A senior Fatah official in the Palestinian Authority told Israeli Radio today that, while he condemns the IDF incursion into Gaza, responsibility for this cycle of violence lies squarely with the extremists of Hamas. The advisor to Mahmoud Abbas blames Khaled Mashaal and the hardliners of Hamas for turning the world against the Palestinians:
A senior Fatah member said on Thursday that although Israel should be condemned for its incursion into the Gaza Strip and the arrest of senior Hamas officials, it was Hamas who brought these actions upon the Palestinian people.
He blamed Hamas’ uncompromising, extremist approach – especially that of Hamas leader in Damascus Khaled Mashaal – for turning the whole world against the Palestinians.
The official, an associate of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, told Israel Radio said that Mashaal interfered with any attempt at moderation or mitigation of the economic embargo on the Palestinians.
The Hamas-Fatah split does not seem to have improved under fire. Fatah may see this as a golden opportunity to sell themselves as moderates that can deliver better conditions for Palestinians while negotiating on a hard-line basis with Israel and the West. They lost the last election due to their overwhelming corruption, but the Palestinians may soon long for the days when they let the crooks run the asylum rather than the lunatics.
The agreement between Hamas and Fatah on national unity may soon become a casualty to the Gaza incursion. After the border invasion and kidnapping that Hamas at least sanctioned, Fatah will be more cautious about marrying itself to the leadership of Khaled Mashaal. When the IDF leaves Gaza, look for the civil war to follow in their wake.