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Hamas/Islamic Jihad Declare “Cease-Fire”

Two of the organizations most responsible for terrorist attacks on Israelis, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, agreed to a three-month “cease-fire.” In response to this announcement and , more important, the declaration by the Palestinian Authority (PA) that its forces will maintain security, Israel agreed to withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip and other cities where the Palestinians exert control. Though the Arabic word hudna is translated as cease-fire, it actually has a more precise meaning in Islam. The prophet Mohammad struck a 10-year hudna with the Quraysh tribe that controlled Mecca in the seventh century. Over the following two years, Mohammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna and launch the full conquest of Mecca. Israel fears the terrorist organizations are planning to take advantage of the absence of Israeli defense forces to reorganize and plan future attacks. The Bush Administration has also expressed concern and made clear that the PA is expected to implement the road map's requirement that the terrorist organizations be disarmed and dismantled.


Out of our desire for the unity of the Palestinian ranks at this dangerous phase which our people and our cause are going through, and in order to protect our national unity achieved through the intifada and the resistance and documented by the blood of the martyrs, and as our contribution to consolidating Palestinian national dialogue on the basis of adherence to the rights of our people, and in order to protect our internal front from the danger of schism and confrontation, and in order to prevent the enemy from having any excuse to wreck it, and in an assertion of the legitimate right to resist the occupation as a strategic option until the end of the Zionist occupation of our homeland and until we achieve all our national rights, and in response to efforts by many in the Palestinian and Arab arena who care about the unity of the Palestinian national ranks, we declare the following initiative:

A. Suspension of the military operations against the Zionist enemy for three months, effective today, in return for the following conditions:

1. An immediate cessation of all forms of Zionist aggression against our Palestinian people including incursions, demolitions, closures and sieges on cities, villages and refugee camps. This includes the siege imposed on President Yasser Arafat, house demolitions, leveling of agricultural land and assaults against land, property and Christian and Islamic holy sites, especially the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque. In addition, the immediate cessation of all individual assassination operations, massacres, all arrests and deportations against our people, leaders, cadres and fighters.

2. The release of all prisoners and detainees, Palestinian and Arab, from occupation prisons without condition or restriction and the return to their homes first and foremost of those who have spent long periods and those with lengthy sentences, women, children, the sick and elderly.

B. In the event that the enemy does not heed these conditions and commitments, or breaches any of them, we see ourselves unencumbered by this initiative and we hold the enemy responsible for the consequences.

Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement)
Islamic Jihad