Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, may well have upset Israeli plans for their take-over of the Gaza Strip by offering the Israelis a truce to the tit-for-tat violence that has dominated life in the Gaza ever since Hamas ousted the corrupt elements of Fatah and took control there. Haniya has offered to halt the launching of rockets into Israel from the Gaza if the Israelis stop killing Palestinians and open up the borders to allow the Gaza to begin functioning again.
The propaganda and rhetoric Israel has used to justify their targeted killings of Gazan fighters and the closing of the borders to trade and other essential goods has been that they wanted to pressure Hamas into halting the rocket attacks against Israel but now that Hamas have actually made an approach to negotiate a cease-fire, the Israelis, particularly the extreme right-wing Zionists, are pouring cold water onto the suggestion.
Clearly, the Israelis have other motives in wanting to continue their war against the Palestinian people, particularly Hamas in the Gaza and the Gazan people. Israeli hopes were that Hamas, instead of offering an olive branch to the Israelis in an effort to stop the Israelis killing Palestinian fighters and innocent civilians, would rather be so enraged at the Israeli killings that Hamas would actually increase their actions against the Israelis which, in turn, would provide the Israelis casus belli to invade the Gaza Strip. The plan essentially was not to force Hamas to capitulate but rather to provoke Hamas into actions that would provide justification for an Israeli invasion of the Gaza. Once having invaded the Gaza the Israelis would then have the opportunity of eliminating Hamas either by mass arrests or even killings in what they would tell the world were ‘combat clean-ups’ of Hamas resistance pockets.
The Hamas offer has come as shock to the Israelis. Israeli President Shimon Peres’ immediate response was that the Hamas offer was a “…pathetic and misleading attempt to divert international attention away from the crimes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad”. The statement is classic Zionist double-Chutzpah whereby the Israelis blame their enemies for forcing Israel into taking certain actions that are in themselves criminal in an effort to divert international attention away from the reality of Israeli crimes against the Palestinians.
Peres went on to say: “If Hamas and Islamic Jihad stop firing rockets at our women and children, Israel will immediately hold its fire, so there is no need for negotiations”. He couldn’t very well say anything different but was careful not to mention that the Hamas offer was conditional not just on a cease-fire against the Gazan people but also an opening up of the borders to allow essential goods to flow into the Gaza and some semblance of trade also to return. But most importantly Peres has cleverly avoided saying ‘no’ to negotiations but, at the same time, has made it clear that there will not be any.
For the Israelis, a cease-fire doesn’t solve their problem. Their problem is not really the rocket attacks against Israel, that’s just the propaganda and rhetoric; their problem is Hamas. A cease-fire doesn’t rid the Israelis of Hamas.
With much of Fatah having now capitulated to Israeli demands, Hamas is now the only stumbling block within the Palestinian territories to the long term goal of Israeli annexation of what is left of Palestine, including the West Bank and the Gaza, in order to create a Greater Israel, still the dream of right-wing Israeli Zionists. But while Hamas exists there will never be a Greater Israel which is why it is essential for the right-wing Israeli Zionists to be at war with Hamas; because that is the only way it can be destroyed.
The Israelis will not be taking up Hamas’ offer of a cease-fire – it’s not part of their game plan.