The ‘Warriors Break’: Hamas and the Limits of Ceasefire Beyond Tactical Pause

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Abstract

Ceasefires are a difficult thing to achieve. No more so than in the conflicts of the Middle East. Without ceasefires civilians caught in wars remain vulnerable. As recent events in the Middle East have demonstrated though ceasefires are difficult to negotiate and are far more likely to breakdown than succeed. When it comes to the notion of negotiating ceasefires with Islamist groups, in particular, there is a widely held belief in Western policy-making circles that the task is even harder if not impossible. This is because such counterparts are frequently viewed as holding absolutist goals and positions which are entirely incompatible with peace-making. In this article we present analysis of one such group the Palestinian Hamas movement. we find evidence that far from seeking to prolong conflict Hamas has offered ceasefires and calms on repeated occasions to Israel. This article contends that the willingness of Hamas, however, is circumscribed by the context of conflict and its other actors, as well as the unwillingness of mediators and negotiations to explore inclusion of such groups into the political process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Peacekeeping
Early online date20 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 20 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • ceasefires
  • Hamas

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