Why Calls for a Permanent Ceasefire in Gaza Would Prolong the Israel-Hamas War
Report by the Pinsker Centre
Source: The Times of Israel
With the four-day temporary ceasefire coming to an end after Hamas declined to release any more hostages and launched a barrage of missiles at civilian homes in Southern Israel, increasing international pressure has been levied on Israel to commit to a permanent ceasefire and end the current war. However, not only would a permanent ceasefire fail to achieve justice for the over 1200 killed during the October 7 massacres or the hostages tortured and held in the Gaza Strip, a permanent ceasefire will only prolong the conflict by allowing Hamas to rebuild its terrorist infrastructure and once again hold Gazans as human shields to defend against another assault on Israeli civilians.
Previous conflicts between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip have followed the same cycle since Hamas’s takeover of the territory in 2006: Hamas will launch rockets at civilian targets in Israel, the IDF will retaliate against the terrorists hiding in civilian infrastructure, and, instead of providing aid to the civilians it displaced through terrorism, Hamas will use aid money to rearm itself and prepare a fresh war with Israel and maximize Palestinian suffering to enhance its international profile. Israel’s policy towards Hamas throughout the endless conflicts was conciliatory despite the risk the terrorist organization posed to Israelis– after disengaging unilaterally from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel would only send in soldiers for temporary operations to remove as many rockets as possible from the hands of terrorist organizations.
The Israeli calculus to tolerate Hamas’s control over Gaza in exchange for stability for Palestinians living there changed on October 7th. By killing over 1,200 Israelis in brutal massacres across Israel’s south and kidnapping over 200 hostages, Hamas revealed that it was ultimately unable to coexist with the Jewish State due to its genocidal intentions. As in the case of any country, Israel has a right and a duty to defend its citizens from terrorism, so the destruction of Hamas is the only possible outcome that will bring peace to the region– a sentiment not only shared by democratic countries around the world but by Arab states seeking a final end to the conflict that has taken far too many lives. In order to guarantee that the streets, homes, and centers of worship in the Gaza Strip are no longer weaponized and put at risk by Hamas, the terrorist organization must be destroyed along with their weaponry solely used to kill Jews.
For far too long, Hamas has willingly risked the lives of innocent Palestinians to wage a genocidal war against Israelis for simply being Jewish in their ancestral homeland. If the endless cycle of violence is to end, Hamas must fully be eradicated from the tunnels and streets of Gaza, and a rebuilding of the territory must include safeguards to ensure that the future administration of Gaza is focused on peace and stability with the State of Israel.
 Cohen, R. S. et al., “Lessons from Israel’s Wars in Gaza,” The RAND Corporation, 2017, https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9975.html.
 “Released Israeli hostages call for captives to be freed,” Reuters, 12 December 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/released-israeli-hostages-call-captives-be-freed-2023-12-02/.
 Chris Brown, “Israel's Arab neighbours want to see Hamas gone, but spurn role in governing Gaza afterward,” CBC, 27 November 2023, https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/israels-arab-neighbours-1.7040540.