Every so often there is a report that Hamas is moderating, or that what appear to be exhortations to genocide against Jews in the Hamas Covenant are just religious rhetoric. Some say we should bring Hamas into ‘peace’ negotiations, or encourage them to reconcile with Fatah and rejoin the ‘Palestinian Authority’ (PA). After all, didn’t the ‘Palestinian people’ give Hamas a majority in 2006 elections?
Food and other products flow into Gaza with hardly any restrictions. What doesn’t come from Israel, because the price is too high, continues to flow in through the Rafah tunnels.
“There are a slew of products here, and beautiful restaurants. Is this the Gaza we have been hearing about?” A Sudanese official, who arrived in the Strip about a month ago with hundreds of visitors from Arab countries on the “Viva Palestina” aid convoy, was quoted by Palestinian news agency Maan as saying.
“Where is the siege? I don’t see it in Gaza. I wish Sudan’s residents could live under the conditions of the Gazan siege,” he reportedly added.
One of the main characteristics of the economic change in the Strip is the renovation and construction drive. Buildings are being built in every corner. Hamas is renovating the public buildings destroyed in Israeli air raids during Operation Cast Lead, including the bombed Legislative Council building on Omar al-Mukhtar Boulevard and the police headquarters.
Money flows from various sources: Iran, the UN, the EU, the Gulf states, and the US. American taxpayers help directly, in the form of direct aid to rebuild Gaza after the 2008-9 war, as well as indirectly through the US-supported PA. The PA pays the salaries of 70,000 government workers in Gaza, even though the ‘government’ was replaced by Hamas in 2007 by a violent coup.
In January 2009, Israel was poised to invade Gaza City and take down Hamas. A combination of pressure from incoming Obama Administration personnel and a lack of will on the part of the Olmert government in Israel aborted the war prematurely, and Hamas has come back with a vengeance (so to speak). Since the end of the war, 214 rockets and 108 mortar shells from Gaza have landed in Israel.
After the Mavi Marmara affair, in which an Israeli intelligence failure allowed naval commandos to drop into a vicious ambush from which they were forced to use deadly force to extricate themselves, the US pressured Israel yet again, this time to drop restrictions on most goods entering Gaza, thus granting even more legitimacy to the Hamas regime and removing the last leverage Israel had to bring it down.
New ‘flotillas’ to Gaza and other pro-Hamas actions are promoted by activists in Europe and the US daily, it seems.
So every once in a while it’s necessary to remind people exactly who Hamas is. I thank Palestinian Media Watch for drawing my attention to this 41 second hating, broadcast Dec. 3 on the Hamas official “al-Aqsa TV” channel:
Allah, oh our Lord, vanquish Your enemies, enemies of the religion
[Islam] in all places.
Allah, strike the Jews and their sympathizers,
the Christians and their supporters,
the Communists and their adherents.
Allah, count them and kill them to the last one, and don’t leave even one.