Having failed to eradicate Hamas via means of attrition warfare Israel now empowers Hamas by leaving them the sole political and economic entity in Gaza. By sealing the Gaza strip off from any outside financial or aid influx they leave Hamas the sole provider.
And Hamas is taking full advantage of this scenario as they shell out cash smuggled in via tunnels into Egypt to loyalists, assist in rebuilding and violently punish any remnants of Fatah support in Gaza. (via the Telegraph)
As soon as Mahmoud al-Rafiah was spotted by the Hamas men in black and green caps who were handing out cash to their supporters, he knew he was in for a beating.I'm convinced we'll see Israel back in Gaza in a military maneuver in the next year or two. I'd suggest Israel's leaders consider empowering Fatah via diplomacy before their next endeavor and the prospect of arming Fatah does not, at this point, seem unreasonable.
The 41-year-old farmer had simply been queuing for foreign food aid at a shabby distribution point in Zeitoun, a crowded refugee township south of Gaza City.
But as a member of Fatah, the rival Palestinian faction which is supported by the West, he was regarded by the Hamas men as an enemy.
More than a month after Israel launched Operation Cast Lead to end rocket attacks from Gaza on its southern cities, Hamas is reasserting itself as the dominant force in the Palestinian enclave.
The radical Islamic movement is now back in control over the streets and doing everything possible to entrench its influence.
Mr Rafiah was one of its victims: the Hamas men set upon him with sticks and rifle butts, battering him until he was driven away, bleeding from long, broken weals on his chest and legs.
"Those people are very clear, you are either with us or against us," he said. "They use religion for politics and the end result is that neither is any good for the people.
"I am from Fatah, I'll say it loud and clear. We will get nothing from Hamas but aggression and attacks."