Why discuss an "18 month" truce with Hamas?

February 14, 2009

Saw this headline on Google New:

Hamas rules out setting up specific date for truce declaration

GAZA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) — The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) officials Saturday ruled out setting up a specific date for declaring an 18-month Egyptian-brokered truce with Israel.

What caught my eye is the “18-month” timeline mentioned for the truce.  What’s the point of a limited-duration truce?  Is the implication that upon the expiration of the truce, hostilities will resume?  After all, didn’t the current spate of hostilities happen coincidentally as the last “Egyptian-brokered truce” expired?

A limited truce with an organization bent upon your destruction seems little more than a coordinated re-armament period. 

Of course, given the region’s history, perhaps interspersing 18-month periods of peace with a couple weeks of intense violence (on both sides) is the best that can be hoped for.  Better that than the reverse.

David Barrett

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