The Israeli militant group Irgun was demilitarized after the War of Independence. Some of its fighters joined the regular army, while others took peaceful jobs. Hamas differs from Irgun in several aspects. For all its rhetoric, Irgun never aimed at conquering land but rather at countering small-scale Arab violence; after 1948, that need seemingly evaporated. After the 1948 war, the Irgun militia could not possibly fight Arabs; subsequent conflicts were up to regular armies. Hamas, however, could continue to sabotage Israel, notably with suicide bombers. Sponsors largely stopped financing Irgun when its goal was reached in1948; plenty of Muslims will continue to pay Hamas to attack Israel. Menachem Begin saw a place for himself in Israeli politics; Hamas knows that Arab rulers usually exterminate militant opposition rather than integrate it and won’t disarm easily. The Jewish fighters had the culture of learning and work ethics which allowed them to integrate into Israeli society; not the case with many Hamas fighters.

Why did Hamas and PIJ reduce the shelling? Did Abbas miraculously convert them to peace? The truce is only a tactical device. Abbas convinced the other militants to desist for a while so that funds could be unfrozen for their common benefit. The truce will let Hamas bring weapons and explosives from Egypt safely and dig in. How would Israel react to bunkers and tunnels on the Palestinian side of the border? As long as Hamas does not attack, Israel cannot violate the truce. Proponents of the truce forgot what the word means. Truce means both sides lick their wounds and prepare for renewed hostilities.