Gaza 'Cease-Fire' is not even a Hudna

* Lets not get exited over this latest attempt by Hamas to hoodwink us, sez Yid with Lid.           A Hudna may be just a brief truce to allow the Muslims to regroup, but this ‘agreement’ not to kill Jews for a limited time is even worse, its a ‘tahdiya’

 

Gaza “Cease-Fire” Is Not EVEN a HUDNA

 

You can learn alot by reading. I thought the Agreement Hamas made with IsraelLis a Hudna– al-Arab (an ancient Arabic dictionary) Hudna is defined as: was a Hudna. In the

 

Hadana: he grew quiet. hadina: he quieted (transitive or intransitive). haadana: he made peace with. The noun from each of these is hudna.

 “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).

 

Hamas says this temporary cease-fire with Israel is a tahdiya and not a hudna. A tahdiya – “a period of calm” – is used by Hamas to describe a simple cease-fire. A hudna implies recognition of the other party’s actual existence, without acknowledging its legitimacy.

 

 

In an interview with Al-Jazeera (April 26, 2008), Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal clarified that for Hamas, a tahdiya is “a tactic in conflict management.” He added that it “is not unusual for the resistance…to escalate sometimes and to retreat a bit sometimes as the tide does….The tahdiya creates a formulation that will force Israel…to remove the siege…and if it happens it will be a remarkable achievement.”

 

So why is Hamas committing to a tahdiya? Well, one month after the US Presidential Election is the Palestinian Presidential Election and Hamas wants to prove that any terrorist boy, even a Hamas one, can be President;

Jonathan Dahoah Halevi
.

After eight years of armed Intifada, countless Palestinian terrorist attacks, and more than 7,000 rockets fired against civilians in Israel, the Egyptian government succeeded in securing an agreement by Israel and Hamas for a cease-fire that took effect at 6:00 a.m. on June 19, 2008. Officially, the Israeli government argues that there is no understanding with Hamas, but only with Egypt. However, that formalism is not necessarily the perception of the international community.

 

The main terms of the unwritten agreement include the following:

· All Gaza-Israel violence stops for six months. After three days, Israel will ease its blockade of Gaza, allowing more vital supplies in.

· A week later, Israel will further ease restrictions at cargo crossings.

· In the final stage, talks will be conducted about opening the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt and for a prisoner exchange to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, held by Hamas for two years.(1)

 

Hamas regards the temporary cease-fire as atahdiya and not a hudna. The difference between the two Arabic terms is substantial.Hudna means “truce,” which is more concrete than tahdiya – “a period of calm” – which Hamas often uses to describe a simple cease-fire. In traditional Islamic thought, a hudna is negotiated between an Islamic entity and a non-Islamic entity, but it can be reversed the moment the Islamic side has gained sufficient strength to resume fighting. Nevertheless, ahudna implies recognition of the other party’s actual existence, without acknowledging its legitimacy.

 

A tahdiya has less standing than a hudna. Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’ leader, and his deputy in leadership, Musa Abu Marzouq, elaborated in recent months their interpretation of a tahdiya.In an interview with Al-Jazeera (April 26, 2008), Mashaal clarified that for Hamas, a tahdiya is “a tactic in conflict management and a phase in the framework of the resistance [meaning all forms of struggle].” He added that it “is not unusual for the resistance…to escalate sometimes and to retreat a bit sometimes as the tide does….The tahdiya creates a formulation that will force Israel…to remove the siege…and if it happens it will be a remarkable achievement….We are speaking of a tactical tahdiya….As long as there is occupation, there is no other way but resistance.”(2)

 

When asked about Mashaal’s “tactical tahdiya,” Musa Abu Marzouq explained that “the tahdiyais not a strategy or a goal itself, but it is a tactical step in this conflict….Our goal is to liberate our land and to bring about the return of our people. The resistance is a tool to reach this end.”(3)

 

Official sources in Israel have explained that Hamas’ interest in a lull in the fighting is a result of the “distress” it has suffered from the extended blockade of Gaza.(4) Israel’s policy did in fact cause difficulties for Hamas, but these hardships do not explain Hamas’ strategic motives for the lull. The organization did not experience “distress” – neither in a strengthening of the opposition to the Hamas administration, nor in an increase of popular protests against it. In fact, the opposite is true. Even the official Israeli evaluation of Hamas’ first year of rule since its military takeover in June 2007 suggests that Hamas has managed to introduce and maintain law and order in the Gaza Strip, strengthen its overall control, suppress opposition, and achieve broad popular support for its policies.

 

Hamas’ Motivation: Legitimacy and Recognition


Hamas’ motives have nothing to do with “distress,” but rather with “opportunities” – that is, the objectives it seeks to attain in the international arena and especially in its own internal political arena. First, the lull in the fighting is meaningless for Hamas; it is not a cease-fire or a truce, but a temporarycessation of hostilities with Israel. Next, Hamas is not committed to continuing the lull when the six months run out, and it can use any excuse it chooses to continue its terrorist campaign: Israeli building in the settlements, Israeli measures taken in Jerusalem, or IDF anti-terror measures in the West Bank. Hamas can also send other Palestinian organizations to do its dirty work.

 

 

The tahdiya agreement for a lull is an important achievement for Hamas. Hamas will gain the recognition it wants as the legitimate ruler of the Gaza Strip. Despite the fact that the Israeli government has defined Hamas-ruled Gaza as a hostile entity, Israel agreed to the continuation of trade with it, and even recognized the hostile entity’s authority to operate the Rafah crossing. Hamas regards that as immensely important and wants to exploit it as a lever to open the door to official relations with Europe, and to have itself removed from the various lists of terrorist organizations.


Another important objective for Hamas is winning the Palestinian presidential election, which will be held when Mahmoud Abbas finishes his term of office in December. Hamas wants to present itself in the contest as a legitimate ruling body worthy of inheriting the presidency. High-ranking Hamas figures have already stated that the organization will not recognize Abbas’ authority as president after December 2008.(5)

 

Hamas is liable to claim that, according to Palestinian law, administrative authority should be passed on to the chairman of the parliament, who is a Hamas leader, or should be decided by the parliament itself, where Hamas has an overwhelming majority. In other words, for Hamas, the lull in the fighting will permit the movement to prepare the field to take over from Abbas, thereby complementing its military takeover of Gaza. Hamas’ challenge is also the motivation behind Abbas’ desire to talk to Hamas about reaching an understanding about new elections, and it explains why Hamas has rejected the suggestion.

 

Main Implications of the Tahdiya

 

Hamas wants to exploit the lull in the fighting to upgrade its status in the international community in order to gain legitimacy for its campaign for the presidency after Abbas’ term is over in December 2008.

 

The cease-fire grants Hamas a golden opportunity to expand its military build-up for the next round of terror and violence. Emulating Hizbullah’s strategy, Hamas is striving to acquire longer-range and more destructive missiles to be used for deterrence and as a sword on Israel’s neck.

 

Israel has acknowledged Hamas, albeit unwillingly, as the de facto ruling power inGaza. Israel’s acceptance of the cease-fire is a blow to the international war on terror and gives immunity to Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, including al-Qaeda affiliates.

 

Another diplomatic consequence of the tahdiya will be increasing pressure on Israel to accept a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah in the future. That could lead to increasing demands on Israel to negotiate a permanent status arrangement with the joint Hamas-Fatah government, while Hamas remains committed to its political program of the elimination of Israel. It is important to recall that the entire Israeli-Palestinian negotiating track since the convening of theAnnapolis conference was premised on the exclusion of Hamas and the ultimate achievement of an agreement between the Israeli government and the government of Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah alone.

 

Delaying the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit to a later phase of the Israel-Hamas arrangement can have a demoralizing effect in Israel, for it sends a message that the recovery of captured soldiers is not the highest priority.

The Hamas Interest in the Tahdiya (Temporary Truce) with Israel

Jonathan Dahoah Halevi

Vol. 8, No. 4    19 June 2008

www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=1&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=375&PID=0&IID=2181&TTL=The_Hamas_Interest_in_the_Tahdiya_(Temporary_Truce)_with_Israel

 

Hamas regards the temporary cease-fire as a tahdiya and not a hudna. A 

tahdiya – “a period of calm” – is used by Hamas to describe a simple 

cease-fire. A hudna implies recognition of the other party’s actual 

existence, without acknowledging its legitimacy.

 

In an interview with Al-Jazeera (April 26, 2008), Hamas leader Khaled 

Mashaal clarified that for Hamas, a tahdiya is “a tactic in conflict 

management.” He added that it “is not unusual for the resistance…to 

escalate sometimes and to retreat a bit sometimes as the tide does….The 

tahdiya creates a formulation that will force Israel…to remove the 

siege…and if it happens it will be a remarkable achievement.”

 

Official sources in Israel have explained that Hamas’ interest in a lull in 

the fighting is a result of its “distress.” But the organization did not 

experience “distress.” Hamas has introduced and maintained law and order in 

Gaza, strengthened its overall control, suppressed opposition, and achieved 

broad popular support for its policies.

 

An important objective for Hamas is winning the Palestinian presidential 

election, which will be held when Mahmoud Abbas finishes his term of office 

in December. The lull will permit Hamas to prepare the field to take over 

from Abbas. Hamas is liable to claim that, according to Palestinian law, 

administrative authority should be passed on to the chairman of the 

parliament, who is a Hamas leader, or should be decided by the parliament 

itself, where Hamas has an overwhelming majority.

 

One diplomatic consequence of the tahdiya will be increasing pressure on 

Israel to accept a future reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. That could 

lead to increasing demands on Israel to negotiate a permanent status 

arrangement with a joint Hamas-Fatah government, while Hamas remains 

committed to its political program of the elimination of Israel.

 

The cease-fire also grants Hamas a golden opportunity to expand its military 

build-up for the next round of terror and violence. Emulating Hizbullah’s 

strategy, Hamas is striving to acquire longer-range and more destructive 

missiles to be used for deterrence and as a sword on Israel’s neck.

 

After eight years of armed Intifada, countless Palestinian terrorist 

attacks, and more than 7,000 rockets fired against civilians in Israel, the 

Egyptian government succeeded in securing an agreement by Israel and Hamas 

for a cease-fire that took effect at 6:00 a.m. on June 19, 2008. Officially, 

the Israeli government argues that there is no understanding with Hamas, but 

only with Egypt. However, that formalism is not necessarily the perception 

of the international community.

 

The main terms of the unwritten agreement include the following:

 

All Gaza-Israel violence stops for six months. After three days, Israel will 

ease its blockade of Gaza, allowing more vital supplies in.

 

A week later, Israel will further ease restrictions at cargo crossings.

 

In the final stage, talks will be conducted about opening the Rafah crossing 

between Gaza and Egypt and for a prisoner exchange to free IDF soldier Gilad 

Shalit, held by Hamas for two years.1

 

Hamas regards the temporary cease-fire as a tahdiya and not a hudna. The 

difference between the two Arabic terms is substantial. Hudna means “truce,” 

which is more concrete than tahdiya – “a period of calm” – which Hamas often 

uses to describe a simple cease-fire. In traditional Islamic thought, a 

hudna is negotiated between an Islamic entity and a non-Islamic entity, but 

it can be reversed the moment the Islamic side has gained sufficient 

strength to resume fighting. Nevertheless, a hudna implies recognition of 

the other party’s actual existence, without acknowledging its legitimacy.

 

A tahdiya has less standing than a hudna. Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’ leader, and 

his deputy in leadership, Musa Abu Marzouq, elaborated in recent months 

their interpretation of a tahdiya. In an interview with Al-Jazeera (April 

26, 2008), Mashaal clarified that for Hamas, a tahdiya is “a tactic in 

conflict management and a phase in the framework of the resistance [meaning 

all forms of struggle].” He added that it “is not unusual for the 

resistance…to escalate sometimes and to retreat a bit sometimes as the 

tide does….The tahdiya creates a formulation that will force Israel…to 

remove the siege…and if it happens it will be a remarkable 

achievement….We are speaking of a tactical tahdiya….As long as there is 

occupation, there is no other way but resistance.”2

 

When asked about Mashaal’s “tactical tahdiya,” Musa Abu Marzouq explained 

that “the tahdiya is not a strategy or a goal itself, but it is a tactical 

step in this conflict….Our goal is to liberate our land and to bring about 

the return of our people. The resistance is a tool to reach this end.”3

 

Official sources in Israel have explained that Hamas’ interest in a lull in 

the fighting is a result of the “distress” it has suffered from the extended 

blockade of Gaza.4

 

Israel’s policy did in fact cause difficulties for Hamas, but these 

hardships do not explain Hamas’ strategic motives for the lull. The 

organization did not experience “distress” – neither in a strengthening of 

the opposition to the Hamas administration, nor in an increase of popular 

protests against it. In fact, the opposite is true.

 

Even the official Israeli evaluation of Hamas’ first year of rule since its 

military takeover in June 2007 suggests that Hamas has managed to introduce 

and maintain law and order in the Gaza Strip, strengthen its overall 

control, suppress opposition, and achieve broad popular support for its 

policies.

 

Hamas’ Motivation: Legitimacy and Recognition

 

Hamas’ motives have nothing to do with “distress,” but rather with 

“opportunities” – that is, the objectives it seeks to attain in the 

international arena and especially in its own internal political arena. 

First, the lull in the fighting is meaningless for Hamas; it is not a 

cease-fire or a truce, but a “temporary” cessation of hostilities with 

Israel. Next, Hamas is not committed to continuing the lull when the six 

months run out, and it can use any excuse it chooses to continue its 

terrorist campaign: Israeli building in the settlements, Israeli measures 

taken in Jerusalem, or IDF anti-terror measures in the West Bank. Hamas can 

also send other Palestinian organizations to do its dirty work.

 

The tahdiya agreement for a lull is an important achievement for Hamas. 

Hamas will gain the recognition it wants as the legitimate ruler of the Gaza 

Strip. Despite the fact that the Israeli government has defined Hamas-ruled 

Gaza as a hostile entity, Israel agreed to the continuation of trade with 

it, and even recognized the hostile entity’s authority to operate the Rafah 

crossing. Hamas regards that as immensely important and wants to exploit it 

as a lever to open the door to official relations with Europe, and to have 

itself removed from the various lists of terrorist organizations.

 

Another important objective for Hamas is winning the Palestinian 

presidential election, which will be held when Mahmoud Abbas finishes his 

term of office in December. Hamas wants to present itself in the contest as 

a legitimate ruling body worthy of inheriting the presidency. High-ranking 

Hamas figures have already stated that the organization will not recognize 

Abbas’ authority as president after December 2008.5

 

Hamas is liable to claim that, according to Palestinian law, administrative 

authority should be passed on to the chairman of the parliament, who is a 

Hamas leader, or should be decided by the parliament itself, where Hamas has 

an overwhelming majority. In other words, for Hamas, the lull in the 

fighting will permit the movement to prepare the field to take over from 

Abbas, thereby complementing its military takeover of Gaza. Hamas’ challenge 

is also the motivation behind Abbas’ desire to talk to Hamas about reaching 

an understanding about new elections, and it explains why Hamas has rejected 

the suggestion.

 

Main Implications of the Tahdiya

 

Hamas wants to exploit the lull in the fighting to upgrade its status in the 

international community in order to gain legitimacy for its campaign for the 

presidency after Abbas’ term is over in December 2008.

 

The cease-fire grants Hamas a golden opportunity to expand its military 

build-up for the next round of terror and violence. Emulating Hizbullah’s 

strategy, Hamas is striving to acquire longer-range and more destructive 

missiles to be used for deterrence and as a sword on Israel’s neck.

 

Israel has acknowledged Hamas, albeit unwillingly,  as the de facto ruling 

power in Gaza. Israel’s acceptance of the cease-fire is a blow to the 

international war on terror and gives immunity to Hamas and other terrorist 

organizations in Gaza, including al-Qaeda affiliates.

 

Another diplomatic consequence of the tahdiya will be increasing pressure on 

Israel to accept a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah in the 

future.

 

That could lead to increasing demands on Israel to negotiate a permanent 

status arrangement with the joint Hamas-Fatah government, while Hamas 

remains committed to its political program for the elimination of Israel. It 

is important to recall that the entire Israeli-Palestinian negotiating track 

since the convening of the Annapolis conference was premised on the 

exclusion of Hamas and the ultimate achievement of an agreement between the 

Israeli government and the government of Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah alone.

 

Delaying the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit to a later phase of the 

Israel-Hamas arrangement can have a demoralizing effect in Israel, for it 

sends a message that the recovery of captured soldiers is not the highest 

priority.

*     *     *

Notes

1. 

http://www.startribune.com/world/20167939.html?location_refer+World:highlightModules:3

2. http://aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/41C8CBD6-5D3A-4F4B-B952-CFBF766D6B6F.htm? 

wbc_purpose=basic_current_current_current_Current

3. http://www.alwatan.sy/dindex.php?idn=32872

4. http://news.walla.co.il/?w=/22/1291534

5. 

http://www.al-sharq.com/DisplayArticle.aspx?xf=2008,June,article_20080608_103 

&id=worldtoday&sid=arabworld

*     *     *

Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan D. Halevi is a senior researcher of the Middle East 

and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is a 

founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd. and is a former advisor to the 

Policy Planning Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

One thought on “Gaza 'Cease-Fire' is not even a Hudna”

  1. Hitler said treaties are nothing but useless scraps of paper. I submit that any cease fire involving palestinians is 1000 times more useless than those scraps of paper.

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