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November 26, 2006
Triangle Offense Returns In Record Time

Last night, I noticed that the Israelis had once again agreed to a cease-fire and withdrawal from Gaza, reaching the accord with Hamas and Fatah. The Guardian reported the "hopes for peace" late last night, and I intended on writing a cautionary post about it this morning. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas had told Ehud Olmert that all factions had agreed to the deal:

Palestinian militants have agreed to stop firing rockets into Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and a halt to targetted killings, it emerged last night.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, telephoned Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, and told him that all Palestinian factions had agreed to a ceasefire from 6am this morning.

Olmert replied that if there was no rocket fire from Gaza, Israeli forces could stop their operations and begin to withdraw from Gaza. The ceasefire could bring an end to a spate of violence which has seen the death of more than 100 Palestinians in Israeli operations and two Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian rockets within the past month.

I figured I'd wait until the morning to remind everyone that the modus operandi of the Palestinians in the past had two of the three major factions agreeing to cease-fires while one continued to attack Israel. In this way, the Palestinians could be both peacemakers and provocateurs, and let the Israelis suffer the attacks for as long as it took to get them to finally act to end them. At that point, the Palestinians could run to their Western apologists and sob about the mean Israelis who keep violating cease-fire agreements.

Unfortunately for me, the Palestinians couldn't wait for even a day to put their triangle offense into action:

Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip as a last-minute cease-fire deal took hold Sunday morning, but two major Palestinian militant groups, saying they had no intention of stopping their attacks, fired volleys of homemade rockets into Israel.

The ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad tempered hopes for a lasting truce, which was meant to end five months of deadly clashes. The rockets landed in open fields and caused no injuries.

The USA Today headline mirrors the fecklessness of the entire enterprise. It reads, "Gaza cease-fire takes hold, attacks continue," a headline that practically defines oxymoron for all practical purposes. A cease-fire takes hold when all sides cease firing. If one side keeps firing, then there is no cease fire. One would think that journalists, headline writers, and diplomats would have at one time looked in their Websters for the definitions of cease and fire and have this figured out.

In this case, we have two out of the three major factions violating the agreement before the ink dried on paper. Both factions acknowledge their continuing attacks, Hamas says they'll keep firing rockets at Israeli civilians until the IDF leaves Gaza, and Islamic Jihad says they'll keep going until the IDF leaves the West Bank as well. In other words, there will be no cease fire at all, ever, until the Palestinians agree to the two-state solution or the Palestinians annihilate the Israelis.

Abbas could have his cease-fire in a heartbeat if the former came to pass, but no one will have peace until the Palestinians give up their morbid fantasies of the latter. Israel should quit listening to their fair-weather friends in the West and resolve to give the Palestinians the war they want until they get sick enough of it to negotiate in good faith for a solution of co-existence. Cease fires with one-sided attacks make a mockery of any diplomatic efforts with a group of people who can't keep their word for even an hour.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 26, 2006 9:04 AM

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» I was too optimistic from Bill's Bites
Yesterday afernoon I wrote: And how long have the jihadis ever honored a cease-fire? I give it two days, three max. And this morning I saw on Fox as soon as I got online: Palestinian Militants Attack Israel Despite Gaza [Read More]

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» When a Truce Isn't a Truce from A Blog For All
It didn't take long for Palestinian terrorists to break their word. Again. [Read More]

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» Hamas Won't Tolerate Ceasefire Breach? from Mensa Barbie Welcomes You
..And considering the Hamas tradition of breaking cease-fire agreements: When Hamas commits to a "Cease-fire" they mean "More-fire." The Captain gives the 411... [Read More]

Tracked on November 27, 2006 4:46 AM


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