August 11, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10135

Hamas Member: We Should Consider A Three- To Five-Year 'Hudna' (Truce) Between Israel And The Resistance In Gaza

August 11, 2022
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 10135

In an article published August 10, 2022 in the Palestinian Al-Quds daily, Hamas member Ahmad Yousuf, a former advisor to Hamas political bureau head Isma'il Haniyeh, called for an internationally sponsored three- to five-year hudna (truce) between Israel and the Gaza resistance factions.[1]

Yousuf stated that because Gaza is currently weak and besieged, the Palestinian resistance should recognize its diplomatic failures in the Arab and international arena and consider the option of a hudna instead of the recurring ceasefires after conflicts in which Israel always has the upper hand.

Such a hudna, he wrote, would give the Palestinians a chance to catch their breath, and at the same time allow the resistance to reexamine its military and diplomatic options and come up with a policy that is acceptable to the general Palestinian public. He also suggested that the one-state option be examined, which he said could give the moral high ground to the Palestinian people's struggle and gain Western support for their cause.

Defining the recent Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)-Israel conflict as a political stratagem hatched by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Ganz as part of their election campaign, he said that the PIJ had been dragged into a battle in which Israel set the rules of the clash and inflicted a decisive blow on the PIJ.

Below are excerpts from Yousuf's article.

Ahmad Yousuf (Source: Al-Quds, Jerusalem)

"There is nothing to prevent Israelis from firing on Palestinians whenever and however they wish. It is already customary, during election campaign seasons [in Israel], to provoke the Palestinians in order to drag them into a military conflict. [These conflicts are] political investments by those in Israel's ruling circles and decision-making [centers]. Furthermore, the [candidates'] rivalry in spouting extreme slogans and [making] security threats eventually reaches the battlefield, and serves as a standard for a particular candidate's ability to maintain security – an issue that is generally a decisive factor [in the choice] between the most important contenders on the right and the extreme right for the governmental and political leadership in Israel...

"If we look at the most recent military conflict, between the Israeli occupation army and the Islamic Jihad movement [PIJ] in the Gaza Strip – in an arena set up by [Yair] Lapid and [Benny] Ganz ­– we clearly see that the [pre-conflict] tension emanated from [Israel's] fraud and provocation against the PIJ through its arrest and direct humiliation of [West Bank PIJ official] Sheikh Bassam Al-Saadi. This was a stratagem hatched by those who lust after the premiership in the November elections – that is, Yair [Lapid] and [Benny] Ganz...

"We cannot ignore the fact that Israel landed a painful blow against the PIJ and [its military wing] the Al-Quds Brigades by striking the movement's two most important military figures in the Gaza Strip – Tayseer Al-Jabari and Khaled Mansour – and other officials... This was in addition to the destruction of many military targets – that is, PIJ outposts and property.

"Despite the heroism of the PIJ fighters and the heroic and qualitative activity shown by the Al-Quds Brigades in the field; despite their successful launch of hundreds of missiles at [Israel's] Gaza perimeter communities and at Tel Aviv, Netanya, Ashkelon, and Ashdod; and despite the fact that they [the PIJ and Al-Quds Brigades] are under round-the-clock security and electronic surveillance – what is seared into the consciousness of the Israeli voters is that Lapid and Ganz successfully reached and eliminated top-rank PIJ Al-Quds Brigades commanders in Gaza. [This achievement] will be added to the resumes of Lapid and Ganz, and they will be seen as the men of the hour. Three months from now, they may even be the political option preferred by [the voters] as secure and stable leadership for Israel.

"The question that must be asked on the Palestinian street – and one that recurs after any extensive clash with the occupation – is: Why not arrive at a three- to five-year hudna under UN sponsorship, instead of entering into hostilities without any power to determine when they occur, and when Israel unfortunately provides all the elements of surprise, conducts a swift surprise attack, and imposes time, place, and rules of conflict in the field?

"Despite the resistance's military and security capabilities, with an emphasis on Hamas and the PIJ, with which we can fight the occupation forces and inflict severe losses, Gaza's current situation is undoubtedly characterized by weakness and siege. After every clash and every war, it becomes clear [yet again] that the balance of power still tilts towards the occupation, and towards the aggressor, and that the positions of the Western countries are very far from neutral and moral. They are hugely pro-Israel, and always try to claim that this plundering entity has the right to defend itself!! This is a baseless argument presented, and shamelessly defended, by the pro-Zionist West!!

"Even though we understand, by virtue of our victimhood and our ownership of the cause, that we must defend our rights with our blood, defend our homeland's borders with our lives, and redeem it at any cost no matter how great, [at the same time] we must [also] recognize our failures. [These lie] in the fact that no one will promote the narrative of the injustice [against] the Palestinians in a way that will shift the equation of 'victory to the oppressors and no solidarity with the victim.' When the occupation's policy of aggression, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing is clearly evident, [the balance will tilt] towards the Palestinian people and its right to self-determination, by means of a fair position [worldwide] in favor of the just cause of our people.

"If we look today at the situation of many Arab and Islamic countries in which Palestine was [once] the main issue, we will unfortunately see that they are rushing to normalize relations with Israel. No one stops them and no one cares!!

"[Likewise], taking into account the disputes among ourselves, and examining the schism in the 'general Palestinian public,' we will see that we cannot rely on any element in the Palestinian political arena or on many of the Arab and Western regimes. This requires our brothers in the Palestinian factions to reexamine their considerations on the idea of a hudna instead of the constantly recurring ceasefires that allow Israel to use the 'lawn-mowing' policy [of patient military attrition] and dealing with us every so often in accordance with its own security and diplomatic agenda.

"A temporary hudna agreed on in the UN will give the resistance time to rebuild its military and security capabilities, forge alliances, secure sources of support, and preserve its Palestinian, Arab, and Islamic popular base, and will allow our political leaderships to conduct a reexamination and to formulate strategic plans, through which we can redefine our national, regional, and international approach.

"Political partnership and national accord will strengthen our people's adherence to its land, allow the study and examination of the existing political and military options, and allow [also] the formulation of an approach that will be agreed upon by the 'general Palestinian public' and will emphasize its advantages, while distancing the resistance and its factions from accusations of terrorism and extremism.  

"Perhaps a 'temporary hudna' is the best possible option, and afterwards it will be possible to move ahead and examine the one-state option (two-nation) as a second possibility. This will give us the moral high ground in our struggle, and at the same time our people will be able to catch its breath, allowing us to make the correct and wise decision in the equation of fighting, conflict, and survival against the plundering enemy and the occupying state that has, unfortunately, managed, with its historic narrative, and other religious, political, and security considerations, to harness the West to its side.

"Thus, after more than five crushing wars and clashes, and dozens of battles, in less than 15 years, we and members of our people are entitled to ask, What's the next stage? Is there another track on the path to human dignity, freedom, and independence that we should examine, or look for? Or is this the only path to victory, even if it comes late and we have to wait for a long time?! This question is hard to answer today – but tomorrow comes soon, for those who wait."[2]


[1] It should be noted that the Al-Hudaybiyya agreement between the Prophet Muhammad and the Meccan tribe of Quraish (628) served as a precedent and model for all Hudna agreements permitted under Islamic doctrine. The precedent was interpreted by Islamic scholars to mean that the time limit for any agreement with the enemy (which is to be temporary) must not exceed 10 years, since this was the duration of the Al-Hudaybiyya agreement.

[2] Al-Quds (Jerusalem), August 10, 2022.

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