Hamas senior official Ismail Radwan announced that the terrorist group “will not extend the current ceasefire, we did not receive answers to our demands.”
The statement was made during the 72-hour ceasefire and was made again late Thursday evening, just hours before the ceasefire is officially scheduled to end.
“The resistance is ready to pay the price and the people are behind the resistance,” Abu Obaida, a Hamas spokesperson said. “We are ready for a long war.”
The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades vowed to destroy Israeli ground forces should they attempt to re-enter Gaza. And, in “lessons learned,” and with a hat tip to the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority, the terrorists threatened to shut down air traffic at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport.
In Gaza City during the day on Thursday, Hamas held a public rally and (yet another) top Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri, told the crowd of many hundred that Hamas would continue to fight until the blockade on Gaza, imposed both by Israel and Egypt, is lifted. The crowd was described by an AFP reporter as consisting largely of men, but also including children, many of whom were dressed with mini-machine guns or toys mimicking other violent paraphernalia.
The lifting of the blockade has consistently been one of the conditions for which Hamas has pressed during negotiations. Other issues, such as (additional) massive releases of convicted murderers, extension of maritime fishing rights and a massive influx of international aid for rebuilding sections of the Gaza Strip which were destroyed during the month-long war, seem to have taken a backseat to the ending of the embargo.
The strategy may be to appear reasonable by jettisoning other conditions and focusing solely on the blockade. But this condition, of course, requires an agreement from Egypt as well. And the new al-Sisi government is not favorably disposed towards Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood spawn which is blamed for terrorism in Egypt.
Of course, Hamas and its terrorists-enablers such as the International Solidarity Movement and even much of the mainstream media describe Gaza as an “open air prison.” But there was no blockade of Gaza after Israel pulled all Israelis – living and dead – out of the Strip in August of 2005. It wasn’t until 2006, after rockets were fired at Israel and other extreme acts of terrorism, that the blockade was imposed.
Not only is the blockade the result of terrorism and not the cause of terrorism, as so many insist, but even while Hamas and its terrorists-in-laws the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, are inflicting hundreds of rockets over and into Israel, and burrowing dozens of terror tunnels under Israel, the humanitarian and other truckloads continued to roll across the border from Israel into Gaza.
So the blockade was imposed only after Hamas and other Gazans engaged in terrorism directed at Israel. And then, even when engaged in a fierce war with Gaza, Israel continued to allow humanitarian and other aid into Gaza. And then, even as Israel was directing aid for the needy Gazan population, the Gazan terrorists – controlled by the government Gazans voted into power – shelled the very border crossings through which Israel was providing the aid!
Talk about the boy who kills his parents and then cries because he is an orphan.
And talk about intransigence! Israel, for its part, is demanding that Gaza be de-militarized. Imagine that.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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