Hamas was an organization that didn't seem to have anyplace to go but up. After all, what is there to recommend a group whose charter
relies on the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and whose major method of political discourse is to send human bombs to blow up women and children in hotels, discotheques and supermarkets? Palestinians voted Hamas into office, supposedly because they believed Hamas would fight corruption and put an end to chaos, rather than because of the salient characteristics of this organization.
Events this week, however, prove that Hamas may be even worse than we thought, and that there is little realistic chance that they will moderate their image, their methods or their ideology, as some hoped or said they hoped. Hamas in power may be every bit as bad as the worst you can imagine with a bit left over.
First, the Hamas backed the Islamic Jihad suicide attack in Tel Aviv that killed nine people. A report by Xinhua
Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), said on Monday that the Tel Aviv attack was part of the Palestinians' right of self-defense.
"Resisting Israeli aggression was rightful as long as it continues," Abu Zuhri said.
Abu Zuhri was echoed by Wasfi Kabha, minister of Prisoners' Affairs in the Hamas-led cabinet.
Kabha told reporters that the attack came "in the framework of legitimate right for resistance against Israeli violations and crimes."
A tough act to follow, but later in the week Hamas outdid themselves. They appointed a wanted renegade terrorist to head a new "security" organization. Jamal Abu Samhadana, head of the renegade Popular Resistance Committees, was given the job of bolstering security and stopping the chaos caused in large part by these same Popular Resistance Committees (PRC). He will remain head of the PRC. In addition to upholding "order," Samhadana vowed to fight Israel. He said:
"Factions and security services should unite in one trench against the daily Israeli aggression against our people..."
"I will continue to hold the rifle and will pull the trigger whenever required to defend my people,"
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared that the appointment of Samhadana and creation of the new security service was unlawful. He prepared a presidential decree cancelling the appointment that was approved by the PLO, but it remains to be seen how the issue will be decided between the PLO and the Hamas.
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Replies: 3 Comments
Hi Wendy and Paul,
You both make good points surely, and they underline the problem of dealing with the Hamas. It is a "damned if you do" "damned if you don't" situation. Hamas however will not disband the PA armed forces. They have already added another force of their own, that is apparently designed to supervise terrorism and to make sure that Hamas has backing in internecine fights.
Hamas is doing their best to leverage on the humanitarian crisis. It is no doubt exaggerating as well as contributing to it. One may ask how there is money to hire and equip 3,000 soldiers for their new force, but no money for medical supplies, for example. I hope that the solution adopted by the Quartet will really create a mechanism for providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.
Ami Isseroff, Saturday, May 13th
The EU and America is providing Hamas with a perfect excuse to reengineer the PNA: they don't have the money to pay all these civil servants that Arafat did hire.
In addition, just a guess but one with a high priority that many Palestinians consider all these civil servants as corrupt, inefficient and anyhow much too numerous.
Just imagine the Hamas disbanding the PNA armed forces. It has the perfect excuse: it doesn't have the money to pay for them.
Then, whedn things are better, they can hire people based on "aptitude".
paul, Sunday, April 23rd
What do you think of those who are trying to help the Palestinian NGOs through humanitarian and financial aid? Will that help Hamas?
The US Congress is contemplating cutting all aid to the Palestinian territories. This seems extreme--we help, say, Sudanese refugees in Sudan via some UN agencies. This doesn't mean we approve of the government of Sudan. Can we help the UN agencies in the Palestinian territories, or do they work hand-in-glove with Hamas?
It's amazing how many people are saying, "Well, Hamas was democratically elected, and less corrupt than Fatah, so...we should help Hamas." Unbelievable.
Wendy Leibowitz, Saturday, April 22nd
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