A little more than a month has passed since Hamas militants launched a surprise attack and
incursion into Israeli territory and waged a brutal campaign that took the lives of more than 1,400 people and the kidnapping of more than 240 others, some of them foreign nationals. Not one to be cowed and intimidated by the action of the Hamas militants, which have been labelled as terrorists, the Israeli government has struck back and is now waging its own brutal campaign to, what they
have publicly declared, the totally decimation and destruction of the Hamas as a military organization.

With its long history of always being encircled by its enemies and its no-nonsense approach in
defending its territory Israel has always been the epitome of a State perpetually on war footing or sometimes always at war. This is what ultimately makes Israel one committed and dedicated adversary and with its military capability is certainly one formidable foe. Hamas on the other hand with all of its available resources and sponsors and supporters may not have considered all plausible scenarios after their surprise attack against Israel considering the situation where they find themselves right now, waging war against Israel while among Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Or perhaps that was their tactical plan all along, hide inside tunnels they constructed within Gaza
and engage the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) while amongst their Palestinian brethren knowing
that there will be civilian collateral damage which will then earn the condemnation of other countries and thus gain their sympathy and support. That is what is happening right now. For its part Israel knows that bombing the Gaza strip will certainly result in civilian casualties but for a nation already embroiled in countless wars and battles not only with Hamas but even with other
States – such as the 1948 ArabIsraeli War that saw Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq
attacked Israel – human suffering is not new to them.

Knowing also that for the first time after so many years it was caught flatfooted and was unprepared for what Hamas did to their people and territory that fateful October 7, 2023, immediate military reprisal was the call of the day, hence the so called Gaza siege. Now that the IDF has fully entered Gaza City to conduct the eradication of Hamas urgent calls area being made for a ceasefire to prevent further civilian deaths which Israel has refused. What is currently being agreed upon with the approval of Israel is the implementation of 4-hour “Humanitarian pauses” to allow
the evacuation of Palestinian civilians from Gaza.

As to a ceasefire which Israel has opposed it must be understood that the concept and process of a ceasefire is basically for two warring parties to stop fighting momentarily to allow for peace talks.
A humanitarian pause meanwhile is a momentary break in the fighting between combatants to allow aid to be brought into the warzone and for civilians to evacuate from the area. As pointed out by Helen Duffy, professor of international humanitarian law and human rights at Leiden University in the Netherlands, “Ceasefire or cessation of hostilities suggests [an agreement] that is, or at least
could be, a permanent end to hostilities, and ceasefire agreement suggests negotiation, whereas
‘humanitarian pause’ sends a clear message that it is temporary and for one purpose only.”

So the difference between a humanitarian pause and ceasefire is quite clear, the former is a brief halt in the armed hostilities while aid or comfort is given to civilians caught in the crossfire while the latter is a cessation of hostilities between two warring parties so that a possible end to the war is
achieved. While Israel has approved a four-hour daily humanitarian pause it has denied any option
of a ceasefire which does not include the release of hostages held by Hamas. All things considered on the matter of a ceasefire Israel has already given back the ball to Hamas whether they are amenable to a ceasefire by releasing all of their hostages. For now Israel is continuing its relentless assault in the Gaza strip with the objective of wiping out the Hamas military infrastructure once and for all.

Amianan Balita Ngayon