What Hamas Means by 'Peace' and 'Truce'
If someone walked up to you and asked you if you would like a sandwich, and you replied in the affirmative, where would the disconnect be if he punched you in the nose? The disconnect would be in your understanding of the word "sandwich." While the word is in English, your assailants understanding of the word is obviously quite different from yours. Understanding Hamas' use of terms (and the entire Islamic world's understanding of certain terms) - in English - is much the same way.
The Western understanding of the words "Peace" and "Truce" are universally understood - in the West. These terms are also understood in the Islamic world. But the Western world and the Islamic world do not define these terms in ways that are even vaguely similar.
In the West, "Peace" is freedom from war or strife or an agreement to end war" (source: Webster's). While some may argue true peace must be brought about by one side being defeated so hostilities do not immediately resume, the point is made. A "Truce" on the other hand is a cessation of fighting by mutual agreement (also Webster's).
All of Islam - from doctrinal books of Islamic Law to first grade Islamic school texts across the globe - define "Islam" as a complete way of life (social, cultural, military, religious, and political) governed by Islamic Law (Shariah). One-hundred percent of all published Islamic Law obliges Jihad until the entire world is subordinated to Islamic Law. One-hundred percent of all published Islamic Law defines Jihad as "warfare" against non-Muslims. This in and of itself is disturbing, but let us focus on the topic at hand.
(Author's note: for those not clear on this, 100% means "All." There is no published Islamic law of any century which does not conform with the above facts.)
Islamic Law divides the entire world into two parts: the dar al Islam (the house or abode of Peace), and the dar al harb (the house of war). Those not living in Islamic controlled territories under Shariah (Islamic Law) live in the dar al harb - the abode of war - and are "harbi" or "enemy personnel." Islamic Law obliges Jihad until the dar al harb is obliterated and only the dar al Islam exists. That is when, according to Islamic Law - which Hamas touts as its guide for all it does - there is PEACE.
Islamic Law states a "truce" means "a peace treaty with those hostile to Islam, involving a cessation of fighting for a specific period of time...Truces are permissible, not obligatory...There must be some interest served in making a truth other than mere preservation of the status quo...Interests that justify making a truce are such things as Muslim weakness because of lack of number or materiel, or the hope of an enemy becoming Muslim." (Umdat al Salik, Islamic Sacred Law, (1368), Book O, Justice, 09.16 - published in Maryland, distributed nationwide by Islamic organizations).
In other words, the only reason for the truce by Hamas with Israel right now, is that they are getting their butts handed to them by the Israelis and need to regroup, rearm, and strategize. Since that has also been what we have historically seen from them for the last 25 years, there is also a great deal of evidence to support Hamas' thought process today.
Therefore, anyone advocating that Israel enter into a "cease fire" with Hamas either does not understand what they are talking about, or are looking to give Hamas an advantage over the Israelis. And, since the form of "Peace" promoted by Hamas includes destroying all governments which are non-Islamic and the destruction of Israel, there can never be a valid peace between Hamas and Israel. Never. To argue that this is possible is to be divorced from reality.