In recent negotiations mediated by Qatar, Hamas reportedly requested a three-day ceasefire in exchange for the release of some of its hostages. Meanwhile the word “ceasefire” is on the lips of every protestor, politician, or diplomat who wishes to criticize either Israel’s or America’s handling of the current war. Ron Ben-Yishai lays out six reasons, each convincing in itself, that Jerusalem should not accede to this demand. He also relates a story that, on its own, should settle the question:
During Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the UN secretary-general called for a ceasefire. An hour after the ceasefire came into effect, terrorists came out of a tunnel shaft near the city of Rafah and killed the Major Benayah Sarel, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, and Staff Sergeant Liel Gideoni. This happened on August 1, 2014. Israel agreed to it the night before and the terrorists realized that this was their opportunity. They hit the fighters from a range of a few meters, grabbed Goldin’s body, lowered it down the shaft into the tunnel and within a few minutes were already in a safe shelter. His body has not been returned to Israel since.
In other words, Ben-Yishai concludes, “a ceasefire is merely a recommendation for Hamas, while the IDF sees itself obligated to uphold it.”