Other Palestinian Reactions to Hamas Attacks From Gaza

Unlike apologists for Hamas here in the US, such as the Juicebox Mafia (I can’t help it, that name fits that crew about as well as any I’ve seen) even the Palestinians on the West Bank understand who is at fault for the violence in Gaza right now:

In his visit to Egypt, PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) placed the responsibility for the Israeli attack on Hamas, saying, “We called the leaders of Hamas, and told them both directly and indirectly, through Arab parties and non-Arab parties. We talked with them on the phone. We told them, ‘Please, do not end the tahdiah.'”

Nimr Hammad, an advisor to Mahmoud Abbas, said: “The one responsible for the massacres is Hamas, and not the Zionist entity, which in its own view reacted to the firing of Palestinian missiles. Hamas needs to stop treating the blood of Palestinians lightly. They should not give the Israelis a pretext.” He called upon the leaders of Hamas to stop carrying out “operations which reflect recklessness, such as the firing of missiles.”

Now I understand there is bad blood between Abbas, the PLO and Hamas, but rarely is it strong enough to see one Palestinian faction taking the side of the “Zionist entity” over the other Palestinian faction. Reports of “Arab anger” apparently don’t include West Bank Palestinians.

The Director of the Palestinian TV & Radio Authority, Bassem Abu-Sumayyah,takes a little more of a backhanded approach to reproaching Hamas:

“Hamas blocked its ears… They should have had even a little bit of political and security sense, and not left the people wandering, and losing their way, getting killed and injured. It is clear that Hamas was struck by megalomania since they took over Gaza, which blinded them so they would not listen to any advice. Hamas behaved like a superpower, as if they have weapons and means like Hizbullah in Lebanon, and as if they can conduct a war like the July war [of 2006]. Hamas’s people thought they have a number of missiles that can enable them to prevail in a war of such size.”

Or, “if you don’t have the same capability as Hizbullah, cool your jets until you do”. Of course, it’s been awful quiet up on the Lebanese border since 2006, hasn’t it?

The Editor of the PA daily Al-Hayat, Al-Jadida Hafez Al-Barghouthi, was a little more direct:

“Prolonging the tahdiah was a supreme national interest. Why hasn’t [Hamas] prevented the aggression and the massacre? How many times have we written, and President Abu Mazen has declared, that these missiles [that Hamas is firing at Israel] as ineffective and contrary to the supreme national interest. Even Hamas saw them as contrary to the supreme national interest at the time of the tahdiah. We said, also, that the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit cost us 500 casualties in one year.”

The “tahdiah” mentioned is the cease-fire. In fact, the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mash’al, announced on December 14 that Hamas was ending the “Tahdiah” on December 19:

Khaled Mash’al: “The tahdiah [‘calm’] was limited to six months, ending on December 19. It should be noted that the enemy did not comply with the terms of the tahdiah, and that the siege still pressures our people. Therefore, we in Hamas, and I think most of the [other] forces, [say] loud and clear that after December 19, 2008, the tahdiah will end, and will not be renewed.”

Interviewer: “This may be a scoop. You are declaring that there will be no tahdiah after it ends on December 19…”

Khaled Mash’al: “The tahdiah will not be renewed, but we, as a resistance force on the ground, will act in accordance to the circumstances in the field, and in keeping with our resistance to the occupation and defense of our people.”

So, as is obvious, Hamas had no intention of abiding by or prolonging the tahdiah and pretty well announced its intentions in mid December.

Perhaps the most interesting reaction comes from Abdallah Awwad, a columnist for the PA daily Al-Ayyam. He says Hamas has to make a choice:

“The Israeli incursions after 2000 [during the Al-Aqsa Intifada] and the destruction of the PA headquarters were enough [for the PLO] to see the incompatibility of being a government at the same time as fighting the resistance… We are paying the price of stupidity, and the maniacal love of being rulers, that has nothing in it except for hollow slogans. [A choice must be made to be] either a government or a resistance. When the two are combined, it gives the occupying power easy targets… The example of the destruction of the PA headquarters in the West Bank during the Intifada should have sufficed… What happened in Gaza demonstrates that the lesson was not learned.

You can’t be a government and terrorists at the same time or you’ll be treated like a terrorist government. The PLO seems to have learned this lesson. Hamas?

Not yet.

[Crossposted at QandO]

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