innocent Palestinians
    Palestinians killed 764 innocent Israelis

    Ok, lets play with statistics. What percentage of Israeli killing were of non-innocent Palestinians? And what percentage of Palestinian killings were of non-innocent Israelis? Statistics can say anything you want them to say.

    Now given that Israel is using the latest greatest in military hardware and the Palestinians are using crude rockets and suicide bombs how exactly is it the Israelis managed to kill 44% percent MORE civilians?

    The latest and greatest in military hardware just about always means producing the maximum indended deaths using the least amount of effort. Weapons that don’t kill people are much less useful to a military. As you can see, both sides adopt this same philosophy.

    Personally I think when I fired a warning shot and the girl ran away I wouldn’t have killed her for no reason then walked up to the body and unloaded the rest of my clip into her for funsies.

    You’ll need more than one act to persuade me that the entire nation of Israel is evil. I’m sure anybody hear can dig up similar or worse atrocities carried out my Palestinians.

    The Israelis have the capacity to target the people they want. They’ve long boasted that they can kill one terrorist in a crowd without hurting anyone else, and we sell the all the goodies to let them do so.

    I don’t recall them ever boasting that, and certainly nothing the US is selling them is capable of doing that. In order to strike a target you either need to be close, or you need to use a large weapon. Since the former isn’t usually an option for Israel, they have only the later.

    They are just as bad as Hamas.

    And yet you have no obvious criticism about Hamas killing innocent Israelis, or even innocent Palestinians.

    No they wouldn’t because the Israeli state uses “foreign aggression” as the boogeyman to keep themselves in power. They are constantly provoking a situation of siege so that their people are too afraid to rock the boat.

    Name one nation that has been invaded by foreign forces more in the last half century than Israel. When half of your neighboring countries have publicly called for your destruction, the boogeyman is real.

    Remember that Israel has was founded as a theft of land from the indigenous people.

    Actually the land was either purchased by Jews or given as part of the British mandate in Palestine. All Israel did was declare it’s own borders when the Palestinians refused to negotiate with them. There was no military action involved in the creation of Israel. The “indigenous people” had not owned or governed that land for centuries prior.

    There is so much more that can be said in response to your comments, but I really don’t think you’re interested. But, for the sake of argument, please tell me what nation governed that land before it became Israel?