Hudna is an Arabic term meaning a temporary “truce” or “armistice” as well as “calm” or “quiet”, coming from a verbal root meaning “calm”. It is sometimes translated as “cease-fire”. Hudna has a distinct meaning to Islamic fundamentalists, the prophet Mohammad struck a legendary, ten-year hudna with the Quraysh tribe that controlled Mecca in the seventh century. Over the following two years, Mohammad rearmed and took advantage of a minor Quraysh infraction to break the hudna and launch the full conquest of Mecca, the holiest city in Islam.

In an interview with the MAAN News Agency (an independent Palestinian news service) Hamas party leader Mahmoud Az-Zahhar said that the party was willing to recognize a Palestinian State in some or all of “Palestine” but would never recognize Israel.

If only Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are considered citizens of a Palestinian state, he continued, “what will be the fate of the five million Palestinians in the diaspora?”

At the same time, the Hamas leader confirmed the decision reached with Fatah to maintain the truce with Israel, calling the move “part of the resistance, not a cancellation,” and noting that “truce is not peace.”

Az-Zahhar isn’t saying anything new or radical, the concept of hudna has been used often by Palestinian forces. As reported by Middle East expert Daniel Pipes.

On May 10, 1994, Yasir Arafat gave what he thought was an off-the-record talk at a mosque while visiting Johannesburg, South Africa. But a South African journalist, Bruce Whitfield of 702 Talk Radio, found a way secretly to record his (English-language) remarks. The moment was an optimistic one for the Arab-Israeli peace process, Arafat having just six days earlier returned triumphantly to Gaza; it was widely thought that the conflict was winding down. In this context, Arafat’s bellicose talk in Johannesburg about a “jihad to liberate Jerusalem,” had a major impact on Israelis, beginning a process of disillusionment that has hardly abated in the intervening years.

No less damaging than his comments about Jerusalem was Arafat’s cryptic allusion about his agreement with Israel. Criticized by Arabs and Muslims for having made concessions to Israel, he defended his actions by comparing them to those of the Prophet Muhammad in a similar circumstance:

I see this agreement as being no more than the agreement signed between our Prophet Muhammad and the Quraysh in Mecca.Arafat further drew out the comparison, noting that although Muhammad had been criticized for this diplomacy by one of his leading companions (and a future caliph), ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, the prophet had been right to insist on the agreement, for it helped him defeat the Quraysh and take over their city of Mecca. In a similar spirit,

we now accept the peace agreement, but [only in order] to continue on the road to Jerusalem.1In the five years since he first alluded to Muhammad and the Quraysh, Arafat has frequently mentioned this as a model for his own diplomacy.

Hamas also has used the hudna concept.

According to Shoshanah Haberman from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has declared or offered no fewer than 10 hudnas since 1993. In the cases in which hudnas were established, Hamas broke all of them. Most recently, Hamas tore apart its hudna with Fatah last summer, when it took over the Gaza Strip in a violent coup that led to the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians.

Hamas’ logic for a hudna is pretty simple: Use the hudna as an opportunity to regroup, then break it when the group feels strong enough to launch an offensive.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler told the world what he intended to do with the Jews, the response of the world was “its just words, nobody could be that sick.” They were wrong. Hamas and and Fatah both, have told the world what they intend to do with the Jews. The world is saying “Ah, that is just rhetoric and positioning.” They too have their collective heads in the sand.

In the next few weeks look for increased pressure from the EU and the United States on Israel to negotiate with the newly combined Hamas/Fatah Palestinian Authority. Israel should resist with all of its might, remembering the famous words written by Ze’ev Jabotinsky in The Iron Wall November 4, 1923

It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are. They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not “meet halfway” those who do not want to meet you.