For the past year, this blog has been urging Israel to accept Hamas offers for a cease fire and work cooperatively with that organization, including engaging in negotiations. A cease fire finally emerged from negotiations through the good offices of the Egyptian government, but Hamas leaders are hardly fulfilling promises made during these talks. Hamas leader, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, now claims his group never gave any commitment to halt the smuggling of arms in Gaza. “We cannt talk about stopping smuggling because it is something beyond our ability as a government and we did not give a commitment in this regard.” He also now claims Hamas never promised to curb activities of other organizations to ensure there is an end to rocket attacks on Israel. He did say Hamas would voluntarily do its best to halt militant actions.
Hamas can not have it both ways. It cannot ask Israel to halt aggressive actions if Muslim groups are attacking Israel. What is the meaning of a cease fire if Muslim militants continue hitting Israel with rockets?
It is reasonable that some form of smuggling will continue, but Israel is not worried about someone smuggling in food goods, but it can not tolerate smuggling in of weapons and that type of smuggling must be halted by Hamas.