Saturday, 30 June 2007

Gaza situation

Understanding the current issue's

Hamas are a 1987 product of the Intifada, and say they don't accept Israel. They made the mistake of contesting elections for the Palestinian Authority in Dec 2005-Jan 2006. Fatah deliberately lost the election. They announced the victory of Hamas before the voting ended. Even Ramallah, a secular Fatah stronghold, voted Hamas! It was reported as a protest vote against Fatah corruption but this wasn't true. Hamas were now trapped and should have quit immediately as they were warned. Winning meant they had to now look after the occupation on behalf of the occupiers. Hamas should've quit but they're pragmatic, so they kept it but asked for a Unity Government. Fatah laughed, said no and said something similar to:
"you criticise us plenty so now let's see if you can do - do you accept Israel?"
International pressure built on Hamas to accept Israel or else. Fatah kept killing them, kidnapping their guys and provoking them. Israel did the same. People were jobless, hungry and the PA couldn't pay its workers. Iran stepped in with cash but the situation was still bad. Public workers go on strike from Sept 2, 2006 till January 2007. Fighting gets worse. More than 100 die in 2 months until ceasefire Feb 4th 2007. Days later Makkah Accords produce a Unity Government of Fatah and Hamas just as Israeli bulldozers appear at Al-Aqsa. The humanitarian situation is at its worst since before 2000. As an example is the collapse of a huge cesspool in the village of Um Nasser in Beit Lahiya that overwhelms 250 homes, killing four. 1,500 people evacuated. Finally, joint Government goes to Arab League Summit end of March 2007. There the Islamic side of Palestine is invited to sign up to what the PLO/Fatah already agreed which was to recognise Israel. Disaster!
Once that is done Hamas are expendable. April 7th, Israel's first air-strike on Gaza in 4 months. Days later US Congress approves almost $60 million to upgrade Abbas' Presidential Guard (Fatah). Hamas breaks its ceasefire with Israel April 24th because of targeted assassinations.
May 11th Fatah and Hamas begin fighting again in earnest. Mohammed Dahlan, the head of Abbas' Security Forces who was forced on him by the US deliberately clashes with Hamas over security control. He sends his own troops out across Gaza where they clash with the existing Security forces. May 14th the Palestinian Interior Minister resigns in protest. May 17th Hamas send 35 rockets and 12 mortar rounds at Israel to try to bring them into the fighting thinking this will focus people on the occupier. Israel 'wisely' react in a 'restrained' manner and the world's press remain silent. 45 dead in factional fighting by May 13th. More air strikes by Israel May 18th. May 19th a FIFTH ceasefire between Fatah and Hamas. May 24th Israel kidnaps 33 senior Hamas figures. More fighting in June as the 40th anniversary of the 6 Day War of 1967 looms.
Between June 10th and June 15th Hamas fights till it gains Gaza. This includes executing people in hospitals and throwing people from tower blocks. Hamas admits it thought Fatah were about to pull a coup so this was a pre-emptive strike. Some elements of Fatah avoided fighting, others melted away and the fighting was too easy in the end. Hamas now finds itself trapped again, in charge of Gaza, which is a prison in everything but name. They are solely responsible for what happens there including any attacks on Israel and lose much credibility in the wider public eye. They gained nothing and now have become even more isolated as the International Community works to help Abbas and further damage Hamas. Promises of funds for the West Bank pour in. People in Gaza remain hungry and afraid. Israel also send in troops to kill more Palestinians.
The picture is of a movement that has failed to see the traps set for it time and time and time again. They have indulged in haraam and fasad by fighting and executing Muslims just to hold onto the smallest prize of being in charge of the PA. Now the West works to make the people suffer and ultimately decide they need to negotiate on the 1967 borders.

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