Israel’s eight-minute ceasefire

Negotiating with jihadists doesn’t work.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists at a gathering in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, for commander Khaled Mansour, who was killed during the IDF's "Operation Breaking Dawn," Aug. 8, 2022. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists at a gathering in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, for commander Khaled Mansour, who was killed during the IDF's "Operation Breaking Dawn," Aug. 8, 2022. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Daniel Greenfield
Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli-born journalist who writes for conservative publications.

Israel’s ceasefire with Palestinian Islamic Jihad was supposed to kick in on Sunday at 11:30 p.m. local time.

The 11:30 p.m. deadline was reached after an original 8:00 p.m. deadline fell through. The negotiations for a ” ceasefire” had been brokered by Egypt and also involved U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland.

Islamic Jihad sent off what was billed as a “final wave” of rockets around a half hour before the ceasefire, and then more rockets were launched eight minutes after the ceasefire.

That rocket attack probably broke records as the shortest ceasefire with the terrorists.

During this latest Palestinian terror campaign, some 1,000 rockets were fired at Israel. Israelis were forced to head down to bomb shelters during the Sabbath and then on Sunday, which is known as Tisha B’Av, a fast day which commemorates the destruction of the two holy temples. The timing was not a coincidence; Islamic attacks on Israel, whether the Yom Kippur War or regular summer attacks, are often timed to coincide with sacred fast days in Judaism.

Even most of the “international community” has abandoned the fictitious peace process with the terrorists. All that’s left are the equally fictitious ceasefires in which terrorist groups launch attacks on Israel, and then make demands in exchange for a ceasefire which they don’t intent to keep.

Islamic Jihad is a hybrid terrorist group formed by Muslim Brotherhood members but operated by Iran. Before and during the rocket attacks, Islamic Jihad leader  Ziyad al-Nakhalah toured Iran, getting photo ops with the Iranian president and the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s terror hub. Al-Nakhalah was another one of the terrorists released by Israel as part of a “deal,” going on to become a vital link in turning Islamic Jihad into an Iranian proxy.

That ought to make Israel reluctant to release yet more Islamic Jihad terrorist leaders.

It hasn’t stopped the anti-Israel Left from finding new and exciting ways to blame Israel, however.

Rallying against Israel during the three-day conflict were members of Mistaklim or “Looking the Occupation the Eye,” and the Islamo-communist Joint List Party with banners reading “Free Gaza” and “Occupation Kills.”

Communist flags could be seen flying at the Tel Aviv anti-war rally.

The U.N.’s Wennesland, anti-Israel activists and the media accused Israel of killing children, but the actual cause of death was a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket.

A popular narrative circulating in the media is that Israeli strikes on Islamic Jihad leaders are taking out the “moderates” and undermining the “moderating” Hamas influence on Islamic Jihad.

That’s the same moderate jihadist group whose former interior minister last year gave a speech on Hamas TV in which he urged, “People of Jerusalem, we want you to cut off the heads of the Jews with knives. With your hand, cut their artery from here. A knife costs five shekels. Buy a knife, sharpen it, put it there, and just cut…. It costs just five shekels.”

Or, a Hamas TV commentator declaring more recently, “Some people say that life is all about negotiations. Not true. Life is about fighting. Life is about fighting and not about negotiating with the Israelites, or the Jews. It is all about fighting, more fighting, and then some more fighting.”

Or a Hamas kids’ TV show urging children to defend the Islamic occupation of Jerusalem “to our last drop of blood.”

But Muhammad Shehada, an official at Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, an anti-Israel group funded by George Soros, claims that “whatever chance Hamas had of containing the PIJ is now gone!”

As if Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which both work for Iran, were in the containment business.

Shehada, whose work appears at Al Jazeera, and The Forward, spun a conspiracy theory in which Israel’s decision to take out Khaled Mansour, another terrorist leader, would “damage chances of a ceasefire; empower Nakhallah & Abu Al-Atta’s group; make the PIJ more impulsive & violent in the long-term; & weaken Hamas’ ability to contain them.”

According to the Israeli Defense Forces, Khaled Mansour had been plotting an imminent attack against Israel. And had been responsible for numerous attacks in the past.

Terrorists are not moderates, and the only thing negotiating with them leads to is more terror.

The Abraham Accords demolished the myth that the only way to achieve peace was by reaching a deal with the terrorist proxies in order to have peace with their state sponsors.

The terrorists are just agents of various states who use them to carry out attacks against Israel.

The Accords have temporarily narrowed the field of state sponsors of terror leaving Iran and its ally Qatar, which responded to the Islamic Jihad attacks on Israel with “strong condemnation and denunciation of the recent Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip” and called “for the international community to move urgently to stop the occupation’s repeated attacks.”

The real reason that the Abraham Accords exist is because Iran’s rising power threatens many of the Sunni Muslim countries that used to be in the business of sponsoring the terrorists. Unlike ceasefires with terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Accords temporarily work because they are based around mutual interests and a common enemy. That’s also why no peace agreement could ever be achieved with the terrorist groups inside Israel’s borders.

As long as terrorists are allowed to operate inside Israel, the killing will continue. No deals, negotiations or “ceasefires” will change that.

But it’s a lot easier to kill terrorists than it is to kill a lie.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

This is a version of an article first published by FrontPage Magazine.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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