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Hamas Alone Holds the Keys to a Permanent Ceasefire - Newsweek

Author: Newsweek

Source: https://www.newsweek.com/hamas-alone-holds-keys-permanent-ceasefire-opinion-1839104

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As has been the case for nearly 20 years, innocent civilians in Gaza are paying a tragic price for Hamas' bloodlust.While the true number of civilian deaths is unknown given the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry's refusal to distinguish between deaths of civilians and deaths of Hamas terrorists, the images coming out of Gaza are still heartbreaking.Everyone can agree that no more innocent people should die.Tragically, Hamas has guaranteed that innocent civilians will continue to die whether there is a ceasefire or not.A ceasefire will allow Hamas to repeat its acts of Oct.7: the mass murder, torture, rape, and hostage taking of Israeli civilians. Israel and Hamas had a tacit ceasefire for two years that ended on that Saturday with an explosion of violence killing more Jewish civilians than on any day since the Holocaust.This wasn't an accident or a coincidence—it's fundamental to Hamas' ideology.Hamas' 1988 Charter lays it out clearly in Article 7, stating that 'the Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight Jews and kill them." A ceasefire will not prevent more innocent civilians from dying because Hamas, like ISIS, sees terrorizing civilians as part and parcel of its foundational ideology.A picture taken from Israel's southern city of Sderot shows flares dropped by Israeli forces above the north of the Gaza Strip, on Oct.30.ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty ImagesDecisively eradicating Hamas is the only way to stop the cycle of war that has claimed the lives of too many Palestinians and Israelis since Hamas' rise to power in 2006.A ceasefire, on the other hand, will be broken by Hamas the moment it is able to regroup and launch its next attack.For Hamas to honor a permanent cease-fire would be a repudiation of everything that motivates its fighters and funders in Tehran. Hamas' only incentive in agreeing to a ceasefire is the freedom such a ceasefire would grant it to plan and execute another Oct.7.Hamas isn't interested in protecting Palestinians.That's proven by Hamas' theft of lifesaving humanitarian aid meant for the people of Gaza and its continuous launching of rockets that it knows have a nearly 30 percent chance of failing and killing its own civilians in Gaza (like in the case of the Al Ahli hospital).And that's not even to mention its extensive repression of its own people, including the well-documented torture and murder of Gazans who voice dissent.Those who are demanding a ceasefire should aim their demands at Hamas. There can be a ceasefire the moment Hamas releases all its hostages and agrees to disarm by turning over all of its weapons to the United Nations or the government of Egypt.However, doing so would mean putting the wellbeing of the Palestinian people over Hamas' genocidal ambitions—a fundamental rejection of Hamas' entire purpose.Rep.Brad Sherman represents California's 32nd district (Los Angeles County) and serves as a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.Uncommon KnowledgeNewsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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