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September 25, 2005
Hamas: Oops. Our Bad.

The BBC reports that Hamas has cried "Uncle!" in its first-ever outright war against Israel after two days of one-sided fighting. Hamas now says it will refrain from launching rockets out of Gaza after watching the IDF pound Gaza in an unprecedented show of force, with the Israelis no longer handcuffed by the standards of occupation:

The Palestinian militant organisation Hamas has announced an end to rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip.

At least 30 rockets have been fired at Israel in recent days, following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza earlier this month.

In response to the rockets, Israel resumed its policy of targeting militant leaders in air strikes.

On Sunday, an Israeli missile strike killed two Islamic Jihad militants, including a top commander.

At a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered "unrestricted" strikes against Palestinian militants. ... Overnight on Saturday, Israeli forces launched air strikes against alleged weapon storage sites, and a school linked to the militant group Hamas. At least 19 people were reported injured in the strikes.

The Israeli army said it arrested more than 200 militants in West Bank, including activists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It also test-fired artillery rounds into northern Gaza.

If one tried to construct the most foolish strategy possible on the part of Hamas and the Palestinians, it would have been to use Gaza as an attack site immediately after the withdrawal of the occupation. Hamas just found out that not only does that constitute an act of war, it also makes Hamas at best partisans, not covered under the Geneva Convention. The Israelis have no responsibility to treat them as POWs once captured, but as spies -- unless Mahmoud Abbas wants to claim them as the Palestinian Army, which would then make the West Bank a legitimate theater of war as well as Gaza.

On the plus side for Hamas, the operation has given them an opportunity to look for new leadership, since Israel captured theirs during the operations in the last two days. Perhaps that will improve their strategic thinking, but somehow I rather doubt it.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 25, 2005 6:21 PM

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