A Unilateral Ceasefire in Gaza

Israel has decided to call a halt to offensive action in Gaza. Prime Minister Olmert was explicit that Hamas had no part in the process that led to the decision. What isn’t clear is whether international pressure, especially from the United States, played a part in the ceasefire. In the past Israel has had to stop short of full victory in order to accommodate “world opinion” as expressed through the arm-twisting of the United States.

Significantly, the government did not insist on the primary condition as reflected by Israeli public opinion — the prior release by Hamas of Gilad Shalit. According to JTA:

Israel announces unilateral cease-fire

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel was set to begin a unilateral cease-fire in the Gaza Strip at 2 a.m. Sunday.

The National Security Cabinet voted Saturday night to approve the cease-fire. Seven ministers voted for the measure, two voted against and one abstained, according to reports.

The declaration came on the 21st day of Operation Cast Lead.

In a statement to the public and the media at 11 p.m. Saturday night, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the objectives of the operation in Gaza, which included two weeks of ground operations in the coastal strip, “were fully achieved and more so.”

Olmert made it clear that the decision to halt Israel’s operations in Gaza was unilateral, based on agreements sought with the international community.

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“It must be remembered that Hamas is not part of the arrangements we came to,” Olmert said. “These are agreements involving many countries, and a terrorist organization like Hamas is not and need not be a part of them.”

The prime minister said that he had received letters from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledging their assistance in ending arms smuggling from Egypt into Gaza.

Israeli troops will remain in Gaza for now, Olmert said. He added that if rockets continue to fall on southern Israel, then Israel would be prepared to respond.

Olmert noted that as he was speaking, a demonstration of hundreds of Israelis demanding that abducted soldier Gilad Shalit, who is believed to be held in Gaza, be released as part of any cease-fire.

“The intensive efforts to secure Gilad’s release began long before the operation, continued during it and will continue after as well,” Olmert said. “The Government of Israel is working on many levels to bring him home, and during the operation we carried out various actions to bring us closer to this goal. Due to the sensitivity of the matter, I will not go into detail. I will only say that Gilad is at the top of our agenda, and we do not need any prodding or reminding in this matter.”

Hat tip: Henrik Ræder Clausen.

12 thoughts on “A Unilateral Ceasefire in Gaza

  1. Appears that Olmert & Co. have no conception of what a ceasefire, a hudna(هدنة)means to Arab Moslems: The most fitting definition as concerns the Arabs would be that it is “An Arabic term for a peace agreement created for the sole purpose of defeating one’s enemy. Hence, it is a peace that is designed to lead to another war.”

    In the following quote, I am repeating a well-worn example that defines the hudna (ceasefire) that apparently has never sunk into the Israeli governmental mind:


    A particularly famous early hudna was the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah between Muhammad and the Quraysh tribe.

    According to Umdat as-Salik, a medieval summary of Shafi’i jurisprudence, hudnas with a non-Muslim enemy should be limited to 10 years: “if Muslims are weak, a truce may be made for ten years if necessary, for the Prophet made a truce with the Quraysh for that long, as is related by Abu Dawud” (‘Umdat as-Salik, o9.16).

    [close quote]


  2. The Israelis have melted under pressure and punked out again. They can tell themselves it’s a great victory. “One more such victory, and we shall be undone.” — Pyrrhus

  3. .
    Hamas will never honor a ceasefire, and as soon as they start firing rockets again, Israel must too.

    These people equating Israel with the Nazis have to be insane, and they are mostly from the Left. The Left acting like Nazis and calling for a new Hitler, and for the Jews to go to the ovens, wow! Hitler, someone even most of them would say they hate. The Left, many are anti-semitic Nazis, they should be so proud. The truth is coming out, it is getting harder to hide.

    The MSM is insidious, they are instrumental in fanning these flames. We must keep trying to de-brainwash as many people as possible. As the brave Geert Wilders put it recently, “To begin with, there is already a Palestinian state, and that is Jordan. This land covers nearly eighty percent of the historic Palestine. Most residents of Jordan are Palestinians, for instance queen Rania.”

    Why doesn’t Jordan take the poor Palestinians in the West Bank and Egypt control the nut jobs in Gaza?

    They don’t want them, that’s why. They should be made to take them. That may be the only answer.

    Hamas is what makes Gaza much worse than it could be. If they would give up the dream of destroying Israel and the Jews and stopped all missiles and suicide bombers, and all terrorist attacks, Israel would welcome doing business with them, and things would be peaceful. But they can’t do this as long as they follow their Koran strictly.

    There is no negotiating with a mad man, or with Jihadis who want to die to go get their 72 virgins.
    I hope Israel doesn’t quit too early. If Israel is destroyed, terrorism in the rest of the world will just increase, it will never stop, as long as there are Radical Muslims, or rather, Muslim Fundamentalists; who are appeased, defended, and kissed up to.
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    let someone hit you

    over and over again
    and NEVER hit back harder

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    DO NOT defend your country

    from terrorist monkeys
    just let them bomb you at will

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    BOMB kindergartens

    then piss and moan and whine
    when their parents bomb you back

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    never mock Hamas

    it’s just their religion
    All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
    What Really Happened in the MidEast?
    Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
    Help Stop Terrorism Today!


  4. Hamas creeps out of its holes and declares victory, the question remains how strong will be their grip on the non-Hamasian elements in Gaza…if they are weak they might stage a mass refugee stream to capture the attention of media and leaving Hamas behind in one part of Gaza.

    Two gazas – “three states solution”
    we might have 4 Palestinian states!
    Crumbled the Christians and Jews might declare their own protected enclaves. Then you get 6 statelets, Pal cosa nostra becomes so confusing that everybody looses interest not knowing whom to support.

  5. This just shows again that the Jews are unable or unwilling to defend themselves. They want to die, and the Muslims want to kill them.

    If I were a Jewish boy, I would be ashamed of my people, and unsure of what it means to be a Jewish man.

  6. As long as Isael stays in Gaza, I don’t see the problem. It’s certainly not a surrender. Even the IDF will be a little weary after 3 weeks of fighting and in need of a little rest and probably resupply. They might also need to catch up on intelligence, as they are starting to run out of targets.

    Me, I think they’ll wait until Hamas overplay its cards once more and then the IDF will hit them again. Damn the diplomats, full speed ahead!

  7. Israel unilaterally declared a ceasefire yesterday. Of course it quickly vanished when Hamas fired five rockets into Israel. Hamas does not want to cease fire unless it is on their therms. They are concerned about looking defeated in the eyes of the Arab world. In truth, they have been defeated from a military standpoint. The vanishing Israeli cease fire

  8. Can’t wait to see Olmert out of office and replaced with a better man equipped to deal with the jihadis and not a dhimmi as Olmert. Someone that has knowledge of islam and does not fall for their simple tricks, their hudnas and such. They are so predictable.

  9. I can’t believe Olmert stated that all Israel’s operational goals were met with rockets still falling and Gilad Shalit still in captivity.

    It’s no wonder these terrorists think they can get away with anything; they know the Israeli leadership are ‘Westerners’ deep down and don’t have the stomach to fight.

    Let’s hope they are simply just waiting for Hamas to crawl out from under their stones.

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