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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

A cease-fire in Gaza will cause more harm than good

A+cease-fire+in+Gaza+will+cause+more+harm+than+good
Peyton McKenzie

Content warning: Descriptions of extreme violence and sexual assault

A correction was made on Tuesday, Feb. 20 to note the total Palestinian death toll since Israel’s assault on Gaza began after Oct. 7, 2023, according to Time. The number referenced is updated as of Feb. 19.

In 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan, with the goal to separate the British Mandate of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. This was the starting point of the major conflicts between Israel and Palestine, and with the creation of Hamas in 1987, the conflict only got worse. Now the solution to these ongoing clashes is currently at the forefront of the world’s political realm.

Why should Israel and the U.S. try to bargain with Hamas to achieve a cease-fire? The answer is simple: they shouldn’t. There is no point in advocating for a cease-fire when your enemy has broken — or refused to agree to — a truce over the conflict’s long history.

For a successful cease-fire, both sides need to agree to it and believe that it serves their interests. To get both of these sides to get what they want in such an agreement would be almost impossible.

A cease-fire in this conflict would be irresponsible and would only cause more terror for many years to come. Hamas is so incredibly unlikely to uphold its end of a cease-fire agreement and will only use it to restock on weaponry and remain committed to the obliteration of Israel, as noted in the beginning of the 1988 Hamas Covenant.

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas militants fired upon Israel from the land of the Gaza Strip, the Red Sea and from the air.

Israeli authorities said Hamas militants killed over 1,200 Israeli civilians and kidnapped 250 Israeli civilians during this attack, per the Associated Press. As of Feb. 19, Israel’s retaliatory assault on Gaza has killed more than 29,000 Palestinians

Along with that, an investigation by The New York Times uncovered at least seven separate geographic locations where Israeli women appeared to have been sexually assaulted or mutilated.

The idea of cease-fires — and Hamas breaking them — is not new. This is a dangerous trend that goes back almost two decades.

An 11-day war between Hamas and Israel in June 2021 was seen as the worst flare-up of violence between the two in years. It ended with a cease-fire agreement that was then broken by militants less than a month later after they sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel.

In a 2014 conflict between Hamas and Israel, the violence started with the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Israel then attacked Gaza. Egypt proposed a cease-fire that Israel agreed to but Hamas rejected. The sides attempted nine total truces before the conflict finally ended after 51 days.

During the 22-day conflict with Israel in 2009, Hamas and other militants agreed to a cease-fire. Just two weeks afterward, those same militants launched rockets into southern Israel.

Several world leaders have voiced their opposition to the idea of a cease-fire, making it more than clear that a cease-fire is not the best solution.

In a Nov. 14, 2023 op-ed for The Atlantic, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote: “A full cease-fire that leaves Hamas in power would be a mistake. For now, pursuing more limited humanitarian pauses that allow aid to get in and civilians and hostages to get out is a wiser course.”

This could not be a more accurate statement and it is more than obvious that putting a cease-fire in place and leaving Hamas alive and well in Gaza will cause drastic and fatal consequences for both sides.

In a statement last November, President Joe Biden rejected calls for a cease-fire, according to The Guardian, and in a late December call with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden did not ask for Israel to negotiate a cease-fire with Hamas.

When it comes to the U.S. supporting Israel, other forms of support are needed — monetary support is clearly not ideal. The White House’s emergency sale of weapons to Israel, for example, will help Israel more than just monetary funds. Actions taken by the White House like these need to continue, rather than monetary contributions.

Israel and Hamas have always fundamentally disagreed with one another, but inducing a cease-fire between the two at this moment would be a tragic mistake. The U.S. must support the elimination of Hamas and other militant groups in the Middle East.

Most of the world has seen war between Israel and Hamas for decades, but if there is a cease-fire enacted, Hamas will likely regroup, gather more materials and attack Israel again.

Historically, Hamas has shown it will continue to break cease-fire agreements, and it is clear that if a cease-fire agreement is reached, that will almost guarantee that future conflict will only be pushed back. Supporting Israel’s war against Hamas until its leadership and systems are destroyed will be the best way to fully secure and restructure the region.

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Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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