April 27, 2008.
Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Saturday that the Islamist group’s request for
a ceasefire with Israel was “a tactic in conducting the struggle.”
In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Mashaal explained that “it is normal for any
resistance … to sometimes escalate, other times retreat a bit.” Hamas has
implemented ceasefires in the past and has later resumed attacks, he pointed
out, citing 2003 as a specific example. According to Israel Radio, Mashaal said
that he views Israel’s pursuit of a cease-fire as proof that Hamas has succeeded
in warding off IDF operations in Gaza.
Hamas has been negotiating with Egyptian officials for a six-month ceasefire
period during which Hamas would halt its terrorist attacks and Israel would stop
all counterterrorism operations. Nothing would prevent Hamas from continuing
to import and manufacture weapons and train terrorists.
Hamas has also offered the promise of a 10-year pause in their attacks, if Israel
would agree to relinquish all of Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem,
including the Old City, and to grant citizenship to millions of foreign Arabs. If
Israel were to meet those conditions, Hamas leaders say, they would agree to a
10-year ceasefire, after which they would resume their efforts to destroy the