Thursday, June 21, 2007

Isn't it Ironic, Don't You Think?

The recent purge of the Fatah strongholds by Hamas in Gaza has definitely raised eyebrows all over the world. After sifting through the myriad of articles bashing Israel, it's rather interesting to read the comments of those invovled or affected by the coup.

Hassan al-Bazam, a 20 year old bodyguard for Ismail Haniyeh, talked in a recent Jerusalem Post article about his kidnapping and subsequent torturing by Fatah loyalists. He commented after luckily escaping with his life:

These people are real murderers, even the Jews did not do such cruel things to us.

The violence, which seems to be at a lull currently, has pushed many foreign nationals and injured Palestinians into Israel. One of the articles in today's Haaretz talked to some of the injured Palestinians. Shadi, a 23-year-old policemen, expressed his remorse for his voting decision:

I wanted to shoot myself for voting Hamas

While Zecharia Alrai, a 39 year old Fatah commander in the elite Force 17, blasted Hamas and their ideals:

That's not Islam. That's evil and hypocrisy. How ironic that Israel is rescuing us from our Muslim 'brothers'

Last but not least, today's reactions from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas seemed to usher in a new era in this never ending conflict:

There is no dialogue with those murderous terrorists

And the world wonders why Israel refused from the get go to talk to Hamas ...


Aaron said...

As per today's comments from Ahmed Yousef(political adviser to Ismail Haniya)
The events in Gaza over the last few days have been described in the West as a coup. In essence, they have been the opposite. Eighteen months ago, our Hamas Party won the Palestinian parliamentary elections and entered office under Prime Minister Ismail Haniya but never received the handover of real power from Fatah, the losing party. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has now tried to replace the winning Hamas government with one of his own, returning Fatah to power while many of our elected members of Parliament languish in Israeli jails. That is the real coup.
From the day Hamas won the general elections in 2006 it offered Fatah the chance of joining forces and forming a unity government. It tried to engage the international community to explain its platform for peace. It has consistently offered a 10-year cease-fire with the Israelis to try to create an atmosphere of calm in which we resolve our differences. Hamas even adhered to a unilateral cease-fire for 18 months in an effort to normalize the situation on the ground. None of these points appear to have been recognized in the press coverage of the last few days.
Nor has it been evident to many people in the West that the civil unrest in Gaza and the West Bank has been precipitated by the American and Israeli policy of arming elements of the Fatah opposition who want to attack Hamas and force us from office. For 18 months we have tried to find ways to coexist with Fatah, entering into a unity government, even conceding key positions in the cabinet to their and international demands, negotiating up until the last moment to try to provide security for all of our people on the streets of Gaza.
Sadly, it became apparent that not all officials from Fatah were negotiating in good faith. There were attempts on Haniya's life last week, and eventually we were forced into trying to take control of a very dangerous situation in order to provide political stability and establish law and order.

The streets of Gaza are now calm for the first time in a very long time. We have begun disarming some of the drug dealers and the armed gangs and we hope to restore a sense of security and safety to the citizens of Gaza. We want to get children back to school, get basic services functioning again and provide long-term economic gains for our people.
Our stated aim when we won the election was to effect reform, end corruption and bring economic prosperity to our people. Our sole focus is Palestinian rights and good governance. We now hope to create a climate of peace and tranquillity within our community that will pave the way for an end to internal strife and bring about the release of the British journalist Alan Johnston, whose kidnapping in March by non-Hamas members is a stain on the reputation of the Palestinian people.
We reject attempts to divide Palestine into two parts and to pass Hamas off as an extreme and dangerous force. We continue to believe that there is still a chance to establish a long-term truce. But this will not happen unless the international community fully engages with Hamas.
Any further attempts to marginalize us, starve our people into submission or attack us militarily will prove that the United States and Israeli governments are not genuinely interested in seeing an end to the violence. Dispassionate observers over the next few weeks will be able to make up their own minds as to each side's true intentions.

Avram said...

From Haaretz:

Poll: Large majority of Palestinians favor holding new elections
By The Associated Press

Seventy-five percent of Palestinians support holding early elections, according to a new poll published Thursday.

The independent Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research conducted the poll during and after the Hamas military takeover of Gaza last week. It was conducted among 1,270 respondents in the West Bank and Gaza and had an error margin of 3 percent.