When the world is waiting for the horrid Gaza bloodshed to halt, media is reporting today that Hamas has rejected a call for a one-day truce, which could have been extended for the next 3 days. The call for the proposed temporary truce came not from Israel or the UN, but from Palestine’s own leadership in the West Bank, as reports Click2Houston.
Naturally, the news has been a disappointment to peace-lovers and brings up the question of whether Hamas wants peace? Or is it seeking only revenge? If not either, then something else?
As of today, more than 1100 casualties on the Palestinian side and more than 50 on Israeli side have been reported while the world is watching the horror of this violent series of fighting in the Gaza region. There has been the question of authority on the Palestinian side for years. Hamas is one of the stakeholder, primarily owing to its military power that has targeted the Israeli side with rockets, and killing civilians along with soldiers.
With no negotiations for peace and no effective strategy to spare civilians and target militants specifically, the current conflict has been a question of Israel’s intentions. It is not enough to say “collateral damage” happens and is okay, since every innocent life is valuable, on either side. And the count is in dozens. But with Hamas’s fresh rejection of temporary peace proposal – that could probably become the gap needed to end the murderous frenzy – it’s very much a question of Hamas’s intentions.
The statement of Hamas presented as the reason of their refusal to take a break from fighting is as nonsensical as the bloodshed itself: “When we get guarantees from the Zionists for an international mediation regarding a humanitarian pause, then we can consider it.” (Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri). Sounds hollow rhetoric!
Why International mediation? It’s not the international community that is being fired at, destroyed, or made the victim of shells and rockets. The Palestinian and Israeli civilians are suffering – and in this conflict, particularly the Palestinian, since they are more on the receiving end and Hamas has done little more than using them as shield to hide behind them and continue the mayhem in the region. When one segment of Palestinian leadership wants peace, there is every reason to support it – every reason to call it enough and talk directly to the “enemy” because it’s between them. It’s not a pain in the international community’s head.
But searching for sense may be more difficult than looking for the actual motive of militant bodies like Hamas. War is their business, their job, and apparently a good deal of money. After all, it gets special funding from its rich Middle Eastern supporters. Does Hamas really care about the Palestinians’ lives? If it does, it needs to prove so by saying yes to any peace efforts, something desperately needed in this unfortunate land – needed now more than ever.