Hamas Clarifies Truce Would Only Be to Plan Next War
Even as Israeli representatives are in Cairo to discuss a truce with Hamas on Tuesday, the terrorist group is taking pains to clarify it has no intentions of desisting from trying to wipe Israel off the map.
Hamas's "military wing," the Al-Qassam Brigades, released a statement presenting its position on the ongoing talks in Egypt.
"The warriors in Gaza are waiting with Allah's help to renew the fighting, or to return to planning the next campaign. There's no escape. Either jihad or planning (for the next jihad)," declared the statement.
The remarks leave no doubts that even in the case of a truce, from Hamas's perspective the lull in fighting would only be an opportunity to rearm for the next terror war on the Jewish state. This facet is particularly concerning in light of reports of Israel agreeing to finance Hamas's officials in Gaza as part of an agreement.
Slamming this proposal, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) stated Monday "this is political protection money: you pay us, then we'll shoot you later; you don't pay us, then we'll shoot you right now. ...It is impossible to fight our enemy with one hand and to fund it with the other."
Further demonstrating how Hamas appears to view the talks as a chance for financial gains and to prepare for the next round of fighting is analysis suggesting that Hamas agreed to the current 72-hour ceasefire, which began on Sunday night at 12 a.m., as a means to gain Saudi and UAE funds.
Hamas divided over ending or continuing the war
Azzam al-Ahmed, the head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation in Cairo for the truce talks, told Walla! on Tuesday that the talks are advancing, but "the gaps are still wide."
The PA official, who represented Fatah in the Hamas unity deal in April and led negotiations in forming the unity government, insisted that Hamas's period of controlling Gaza is over, and called for Israel to concede to Hamas demands for a sea and airport while supporting the PA in taking control of the Hamas enclave.
Another senior official from the PA delegation told Walla! that there are estimations that the current ceasefire may be extended by an additional 72-hour period.
Revealing Hamas's position on the talks, the official commented "I'm still not sure that there's a decision by Hamas to end this war."
"There's a great disagreement now between the Hamas leadership in Qatar headed by Khaled Mashaal, and between the senior members of the organization in Gaza. Doha (Qatar's capital - ed.) is urging Mashaal all the time not to agree to Egypt as an intermediary," disclosed the official.
The Gaza branch of Hamas also seems to hold enmity towards Egypt; just this week a senior Hamas leader, Mustafa Sawaf, urged the Palestinian Arab negotiating team to reject Egypt as an intermediary and find another third-party country to help Hamas realize its demands.