Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad often say they are not willing to pay a political price in return for peace with Israel. But what do they mean? Gatestone Institute's Bassam Tawil explains that they are saying no to recognizing Israel, no to abandoning their dream of destroying Israel, and no to disarming:
When Hamas and PIJ talk about paying a political price, they are referring to demands (by Israel and many in the international community) that the Palestinian terrorist groups lay down their weapons, halt terrorist attacks on Israel, and abandon their dream of eliminating Israel and replacing it with an Islamist state. These are terms, of course, to which no Palestinian terrorist group could ever afford to agree, not even in return for the blockade on the Gaza Strip being lifted or economic and humanitarian aid to the two million Palestinians living in the coastal enclave. Accepting such conditions would make them look bad in the eyes of their supporters, who would then accuse them of betraying the Arabs and Muslims by failing to fulfill their promise of destroying Israel.
Anyone who thinks that Hamas or PIJ or any other terrorist group would ever agree to disarm is living in an illusion. It is unthinkable. As far as these groups are concerned, keeping their weapons is tremendously more important than improving the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
"We will not hand our weapons to the Palestinian Authority, which conducts security coordination with Israel [in the West Bank]," leading Hamas official Ahmed Bahr said in a recent Friday prayer sermon in the Gaza Strip. "The weapons of the resistance are the legitimate weapons that will be used to restore our rights and liberate our lands. The option of resistance is the only and shortest way to liberate our land and restore our rights."
To be clear, when the Palestinian terrorist groups talk about "resistance," they are referring to terror attacks on Israel. These include suicide bombings, launching rockets and mortars towards Israel, and hurling explosive devices and firebombs at Israeli soldiers and civilians. These groups do not believe in any form of peaceful and non-violent protests. For them, there is only one realistic option to achieve their goal of destroying Israel: the armed struggle.
Anyone who thinks that Hamas or any other terror group would agree to abandon its extremist ideology in return for easing the economic restrictions on the Gaza Strip is also living in a dream world. This is an ideology that clearly states that Jews have no right to live in a sovereign and independent state of their own on what many perceive as "Muslim-owned land..."