October 5, 2007

Hamas: It's Terrorism, We Say!

Hamas has had its share of difficulties since its terrorists took over Gaza earlier this year. They have had to take responsibility for actually governing territory, and the international sanctions have forced them to sell the office furniture to meet just a fraction of its payroll obligations. Gazans have quickly lost patience with Hamas, and now they face a phenomenon that they would normally endorse, if not directed at them:

Over the past two months, Fatah has organized a series of peaceful protests against Hamas in the Gaza Strip; thousands of Fatah supporters participated in open-air prayers to protest against Hamas's June "coup."

The protests, which have meanwhile been suspended, led to street clashes between the two parties, seriously embarrassing the Hamas government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

Most of the alleged Fatah operations have targeted security vehicles used by Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip. Following the attacks, the Hamas Ministry of Interior, which is in charge of security in the Strip, instructed all its operatives to check their vehicles before using them and to be on alert for roadside bombs.

"Apparently, Fatah is trying to copy the tactics of the anti-American insurgents in Iraq," said a Palestinian journalist in Gaza City. "It's ironic that Hamas is now describing the Fatah attacks as acts of terrorism."

Khaled Abu Hilal, a Fatah dissident closely associated with Hamas, said the latest wave of bombings was designed to destabilize the situation in the Gaza Strip. Accusing Fatah leaders in Ramallah of instructing their men to attack Hamas, he said: "These crimes reflect the terrorist mentality of the murderers and of those who give them the instructions from Ramallah."

Oh, no! Hamas has to deal with terrorism! What a completely unexpected turn of events! The same government that shoots crude missiles at Israeli elementary schools now has to deal with IEDs. They're shocked, shocked! to find terrorists in their midst!

The fighting goes both ways, in any case. The two groups have targeted each other for violence ever since Ismail Haniyeh grabbed power in Gaza. Hamas uses Fatah as an excuse for its own failings, and Fatah attacks Hamas to grab power back. Given that the street soldiers for Fatah mainly belong to the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the conflict mainly represents a turf war between two terrorist groups.

The Israelis and the rest of the world need to maintain Gaza's isolation. Hamas has created a terrorist protostate in Gaza, and Hamas has to live with the consequences. When Gazans get tired of Hamas and Fatah, they will have to get rid of them. Until the terrorism ends, not one American dollar should go to Gaza.


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