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David K. Rees

Lie to Israel 3 times, shame on Hamas. Lie to Israel four times whose to blame?

Hamas’s Gaza Strip leader Yahya Sinwar in a tunnel in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis, October 10, 2023 (IDF Spokesman), published in TOI, May 1, 2024.
While it seems that the United States is still pushing Israel and Hamas to negotiate a settlement, the chances of that actually happening are, at best, 0. At worst, (which I do not think will happen), Hamas will justifiably claim a huge victory over Israel, which will have failed to take out Hamas in Gaza once and for all, as it has promised over and over again to do ever since the October 7 massacre. The terrorists can then follow through on their promise to repeat the October 7th massacre 3 or 4 more times, as Hamas has threatened to do many times in the past.
According to Israel’s channel 12 news, unnamed Hamas sources have said that Hamas’ Gaza chief, Yahya Sinwar, has three specific demands in its negotiations (through intermediaries) with Israel over the release of the hostages.
They are:
1. Sinwar wants a complete end to the war.
2. Sinwar wants certain prisoners with blood on their hands to be released and either sent back to Gaza or exiled.

3. Sinwar wants specifics on what materials will be allowed to be brought back into Gaza for its reconstruction. Apparently this demand is intended to allow Hamas to rebuild its system of tunnels.

The Wall Street journal has run a similar story.

The first and second demands require Israel to admit defeat in the present war. The third demand is totally inconsistent with the first: there is no need to rebuild the system of tunnels, unless Hamas is planning on another war. This would be completely consistent with its actions three times before. The reality is that Israel cannot trust Hamas to keep its word.

The first time Hamas broke its word was after the 2009 war between Hamas in Gaza and Israel. That war broke out because Hamas was firing relatively- unsophisticated missiles into Israel. After the 2009 Gaza war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the parties agreed to a peaceful solution to their conflict.

In 2014, Hamas broke that promise, attacking Israel with numerous missiles, some of which, thanks to Iran, were sophisticated enough to reach Tel Aviv.  I remember that well. During that war, I, who live in a city the correct name of which is Tel Aviv-Yafo (Jaffa), was required to spend hours and hours in my safe room listening to Iron Dome intercepting missiles being fired at me.

The 2014 war was concluded after Egypt, which was mediating between Israel and Hamas in Gaza to end the war, submitted a peace proposal to both sides. The hawks on the Israel Security Cabinet opposed the proposal, saying that Israel should invade Gaza at the time and finish Hamas in Gaza off once and for all. Led by Netanyahu, the more moderate members of the Security Cabinet voted to accept Egypt’s proposal. Hamas rejected it. A week later, Hamas accepted essentially the same proposal, assuring Israel that there would now be peace.

In 2021, Hamas again broke its promise and again fired numerous missiles at Israel. That war was brief and once again Hamas promised peace. At some point, Hamas began building the very expensive, very complex tunnel system which has forced Israel to invade Gaza so slowly. (See picture above., which shows Sinwar in one of the tunnels.)

On October 7th 2023, Hamas once again broke its promise of peace, massacring, raping, beheading and taking numerous hostages.

There is an old saying, slightly modified, that applies here:
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you.  Fool me three times, shame on you. Fool me four times, and I am a complete idiot.

Joe Biden and Antony Blinken are pushing Israel to pick option 4. I just hope Israel has the good sense to end these negotiations, as quickly as possible.

About the Author
Before making Aliyah from the United States, I spent over three decades as a lawyer in the United States. My practice involved handling many civil rights cases, including women's- rights cases, in State and Federal courts. I handled numerous constitutional cases for the ACLU and argued one civil rights case in the United States Supreme Court. I chaired the Colorado Supreme Court's Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure and served on the Colorado Supreme Court's Civil Rules and Rules of Evidence Committees. Since much of my practice involved the public interest, I became interested in environmental law and worked closely with environmental organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). I was on the Rocky Mountain Board of EDF. I received an award from the Nebraska Sierra Club as a result of winning a huge environmental case that was referred to me by EDF. I also developed significant knowledge of hazardous and radioactive waste disposal. I was involved in a number of law suits concerning waste disposal, including a highly-political one in the United States Supreme Court which involved the disposal of nuclear waste. As I child I was told by my mother, a German, Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany, that Israel was a place for her and her child. When I first visited Israel many years later, I understood what she meant. My feeling of belonging in Israel caused me to make Aliyah and Israel my home. Though I am retired now, I have continued my interest in activism and the world in which I find myself.
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