"As of June 19 [when the ceasefire took effect], there was a marked reduction in the extent of attacks on the western Negev population. The lull was sporadically violated by rocket and mortar shell fire, carried out by rogue terrorist organizations, in some instance in defiance of Hamas (especially by Fatah and Al-Qaeda supporters). Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire."
"Diskin listed Hamas' conditions as cancelling the blockade of the Gaza Strip, obtaining a commitment that Israel won't attack, and expanding the cease-fire to the West Bank."
- In the early 90s, Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin offered Israel a fixed ceasefire of 20-50 years if she withdrew to the 1967 borders, if both sides undertook not to attack each other and if there were free elections for Palestinian reps to peace talks. Yassin explicitly accepted that elected Palestinian reps would recognise Israel and that such an outcome would end the conflict. There were no takers from Israel.
- On July 31, 2001, Israel's assassination of 2 militants in Nablus ended a near two-month Hamas ceasefire.
- On July 22, 2002, just 90 minutes after the text of a Tanzim ceasefire supported by the EU, Jordan and the Saudis had been completed, an Israeli airstrike on a crowded apartment block killed a senior Hamas leader, Sheikh Salah Shehada, and 14 civilians, 9 of them children. The Israelis later admitted that they were aware of the impending declaration of the ceasefire.
- In February 2005, Hamas signed on to a limited ceasefire agreement banning non-retaliatory attacks on Israeli targets, during talks with the Palestinian Authority and other militant groups. While the ceasefire officially ended on January 1, 2006, Hamas maintained it without further commitment till popular anger over the alleged Israeli shelling of a beach in northern Gaza, which killed 7 family members, forced it to withdraw from the ceasefire in June 2006. It is instructive to note that throughout this period, Israel continued her policy of incursions, shelling and assassinations.
"Breaking the siege that has crippled normal Gazan life is the central challenge facing Hamas, both because it has decimated the lives of its electoral base, and because it is a litmus test of the group's alternative policy for statehood through resistance as well as talks.If the tahadiyeh (lull) had succeeded in opening Gaza's borders to aid, trade and free passage for Gazans - especially work-related passage - it would have been political madness for Hamas to break it. As things were, the Gaza closure pushed the organization's popular support down to 16 percent in November, according to one opinion poll, and it must have concluded it no longer had anything to gain by holding fire. "
"Rocket attacks may be criminal and ineffective - as well as self-defeating in the destructive response they elicit from Israel. But they also meet a very human need to maintain both honor under fire and the spirit of resistance....As Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum put it, 'Because the occupation decided to use every shade of punishment to destroy Hamas - collective punishment, deporting, arresting and killing - we need military resistance to force it to stop.'"And the targetting of civilians is a tactic that has been adopted by both sides. In January 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said concerning those his government now claims are held hostage by Hamas: "As far as I'm concerned Gaza residents will walk, without gas for their cars, because they have a murderous, terrorist regime that doesn't let people in southern Israel live in peace." Once the principle has been established that Gazans can be punished for Hamas' rockets, it is a small leap from blockading and siege to bombing and death.