“There is a time for everything…. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8)
Last week, Hamas terrorists finally came out of their caves to join the thousands of Palestinians dancing in the streets and waving flags, after Hamas claimed that the open-ended truce brokered by the Egyptians to end the seven week conflict between Israel and Hamas was a “victory for the resistance.”
While Israel, the EU and the US are all calling for the disarming of Hamas, Hamas says that such demands are worthless.
In a statement by Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas said the demilitarization of Palestinian militant factions was “inconsistent with international law.”
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal also rejected calls to disarm the Gaza terror group.
“The weapons of the resistance are sacred and we will not accept that they be on the agenda” of future Israel-Gaza negotiations, he said.
Speaking at a news conference in Doha Qatar on Thursday, he described the latest Gaza conflict as being only “a milestone to reaching our objective.” That objective includes taking Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.
Another statement after the truce announcement by Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri confirmed Jerusalem was among the long-term goals: “The time has come for us to say that the true war is not aimed at opening border crossings. Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing.”
The announcement was followed by group chants of “Khaybar, Khaybar al Yahood,” a reference to the destruction of a Jewish village by Islamists in AD 629.
The chant infers death to the Jews.
Meanwhile, Iran also declared a Hamas victory saying the 50-day conflict humiliated Israel.
“The heroic Palestinian people have forged a new era with the victory of the resistance, which has brought the Zionist regime to its knees,” an Iranian foreign ministry statement claimed.
“This victory prepares the way for the final liberation of all the occupied lands, especially Quds (Jerusalem).”
Mashaal said that the terrorist group would not cease its attacks on Israel until all of its demands are met, and on Friday, senior Islamic Hamas movement official Mahmoud al-Zahar said the issue of disarming his movement is non-negotiable.
And while Israel and its allies continue to hope to negotiate the disarming of Hamas, Iran is working against those purposes, stating that it will rearm Hamas and is already helping to create a new wave of terror by arming terror groups in Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank).
“Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” the head of Iran’s state-run Basij militia, Mohammad Reza Naqdi, said last week. (Israel Today)
The present truce calls for indirect talks to begin next month in Cairo, on such issues as the disarming of the militants.
In addition, construction of a Gaza seaport is to be discussed and the release of Hamas prisoners possibly in exchange for the remains of two Israeli soldiers believed to be held by the terrorist organization.
For its part, Israel has said that it will facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into the Strip as well as building materials and civilian goods if the truce holds.
Gaza’s fishing zone in the Mediterranean is also to be widened.
A similar agreement that had been accepted by Israel a month ago was rejected by Hamas when they continued to send rockets into Israel.
On Friday, Mahmoud Abbas blamed Hamas for unnecessarily prolonging the conflict which resulted in needless deaths.
“It was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (destroyed),” he told Palestine TV. He said Hamas had insisted on discussing demands first before ending the war, which only served to prolong the violence for no good reason.
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev agreed that the conflict could have ended much sooner.
“The Egyptian formula was on the table on July 15, it was backed by the Arab League, it was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas, then. And now, more than a month later [it] has belatedly been accepted by Hamas,” he said.
“As the dust clears from the conflict, I’m sure many people in Gaza will be asking why did Hamas reject a month ago what it accepted today, and if it had accepted then what it accepted now, how much bloodshed could have been avoided.”