Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Egyptian Border Tunnel Reparation (via the Telegraph)

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.
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."
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.


Unknown said...

I agree, but hold little hope of that happening since Hamas has been strengthened not only in Gaza, but also the West Bank. I saw Max Boot wrote an article on this saying that the only reason Hamas won was b/c Israel showed restraint, completely missing the point that Hamas' sole objective was to make a victory so costly to Israel that it would have to withdraw before achieving its objective; leaving Hamas as the sole institution that could provide Gazans with the help and aid they needed, thereby increasing their support and network.

Jay@Soob said...

If you get a chance could you zing me a link to that Boot article?

Unknown said...

Here you go.

Hamas, like Hezbollah, survived the war not so much because of its military prowess but because of Israel's self-restraint. Destroying Hamas would mean high casualties among Palestinians (and possibly among Israeli soldiers). Even worse from the Israeli public's perspective, it would force Israel to resume the role of occupier that it gave up in Gaza in 2005, because no conceivable alternative--not the "international community," and not Fatah--could come into Gaza on short notice with any hope of displacing Hamas as the effective administration. Not wanting to run the Gaza Strip again and not wanting to experience the possible alternative of Somalia-style chaos on its southern border, Israel chose to fight a highly limited war against Hamas--more like a punitive expedition really.

Jay@Soob said...

Thank you sahr!