Thursday, May 31, 2007
Gaza Goes Global
When Hamas won the Palestinian elections, the common wisdom was that the day-to-day challenges of governing would reveal the shortcomings of their militant ideology and before long the Palestinian people would return to the "moderate" Fatah fold. According to this NY Times article, the first part of that equation has been borne out. Unfortunately, instead of returning to moderate engagement, many in Gaza seem to be turning to even more extreme forms of global jihad and violence. And the on-again/off-again shooting war between Hamas and Fatah has left a power vacuum in which the increasingly radical groups can operate.
Norway has already resumed direct aid to the Hamas-Fatah coalition government. Apparently the Israeli government, under heavy pressure from the US, EU, Russia and UN, is considering releasing PA tax revenues it's been withholding, as long as they don't wind up in Hamas' hands. I think it's safe to say this will be the new "responsible" position to adopt, even though it's a sign of how desperate the situation in Gaza has become.