Reactions to the end of the temporary ceasefire and the resumption of the fighting in the Gaza Strip

Hamdan interviewed by al-Manar TV (al-Manar TV website, Lebanon, December 2, 2023)

Hamdan interviewed by al-Manar TV (al-Manar TV website, Lebanon, December 2, 2023)

Muhammad al-Hindi interviewed by al-Jazeera Mubasher (al-Jazeera Mubasher TV YouTube channel, December 1, 2023)

Muhammad al-Hindi interviewed by al-Jazeera Mubasher (al-Jazeera Mubasher TV YouTube channel, December 1, 2023)

Saleh al-'Arouri interviewed by al-Jazeera TV (al-Jazeera website December 2, 2023)

Saleh al-'Arouri interviewed by al-Jazeera TV (al-Jazeera website December 2, 2023)

Khalil al-Haya interviewed by al-Jazeera TV (Dailymotion channel of al-Jazeera TV , December 1, 2023)

Khalil al-Haya interviewed by al-Jazeera TV (Dailymotion channel of al-Jazeera TV , December 1, 2023)

Overview[1]
  • On December 1, 2023, the temporary ceasefire in the Gaza Strip ended. It began on November 24, 2023 at 7 a.m. and its objective was the release of hostages and their return to Israel. It ended after it was violated by Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which fired rockets at the cities, towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip, despite the efforts of the mediators to continue it.
  • Senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists and spokesmen were particularly vocal after the temporary ceasefire ended. They blamed Israel for ending it and also blamed the United States for the events in the Gaza Strip because of its unreserved support for Israel.. According to senior Hamas terrorists, during Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit to Israel, the United States gave Israel a “green light” to continue the war in Gaza.
  • Senior Hamas and PIJ terrorists also warned that the next phase of the hostage exchange deal would be longer and more “complex,” because it would include a demand for the release of security prisoners with blood on their hands and the price Israel would pay for men and soldiers would be different from that of women and children.
  • Regarding the continuation of the fighting in Gaza, Hamas and PIJ senior terrorists stated that they were prepared for the continuation of the fighting and all possible scenarios. They also claimed they were completely confident that they would defeat Israel.
  • Saleh al-‘Arouri, senior terrorist and deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, ended the discussion of hostage release by telling al-Jazeera TV that there would be no more negotiations for a ceasefire and Hamas’ final position was that there would be no deals for the release of hostages before the end of the war.
  • Recent Palestinian cartoons in the Palestinian and Arab media hinted that at the end of the temporary ceasefire, the “Palestinian resistance” [terrorist organizations] was stronger after several days of fighting and Israel would again be forced to demand a ceasefire [sic].
Further Information
End of the temporary ceasefire
  • Hamas accused Israel and the United States of responsibility for ending the ceasefire, and claimed that they were ready at any moment to reach a new settlement.
  • Hamas blamed Israel for the renewal of the war, claiming that during the negotiations, Israel had refused every offer to release hostages because, according to Hamas, “it had already made a decision to renew the aggression.” Hamas claimed that a number of proposals had been made during the negotiations held the night before the temporary ceasefire expired, including for exchanging hostages and the elderly, and handing over the bodies of hostages who, they claimed had been killed by IDF strikes. Hamas also blamed the United States for the “continuation of war crimes” because of its absolute support for Israel (Hamas Telegram channel, December 1, 2023).
  • Senior Hamas terrorist Osama Hamdan claimed Israel and the American government were responsible for the expiration of the ceasefire, adding that the main dispute was Israel’s stance on the Palestinian people and the Palestinian issue. He claimed they had worked seriously and that they were still working to reach a ceasefire, even after the resumption of “the Israeli aggression” (al-Jazeera, December 1, 2023).
  • On another occasion, Hamdan claimed Israel had been waiting for the green light from the United States to “complete its aggression” against the Gaza Strip, and Israel received it when Anthony Blinken, the American secretary of state, met with the War Cabinet in Tel Aviv on November 30, 2023. Hamdan claimed Israel was lying when it blamed Hamas for ending the temporary ceasefire. He claimed Israel had been presented with three proposals for an extension, but on the seventh day it became clear that “Israel was trying to change the rules of the agreement, after having violated the understandings throughout the previous week” (al-Manar TV website, December 2, 2023).
Hamdan interviewed by al-Manar TV (al-Manar TV website, Lebanon, December 2, 2023)
Hamdan interviewed by al-Manar TV (al-Manar TV website, Lebanon, December 2, 2023)
  • Senior terrorist Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, claimed that Israel was lying when it accused Hamas of launching a rocket from Gaza, causing the fighting to resume. He claimed Israel was using the “false pretext” to justify the attacks and the “massacre” of defenseless residents. He reiterated that only Israel was responsible for ending the temporary ceasefire (Izzat al-Rishq’s Telegram channel, December 2, 2023).
  • The PIJ also claimed that the Palestinian “resistance” [terrorist organizations] had “responded to all the efforts made in recent days and proved it was committed to its agreements and obligations.” He accused Israel of continuous violations of the temporary ceasefire and of continuing the war and killing to satisfy the military and political leadership’s desire for revenge and to demonstrate its power, even if it led to the killing of the remaining hostages. According to the PIJ, Israel is fully responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinians will fight with all their resources, no matter how many Palestinian lives it costs (PIJ media information bureau Telegram channel, December 1, 2023).
  • Senior terrorist Muhammad al-Hindi, deputy PIJ secretary general, stressed that his organization had played an important role in supporting Hamas when it forced Israel to accept the temporary ceasefire and in implementing the hostage exchange. He added that the PIJ’s position was basically to achieve a permanent ceasefire, but they had agreed to a humanitarian ceasefire and the exchange of women and children as a way of creating a new dynamic for further deals and more temporary ceasefires which would lead to a permanent one. He claimed that despite Israel’s “repeated violations” of the conditions for the exchange of women and children, the temporary humanitarian ceasefire benefited the Palestinians because it allowed people to check their homes, the hospitals could reassess their situation and the dead could be buried (aljazeera.net, 1 December 2023).
Muhammad al-Hindi interviewed by al-Jazeera Mubasher (al-Jazeera Mubasher TV YouTube channel, December 1, 2023)
Muhammad al-Hindi interviewed by al-Jazeera Mubasher
(al-Jazeera Mubasher TV YouTube channel, December 1, 2023)
  • Senior terrorist Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, ended the discussion on further ceasefires, claiming that the official, final position of Hamas and the “resistance” [terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip] was that there would be no exchange of prisoners until the end of the “aggression and a final, comprehensive ceasefire” (al-Jazeera, December 2, 2023).
The continuation of the return of the hostages
  • Meanwhile, the Hamas leadership, including Saleh al-‘Arouri, continued to talk about terms for the next exchanges and each time were careful to note that the criteria for men and soldiers would be different from those for women and children.
  • Interviewed by al-Jazeera TV, Saleh al-‘Arouri claimed that from the beginning Hamas said they were sincere. He noted that the hostages with foreign citizenships who “arrived” in the Gaza Strip on October 7 had not been targeted, and Hamas was prepared to release them without receiving anything in return. He also claimed the women and children had not been targeted either, and had “arrived because of unusual circumstances,” and Hamas was prepared to release them in exchange for Palestinian women and children in Israeli prisons and in exchange for an international aid commitment for the Palestinians. At the moment, he claimed, the issue of the women and children was no longer on the agenda. Israel, he said, insisted there were still women and children being held captive in Gaza, but Hamas had handed over all the women and children it was holding, and if there were more, Hamas had no knowledge of them and had not been able to reach them. He again claimed that the remaining hostages were soldiers and civilians who had served in the IDF, and therefore no negotiations would take place before the end of the war. He claimed their final decision was that all the Palestinian prisoners would be released in return for the Israelis they were holding, and they had no intention of changing their minds, that would never happen (al-Jazeera TV website, December 2, 2023).
Saleh al-'Arouri interviewed by al-Jazeera TV (al-Jazeera website December 2, 2023)
Saleh al-‘Arouri interviewed by al-Jazeera TV (al-Jazeera website December 2, 2023)
  • Senior Hamas terrorist Osama Hamdan said that in any prisoner exchange deal, the first prisoners they would demand would be those defined by Israel as having blood on their hands. He said he did not see an exchange deal without senior Hamas operatives such as Ahmed Saadat, Marwan Barghouti, Abd al-Nasser Issa, Na’el al-Barghouti and Hassan Salama. He added that among those whom the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades sought to release were the “heroes” of the Gilboa Prison escape (al-Manar TV website, December 2, 2023).
  • Interviewed by al-Jazeera, Senior terrorist Khalil al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said that the issue of hostages could not be dealt with during wartime and demanded that the “aggression” be stopped, and only then would Hamas negotiate a prisoner exchange deal. He noted that each category of prisoners would have different conditions for their release, adding that any discussion about releasing soldiers could take place only during a complete ceasefire (Hamas Telegram channel, December 1, 2023).
 Khalil al-Haya interviewed by al-Jazeera TV (Dailymotion channel of al-Jazeera TV , December 1, 2023)     Khalil al-Haya interviewed by al-Jazeera TV (Dailymotion channel of al-Jazeera TV , December 1, 2023)
Khalil al-Haya interviewed by al-Jazeera TV
(Dailymotion channel of al-Jazeera TV , December 1, 2023)
  • Senior terrorist Muhammad Nizal, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said that “new rules” should be established for the release of the military hostages being held by Hamas. He claimed they would not be released until all Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli jails (al-Jazeera Mubasher, December 2, 2023).
  • Senior terrorist Muhammad al-Hindi, deputy PIJ secretary general, said he expected the exchange of military personnel to be complex and involve a lengthy process, and in any case take place only after the ceasefire. He claimed that the “renewed aggression” against Gaza reflected an Israeli-American desire to impose new parameters on an exchange deal. He claimed Israel wanted to achieve the release of all the prisoners held by Hamas and then isolate the Gaza Strip without [internal Israeli] pressure. He claimed the hostages were Hamas’ trump cards. Since, he [falsely] claimed, no more civilian women and children were being held, all the remaining hostages were military personnel, reservists, regular soldiers and, female soldiers. He claimed Hamas had explicitly stated that they were willing to continue the exchange, but according to new rules and “prices.” He added that the “resistance” [terrorist organizations] wanted a complete, comprehensive exchange deal, or, alternatively, the captives could be divided into four or five categories, each with a different “price” and protocol for release, until a ceasefire was reached (al-Jazeera Mubasher TV YouTube channel, December 1, 2023).
  • Senior terrorist Daoud Shehab, in charge of the PIJ’s media information bureau, said the “price” for the military personnel captured by the “resistance” [terrorist operatives] would be different from what Israel paid for the Israeli women and children, and clearly, it was all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, especially the veteran prisoners and those serving long prison sentences. He said it would be “everyone in return for everyone.” However, he noted that the release of civilians not yet been completed, because they were still holding civilians and were prepared to finish the issue (al-Jazeera YouTube channel, December 2, 2023).
  • Senior terrorist Muhammad al-Hajj Musa, PIJ spokesman based in Lebanon, said that the Islamic Jihad had not yet begun negotiations regarding the Israeli soldiers and officers held by its military wing. He claimed the “price” for them would be a ceasefire and the emptying of Israeli prisons of all Palestinian prisoners (al-Mayadeen TV X account, December 1, 2023; Paltoday, December 1, 2023).
Resumption of the hostilities
  • Hamas and the PIJ indicate that they are prepared for the renewal of fighting and are convinced that their fighters [terrorist operatives] will defeat Israel.
  • Saleh al-‘Arouri confirmed they would continue fighting until a complete ceasefire had been reached. He claimed they were no longer discussing partial exchanges or temporary, partial ceasefires, but that were prepared to continue fighting and “resisting,” adding that they were prepared for all Israeli military scenarios. He claimed they were in good fighting form and the next question would not be, “What happens after Hamas,” but rather, “How can the IDF get out of the swamp it sank into?” (al-Jazeera TV website, December 2, 2023).
  • Senior PIJ terrorist Daoud Shehab claimed that they had to fight and protect the Palestinians. He claimed the rockets and the organizations’ military wings sent the IDF the message that the “resistance” [terrorist organizations] were thoroughly prepared to continue the war until the end. He noted that it was possible to reach an agreement to end the war, but Israel did not want an agreement and [allegedly] did not care about the safety of hostages being held by the “resistance.” He said that as long as Israel attacked civilians, its home front would remain within the range of their rockets, and the number of rockets launched would depend on an assessment of the fighting on the ground. He again claimed that the “Palestinian resistance” [terrorist organizations] was ready for all possibilities and options, and would not surrender (al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, December 2, 2023).
  • Senior terrorist Muhammad Alhaj Musa, PIJ spokesman based in Lebanon, emphasized that Netanyahu’s renewed “aggression” against the Gaza Strip was prompted by his weakness and would bring him trouble and defeat, and the firm stand of the Palestinians and the “resistance” [terrorist operatives] in the Gaza Strip would prevent him from achieving his goals (al-Mayadeen TV X account, December 1, 2023; Paltoday, December 1, 2023).
Cartoons
A Palestinian cartoon published after the resumption of fighting and IDF attacks (sawaleif website, December 4, 2023)
A Palestinian cartoon published after the resumption of fighting and IDF attacks
(sawaleif website, December 4, 2023)
A Palestinian cartoon by Alaa' al-Laqta following the end of the temporary ceasefire in Gaza. The Arabic on the bullet chamber reads, "The end of the ceasefire in Gaza..." (al-Sharq, Qatar, December 2, 2023)
A Palestinian cartoon by Alaa’ al-Laqta following the end of the temporary ceasefire in Gaza. The Arabic on the bullet chamber reads, “The end of the ceasefire in Gaza…” (al-Sharq, Qatar, December 2, 2023)
At some point, Israel will demand a ceasefire. The Arabic reads, "Ceasefire" (al-Quds, December 2, 2023)
At some point, Israel will demand a ceasefire. The Arabic reads, “Ceasefire”
(al-Quds, December 2, 2023)
The power struggle between Israel and the Palestinian "resistance:" Israel is too weak to fight alone (al-Sharq, Qatar, November 30, 2023)
The power struggle between Israel and the Palestinian “resistance:” Israel is too weak to fight alone (al-Sharq, Qatar, November 30, 2023)

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