Gaza’s ruling Hamas says it will not stop arming itself because the deterrence that rocket-fire affords them is what extracts concessions from Israel, not disarming and peaceful resistance.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas’s second in command, told this to The Associated Press on Saturday after Israeli officials hinted that Israel would try to make an easing of the Gaza blockade contingent upon Hamas’s willingness to stop arming itself.
“America’s policy toward Hamas,” writes Yousef Munayyer in a New York Times Op-Ed, “rather than promoting peace, it only created incentives for the use of arms.”
“The cease-fire announced Wednesday will only perpetuate the same incentive structure,” Munayyer adds. “Through the use of force, Hamas gained favorable terms…commitments that Hamas believes could only have been extracted through armed struggle.”
While not giving up arms, Hamas is not being antagonistic. They have overlooked Israel’s tough security measures following the ceasefire, including the shooting and killing of an unarmed Gazan near the Israeli border, in favor of locking in the end to hostilities.
Indeed, they have even dispatched police to the borders to prevent other such incidents. Hamas security forces “have been deployed along the Gaza Strip border to preserve the implementation of the truce,” said the spokesman for the Hamas interior ministry, Islam Shahwan.