What is 'hudna'?

The Jerusalem Post

June 29, 2003

The Palestinian Authority's talks with Hamas and Islamic Jihad are
focusing on the possibility of reaching a hudna, or temporary cease-
fire, with Israel. Hudna is an Islamic term whose meaning is a cease-
fire. Since the beginning of the Oslo process, a number of
Palestinian officials have used the term to describe the agreements
signed with Israel.

According to research by Palestinian Media Watch, the Palestinian
leadership's message has always been consistent and clear: Israel has
no right to exist. By definition Israel is a colony that stole the
land of Palestine and evicted its residents. Therefore, within the
framework of justice, there is no room for Israel in Palestine. Thus,
the internal Palestinian lexicon contains many terms and expressions
to describe and explain the negotiations in this context, for
example: "The permanent agreement is a stage"; "The Oslo Accord is
just getting our foot in the door"; "All the agreements are
temporary"' "The Prophet also signed the Hodaibiah agreement [An
agreement that was signed between the Prophet Muhammad and the
heretics of Mecca, and that was subsequently breached by Muhammad]".

The common justification given for the very need for a temporary
agreement with Israel is "because of the current balance of power."
>From the views and positions expressed within the Palestinian
Authority, it is evident that a permanent agreement with Israel is to
be viewed as a temporary cease-fire (hudna), the research states.

The report quotes a Palestinian Authority preacher in one of Gaza's
Mosques as telling worshipers: "We are the nation of Palestine; our
fate from Allah is to be the vanguard in the war against the Jews
until the resurrection of the dead, as the Prophet Muhammad said: The
resurrection of the dead will not come until you do battle with the
Jews and kill them, you on the east side of the river, and they on
the west side. We the Palestinians are the vanguard in this issue, in
this battle, whether we want to or whether we would refuse. All the
agreements that are made are temporary, until the command shall come
from Allah, until the destiny from Allah shall be realized".