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The End of the "Truce" By: Arutz Sheva
IsraelNationalNews.com | Friday, August 22, 2003

The hudna - a temporary ceasefire by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists so that they could regroup and rearm while Israel reduces its anti-terror efforts - has ended. So announced Hamas today, following the killing this afternoon of a top member of the Hamas leadership.

It should be noted that even though a Hamas terrorist massacred 20 Jews in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, this did not signal the end of the hudna for Hamas. In its statement taking credit for the attack, Hamas added a "comforting" qualification: "The hudna is still on, it's just that we have to retaliate when Israel kills our men." [Israeli forces last week killed Muhammad Sieder, who was behind many murderous attacks in the Hevron region, including the bloody Worshipper's Way ambush and the Otniel yeshiva attack.]

Today, however, following Israel's *response* to that massacre (see next paragraph), Hamas declared the hudna over and that it would retaliate. Israeli sources quoted on Ynet responded with derision: "Hudna, shmudna; the attack in Jerusalem changed the rules altogether. If the Palestinians want to keep Hamas and Islamic Jihad, then let them remain without a state."

What caused Hamas to announce the end of the hudna was Israel's killing of a terrorist leader this afternoon. No sooner did Israel's mini-security cabinet decide that leading terrorist figures were fair game - and Israel Air Force helicopters rained down five rockets this afternoon on the car of one of the most murderous terrorists of all - Ismail Abu Shanab, as well as his two bodyguards. Dozens of Arabs surrounded the burning car immediately afterwards, demanding revenge. Top Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists are reported to have gone underground, for fear of Israel's long arm.

Minister Uzi Landau (Likud), who served as Public Security Minister in the previous government, said today that the return to targeted killings of terrorist leaders is a welcome development - "if it marks the beginning of Israel's uncompromising war on terrorism, but not if it's just a spot reaction here and there."

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