It was while reading Gareth Porter's latest piece at IPS News, Israel Rejected Hamas Ceasefire Offer in December -- Israel at its peremptory best -- that it occurred to us. Porter wrote:
Porter adds that Hamas even tried to make other Palestinian groups abide by the ceasefire, detaining and confiscating the weapons of those in violation. But on November 4. . .
In the first days after the ceasefire took effect [in June 2008], Islamic Jihad fired nine rockets. ... In August another eight rockets were fired by various groups [and] only one rocket was launched from Gaza in September and one in October.
Contrary to Israel's argument that it was forced to [retaliate] against Gaza in order to stop the firing of rockets into its territory, Hamas proposed in mid-December to return to the original. . . ceasefire arrangement.
First, admitting that the prospect of Hamas popping out of a tunnel, snatching an IDF member, and then scurrying back into the tunnel with him or her in tow is cause for scuttling a truce is a stunning admission of fear. Such willingness to cast the IDF in a frightened light only shows the length to which Israel will go to continue the conflict. Even more telling: Israel violated the ceasefire, as Porter wrote, "just when [it] was most effective."
. . . just when the ceasefire was most effective -- the IDF carried out an attack against a house in Gaza in which six members of Hamas's military wing were killed. [Its] explanation for the operation was that it had received intelligence that a tunnel was being dug near the Israeli security fence for the purpose of abducting Israeli soldiers.
It's not Hamas launching rockets (and certainly not Hamas emerging onto Israel soil from beneath the earth) that Israel fears -- it's Hamas not firing them.
On a conscious level, Israel seeks to crush Hamas. On an unconscious level it needs it to remain the Hamas it knows and loves (to hate) in order to comply with a militarized state's imperative to perpetuate itself.