What is the strategy of Hamas?

David Brooks writes:

But when the Muslim Brotherhood government fell, the military leaders cracked down. They sentenced hundreds of the Brotherhood’s leadership class to death. They also closed roughly 95 percent of the tunnels that connected Egypt to Gaza, where the Brotherhood’s offshoot, Hamas, had gained power.

As intended, the Egyptian move was economically devastating to Hamas. Hamas derived 40 percent of its tax revenue from tariffs on goods that flowed through those tunnels. One economist estimated the economic losses at $460 million a year, nearly a fifth of the Gazan G.D.P.

Hamas needed to end that blockade, but it couldn’t strike Egypt, so it struck Israel. If Hamas could emerge as the heroic fighter in a death match against the Jewish state, if Arab TV screens were filled with dead Palestinian civilians, then public outrage would force Egypt to lift the blockade. Civilian casualties were part of the point. When Mousa Abu Marzook, the deputy chief of the Hamas political bureau, dismissed a plea for a cease-fire, he asked a rhetorical question, “What are 200 martyrs compared with lifting the siege?”

The eminent Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff summarized the strategy in The Times of Israel, “Make no mistake, Hamas remains committed to the destruction of Israel. But Hamas is firing rockets at Tel Aviv and sending terrorists through tunnels into southern Israel while aiming, in essence, at Cairo.”

The full column is here.

Comments

Apparently the blockade was not too hard on imports of armaments and tunnel conducting equipment.

It also seems that the present Egyptian government is no friend of hamas and is perfectly capable of resisting pro-islamist public opinion.

Instead, it seems that hamas thinks it may be able to pull off a few abductions of Israelis and it has reasons of historical experience to believe that this will give them tremendous leverage to get the Israelis to relax the restrictions.

These tunnels were built when Egypt was under Brotherhood rule. According to Brooks, Hamas is waging this war because this construction ability (among many other things) has been severely curtailed by the hostile, new Egyptian government.

My guess is Hamas is now working to get Israel to totally level all of Gaza.

Once leveled, Hamas can fade into the refugees unless the IDF knows their identity in which case Israel will end up with the burden of imprisoning them.

Then Israel is burdened with a couple million Palestinians with nothing: no water, no sanitation, no electricity, no fuel, limited food, no medicine.

And Israel is the occupying power with total control over whether they live or die.

Of course, those couple million will not be forgiving; deny them liberty and they will begin plotting revenge.

Gaza is the size of Detroit with three times the population.

Detroit used to be the size of Detroit with three times the population.

>And Israel is the occupying power

Nope. Israel left Gaza in 2005 and was quite happy to do it. At the moment, they look to kill whoever needs killing and go home.

They never wanted Gaza, and they've been trying to give it back to Egypt for decades, but Egypt doesn't want it either. So they just left.

Talk of "occupation" is great for NPR sound bites and fundraising emails to low-information lefty elites in the USA, but is utter nonsense. And next time you hear "blockade," try to remember that Egypt is a part of that too, because you won't hear it on the BBC.

Pretty sure NPR has never called Gaza an occupied territory, but appreciate the slander.

How is this? - "...preventing Palestinians easy access from the north to the south of the occupied territory."

Or something more recent? - "The international community is growing ever more restive over the issue of Jewish settlements in occupied territory."

Or this, if you want something even more recent? - "...Jewish settlements, guarded by Israeli soldiers, illegally built in occupied territory."

So... who is the slanderer now?

They are talking about the West Bank, you moron. Read the damn articles.

And the last one is talking about leaving Gaza after decades of occupation. Israel no longer occupies Gaza, but it did up until 2005.

Jesus...

First article: "There were scenes of jubilation throughout the territory after Israeli troops completed their withdrawal from Gaza early this morning. It marks the end of an occupation that lasted some 38 years..."

After you finish frothing at the mouth and calling me Jesus, can you explain this one away as well, please?

Also, how does your rejoinder on the third article negate the fact, that it is a counter-example to your NPR statement? You probably meant that they have not since 2005, but that's not what you said.

Flying Spaghetti Monster...

It's a little smaller than San Jose, CA with nearly double the population.

I doubt any of this chess-move type speculation is true. I have lived in Greece and know the Arab mind. Likely the rockets were fired because Hamas had a surplus,and they perhaps underestimated the Israeli response. Nothing more sinister than that. As for the tunnels, remember the tunnels were around when Mubarak was in power, so the relaxing of tunnel policing by Egypt cannot have been that big a factor now. In short, this is just an old "Hatfield vs McCoy" grudge match between Arab and Jew, same as it ever was. The only people who come up with these too-clever-by-half rationales are journalists.

Maybe Brooks is too-clever-by-half, but your response is not-clever-enough-by-half. I'm sure the people involved hate Israel and just wanted to fire the rockets, but that doesn't mean they completely lack secondary motives and don't engage in strategic thinking.

@dan1111 - not really. The masses are a sses. The average Arab in the PLO did not and does not care that Yassir Arafat had his kids in French public schools and they were a safe distance from the turmoil in the Middle East. Only journalists cared and people like you and I. We impute patterns and morals on this sort of thing after the fact, akin to picking patterns in random stock market data. Do you really think the Arabs plan this sort of thing as Brooks sees it? I doubt it. It's well known the other Arabs in Jordan and Egypt don't like the Palestinians (that's why they sealed their borders to Palestinian refugees), but beyond that it's not very fruitful engaging in clever debate over motives. Maybe it's as simple as Arab hates Jew.

You keep going on about "the Arabs", but Brooks is talking about Hamas, a specific organization with a command structure and leaders who make strategic decisions.

But he knows what "the Arabs" are thinking, he's lived in Greece! ;-)

Well Yeah. But greeks are genetically indistinct from turks, and turks are muslim, and so are most arabs, so there you go :

greeks = arabs

Well, we do all eat hummus :-)

Indeed. It's another creative mind trying to over complicate a “simple” issue. If it's a trap, why is Israel "playing" Hamas game?

We all know this response won’t take us to lasting peace. The root problem is the absence of a Palestinian state and both sides must find common ground to create the Palestinian state, one that accepts and trades with Israel.

Natanyahu can say whatever he wants but for Palestinians the Israeli will always look like an occupier. Hamas has no choice but resort to "terrorist" acts; they're just a bunch of militants fighting a very sophisticated army. These wars are never won by force, the history of colonial wars in Africa should help Israel understand that.

"to create the Palestinian state, one that accepts and trades with Israel."

Well, maybe call Hamas in 100 years and see if they are ready to agree to such a thing. Might not ever happen.

>Might not ever happen.

Why? Just because the Hamas charter explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel? Could that affect trade?

Hamas has no choice but resort to “terrorist” acts; they’re just a bunch of militants fighting a very sophisticated army.

No, they have a choice. They could negotiate a modus vivendi with their Jewish neighbors. That choice they find unpalatable.

The PA in the West Bank tried that route, all they got was more settlements.

The PA in the West Bank tried that route, all they got was more settlements.

No, Israel tried that route and all it got was the 2d intifada. You want the settlements removed, you negotiate for it and do not tear up draft agreements, walk out, and start terror campaigns on pre-texts.

Haha. No, no, no, everyone must get what they want from the other side before negotiations may begin.

Haha. No, no, no, everyone must get what they want from the other side before negotiations may begin.

Nitwit. That's the Al Fatah negotiating position.

Peabrain!! That's all of their positions.

Ugh. Everyone has a choice not to commit terrorism. And why the quotes around "terrorist"? Hamas has undeniably targeted Israeli civilians.

Israel has undeniably targeted Palestinian civilians

thus if Hamas is a terrorist organization, so is Israel.

Israel has undeniably targeted Palestinian civilians

We have that on your authority.

What do you make of the bombing of the UN school then?

Have a heart.

and if my authority isn't enough, here's the Guardain

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/30/gaza-another-un-school-hit-in-further-night-of-fierce-bombardment

but I suppose this is just propoganda. Hamas probably told the UN to build the school so it could get hit.

From your article: A spokeswoman from the Israel Defence Forces said that its initial inquiries showed that “Hamas militants fired mortar shells from the vicinity of the school, and [Israeli] soldiers responded by firing towards the origins of the fire”. An investigation was continuing, she added

I don't know what happened, but saying Israel has "undeniably targeted civilians" has yet to be established.

Israel has undeniably NOT targeted civilians, considering that civilians are not allowed in the Hamas tunnels (which protect against airstrikes) and that children make up over 50% of the civilian population and women about 50% as well, yet among the casualties the majority are 18-38 male, and under 20% of casualties are children and about 20% women, although no doubt some children are being used for combat by Hamas and many women and children have been used as human shields. The data strongly supports the other evidence that Israel is taking great care to avoid civilian casualties although of course it is impossible in urban warfare with non-uniformed enemies firing from hospitals etc.

http://www.israellycool.com/2014/07/23/new-analysis-of-gazan-casualties-in-operation-protective-edge-as-of-july-23rd/

So they can protect their civilians

but not the other sides'

must be Hamas' fault only!

you people disgust me

Okay so you gave up on your original claim that Israel targets civilians, which is not true. That is progress.

Now your complaint is that Israel protects its own civilians better than it protects the Gazan civilians. However, Israel is not able to control the troop placements of Hamas, nor is it able to prevent Hamas from launching rockets that fall short and hit schools. It also has been unable to prevent Hamas from stealing all the concrete to build tunnels. There is only so much you can do when conducting a war in a dense urban area against a non-uniformed enemy that operates out of civilian infrastructure. The war is not taking place in Israel proper otherwise Israeli civilian casualties would be higher and Gazan civilian casualties lower.

If Israel keeps bombing Gaza, they will respond. Not with white pigeons but through desperate acts of terror. That's the psychology of "colonial" struggle. It has happened everywhere from Vietnam to Africa.

Israel is killing civilians and defends itself with the "human shield" talk? C'mon, both sides need to get their act together.

Hamas is already doing all the terror it can. There is no possible "response" Hamas could make that it is not already making. There is no colonial struggle because there is no colony. Civilian casualties are inevitable when fighting non-uniformed militants using human shields (or even without human shields) in a dense urban area. Ask the U.S. about that.

There is no colonial struggle because there is no colony.

JC is loathe to state plainly that Hamas conception of 'colony' includes Tel Aviv and Beersheba.

Never underestimate your opponent, and don't confuse mass sentiment with the motivations of leaders. Mr Brooks' analysis is largely correct. While some tunnels existed under Mubarak, my understanding is that the short Brotherhood regime in Egypt greenlighted the building of more tunnels, and allowed their use to become pretty overt. Remember, the Hamas leaders line their pockets with the grafts off of these tunnels, and have large incentives to their use. Note also, the active role of the Egyptians in forwarding clearly pro-Israeli peace settlements.

The sad part of this is the dysfunction (of both the Arab world and the Western press) that allows Hamas to continue in this charade, instead of confronting their proper antagonists.

Assuming the Palestinians have economic interests rather than just a desire to destroy Israel, perhaps Israel could exploit the economic ruin of a Hamas-led govt by funneling more goods across their border, create a free trade area for vetted civilians, share safe tech with vetted Palestinian companies etc.

At some point the sheer awfulness of this nonsense must make Palestinians fed up, leaving an opportunity for Israel to exploit with an invitation to the future.

Unfortunately, many people like to keep digging when they are in holes.

Especially if the hole is a tunnel!

As I understand it Israel's policy with the blockade was that the Gazan people would blame Hamas for the Israeli blockade and choose a more moderate leadership. What actually happened was that the Palestinians quite logically blamed Israel for Israeli actions rather than Hamas. The fact that Israel continued to expand settlements in the West Bank continued the blockade of the Gaza strip despite agreeing to lift it as part of the previous ceasefire agreement and finding excuses not to negotiate.

Hamas have at several points attempted to open discussions, stating that if Israel can reach a deal based on the 1967 borders and then Palestinian people approve it in a referendum they would accept it. The recent unity government, formed with Hamas support did recognise Israel, although Hamas itself does not. The Hamas led coalition government formed after the parliamentary elections didn't revoke the Palestinian Authority's recognition of Israel or withdraw from any of the existing agreements.

Israel seems more at fault here. It agreed a ceasefire with Hamas last time under which Hamas agreed to stop firing rockets and Israel agreed to lift the blockade. The level of rocket fire dropped to what Islamic Jihad could manage with Hamas' opposition and Israel lifted some of the restrictions. After a delay Israel reimposed the restrictions and extended them, not entirely surprisingly Hamas weren't best pleased with that. They had more or less kept their word Israel had not.

Israel’s policy with the blockade was that the Gazan people would blame Hamas for the Israeli blockade and choose a more moderate leadership.

Israel's policy is indubitably to prevent a hostile force from acquiring certain sorts of equipment.

--

Hamas have at several points attempted to open discussions, stating that if Israel can reach a deal based on the 1967 borders and then Palestinian people approve it in a referendum they would accept it -

Not outside your imagination.

how does bombing a school designated as a shelter killing children inside it fit in with your theory mr deco

are you even human

Take the military equipment out of the school's courtyard and evacuate the school when you're told to. Better yet, think of something more constructive to do with your available tax revenue than buying artillery pieces to scatter all over the country and building cement tunnels.

HOW IS THE CHILDREN'S FAULT???

Here's Haaretz quoting senior Hamas spokesman Khaled Meshal on exactly that.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/meshal-hamas-seeks-palestinian-state-based-on-1967-borders-1.275412

The point is if you have a fairly long term deal it's relatively easy to extend it and if you have trade you get a lobby group who have a strong interest in continued peace.

to make your point, you have to defend the claim that "the requesting to return to pre 6-day-war- borders is a valid, legal, moral, sensible one for gaza to make"

There are consequences to losing a war....

The money quote from that article is as follows:

"The Damascus-based official added, however, that his Islamist militant organization would only agree to a "long-term truce" that would be valid for 10 years. "

You've referenced a five-year old article in an Israeli newspaper whose editorial line in that context approximates that of The Nation in an American context and the article in question does not even support your thesis.

>the Israeli blockade

It's always nice when I comment, scroll down a bit, and see someone illustrating my point perfectly.

ThereP are two eternal principles that the lefty dolts in the press and our current regime ignore--
1. rubble makes no trouble
2. peace is all important, and there is nothing more peaceful than a 40-ft high pile of dead Mooselimbs.

Problems solved!!

It is not in Hamas' interest to improve living standards in Gaza. Hamas uses civilian deprivation (and the apparently-eternal refugee camps) as a propaganda tool. Hamas' only interest in economic development would be to obtain more and better weaponry, not to improve living standards.

Presumably some Palestinians in Gaza have opinions that differ from those of Hamas, but it's all but impossible to find out as expressing opinions opposing Hamas or its charter will quickly and surely get you killed.

Which is to say, the record since Israel left in 2005 seems to be that Gaza/Hamas has prioritized the destruction of Israel above all else, including even minimal efforts toward improving the civilian economy.

It's not entirely accurate to write and think "Gaza/Hamas" as though they are the same thing, but, is there any practical way to separate the two? Hamas is a terrorist organization and thus Gaza is a terrorist state, but no one seems to have the standing and willingness to do anything to change that.

Even if Brooks hypothesis may be criticized in many details, it has to be recognized that is above average. At least it's not an arabs vs jews story. "Arabs" is a really heterogeneous group with varied interests.

Indeed. I'm old enough to remember when Tom Lehrer was writing, "Egypt's gonna get one too, just to use on you know who." But governments shift, and interests shift, and at this point Egypt is Israel's de facto ally in this particular conflict. In most cases, current interests are a better predictor of governments' actions than ageless hatred. For another example (not Arab, of course, but one of national interests shifting rather than tracking timeless conflicts), I just today looked at Hurriyet Daily News, a leading Turkish paper. They're full of articles about Turkish leaders condemning Israeli actions, which is pretty much the reverse of the days when I was young and Turkey was Israel's main ally in the Muslim world. Meanwhile, their relations with Greece have eased enough that their leading article to mention Greece today was one about Turkey's effort to attract Greek doctors to practice in Turkey.

What's interesting is that Sunni Hamas is backed and armed by Shia Iran, while a predominantly Sunni Egypt all but cuts off its contact with the Sunni Hamas. Even the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, when it, for a short while, was in power in Egypt, was on the outs with Sunni Hamas. With the Sunni vs Shia wars being fought in Iraq and Syria, it is rare that a Shia (Iran) force arms a radical Sunni (Hamas) group. Now even the Shia Hezbollah is talking about joining Sunni Hamas as an ally in the war against the Israel occupation. Could Israel become the country that unifies the Shiits and Sunnis? If so, how ironic.

Israel has always been the country that unifies the Arab world. Whatever their deep and violent differences, they all hate the state of Israel above all. My theory is that it is primarily wounded cultural pride, that the castoffs of the most persecuted and politically weak minority in European history were able to settle in their backyard and set up a state which withstood the best they could throw at it. It would be like if a group of Somali refugees took over Iowa and declared themselves independent, and then made it stick. The utter military humiliation made things worse. You will note that no arab nation made peace with Israel until they had made a marginally decent showing in a war (Jordan, Egypt). The ones who just got mudstomped never did (Syria).

You will note that no arab nation made peace with Israel until they had made a marginally decent showing in a war (Jordan, Egypt).

The Arab Legion of the Transjordan held its own in 1948 and 1949. Jordan made a deal with Israel in 1994, 27 years after it had been humiliated in the Six-Day War, 20 years after it had conceded to the PLO the function of primary agent for the UNRWA population, and six years after it had relinquished claims to the West Bank.

Glenn Greenwald has pointed out that Brooks was one of the original neoconservative writers on the "Weekly Standard". Brooks, prior to the US invasion of Iraq, once prognosticated that "American and British forces would be welcomed as liberators". David Brooks may not be the best source for unbiased opinions about all things Middle Eastern.

American and British forces were welcomed as liberators by a significant portion of the Iraqi population. This was the primary initial visible response to the invasion.

Obviously that wasn't the whole story, but Brooks' statement as you have quoted it was a correct prediction.

Brooks was one of the original neoconservative writers on the “Weekly Standard”

Yes, but he has "matured" since then - as often happens to people who go to work for the MSM and then find they want to get invited to parties.

So your argument is that he was correct? I was on those trucks mate. Every Shia and Kurd in the country was glad to see us. It didn't last long, true, but Brooks was not wrong.

Glenn Greenwald has pointed out that Brooks was one of the original neoconservative writers on the “Weekly Standard”

So he has cooties?

Let's all look at why Hamas is upset: First of all, in the Muslim religion, you're not allowed to have what? Sex. There's no sex until marriage in Gaza. Now, this would be fine except that in the Muslim religion you also can't... Anybody? Jack off. Okay, jacking it is strictly forbidden in Gaza. And what do we know about the place Hamas lives? They live in? Good, sand. Now put yourself in the shoes of a Palestinian. It's Friday night, but you can't have sex, and you can't jack off. There's sand in your eyes and probably in the crack of your ass. Well you know what? I'd be pretty pissed off too!

Uh, yeah, right.

It's from a South Park episode

From an Israeli point of view, Hezbollah and Hamas are pretty much identical: terrorist organizations dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel with arsenals of missiles aimed over the Israeli border. The most significant difference between them is that Hezbollah's missiles could actually do some significant damage to the country. Despite this similarity, Israel enjoys a de facto peace with Hezbollah and a de facto state of war with Hamas. Why? Trade.

The Lebanese control their own borders and, despite regular Israeli interventions into their airspace, are free to trade and travel as they see fit. However, Hezbollah and the rest of the Lebanese know that the moment Hezbollah attacks Israel that freedom to trade and travel will be negated by the Israeli military, as happened in 2006. This means that no matter how much ideological zealots in Hezbollah might want to start another war against Israel, there is a powerful business lobby working hard to hold them back.

No such business lobby can exist in Gaza, because the Israeli blockade makes it all but impossible to do business. Worse, the fact that what international trade can take place has to do so through Hamas-controlled tunnels means that the high fees they charge business and individuals for using those tunnels reinforce the ideological zealots' dominant economic position against everyone else.

The Israeli argument that the blockade of Gaza is necessary to protect themselves from Hamas is based on short-sighted, tactical, military considerations. In reality, by maintaining the blockade they are merely acting to strengthen the long-term position of Hamas within Gaza.

Just think how ugly the geopolitical situation between China and the US could be if their economies weren't so interdependent.

The blockade didn't go up until eighteen months after Hamas took over. In that time, Hamas dropped several thousand rockets and mortars on Israel from their newly received territory. The rockets preceded the blockade, they can never be considered a response to it. And it's not short-sighted tactical, it's political. You try running for office on the "Let our neighbors shell us without responding, and send them goods, so we will have something to take away if they shell us" platform.

Not true. The blockade was a direct consequence of Hamas being elected to power. Israel have yet to experiment with not subjecting Hamas-controlled Gaza to some kind of economic blockade.

Economic sanctions began in 2006, when Hamas were elected to power in the strip:

"The 2006–2007 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority were economic sanctions imposed by Israel and the Quartet on the Middle East against the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian territories following the January 2006 legislative elections that brought Hamas to power. [...] Throughout 2006, the Karni crossing remained only partially operational, costing Palestinians losses of $500,000 a day, as less than 10% of the Gaza Strip's minimal daily export targets were achieved. Basic food commodities were severely depleted, bakeries closed and food rationing was introduced"

Those restrictions developed into a full blockade when Hamas removed Fatah officials from power in 2007:

"In June 2007 Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip and removed Fatah officials. Following the Battle of Gaza, the international sanctions were terminated in June 2007 while at the same time a new and more severe blockade of the Gaza Strip was initiated."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockade_of_the_Gaza_Strip

There is munging of terms here, particularly "blockade" and "take power". Not sure if deliberate or merely accidental, so let's address.

Your Wiki link says that the blockade went up in June 2007. You can call this "Hamas took power" when the more precise reading is "Hamas killed a bunch of members of Fatah and took over in a military coup."

Hamas was elected in 2006. Israel responded to the election not with blockade but with a trade embargo, with Israel and its allies refusing to trade with the West Bank. Which is entirely appropriate -- a sovereign always has the right to refuse trade with another country.

In June 2007 Hamas carried out a military coup. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gaza_(2007)#The_battle If you like reading stories of people being tossed off ten-story buildings this is delightful. If you are normal, probably not so much.

In response to that, Israel and Egypt blockaded the Gaza strip.

TLDR:

Hamas election in 2006: Israel and allies refuse to trade with Gaza

Civil war in June 2007, no elections since: Israel and Egypt blockade Gaza

1. If we take a “blockade” to be “an act or means of sealing off a place to prevent goods or people from entering or leaving” then Gaza has been under some level of blockade since Hamas were elected in 2006. The level of this blockade has never been total: some people and goods have always been able to get through; but neither has it ever been absent.

2. The more convinced you are that Hamas are a group of vicious, violent, fundamentalist, unreasoning, religious maniacs the more convinced you should be that strengthening the rest of the people of Gaza against them is a good idea.

And there we go. The logic that Israel refusing to trade with Gaza is a blockade. Perfect.

Everyone else: Remember this conversation when you hear anyone talk about how "blockade == occupation" or how the rockets are necessary tools to end "the illegal blockade."

Gaza not been allowed to trade through its own ports since long before 2006, or even to have its own airport. Ergo all exports have had to go through Israel or Egypt. Ergo if Israel and Egypt restrict goods or persons entering and leaving Gaza the territory is under a de facto blockade.

Maybe there is a blockade of the port, I don't know. But not allowing completely free passage through your own border is not a blockade otherwise many countries in the world are blockaded. Try shipping something from Mexico into the U.S.

"The blockade didn’t go up until eighteen months after Hamas took over."

Ah, a textbook example of revisionist history.

Despite this similarity, Israel enjoys a de facto peace with Hezbollah and a de facto state of war with Hamas. Why? Trade. -

Is the Hezbollah in the business of building tunnels and firing off missiles at this time?

No such business lobby can exist in Gaza, because the Israeli blockade makes it all but impossible to do business.

It's not that difficult to stop building tunnels, stop firing missiles, and make arrangements with neighboring governments over shipping. You don't need the Chamber of Commerce to lean on you in order to do it. It has not been done because they just don't feel like it.

Despite this similarity, Israel enjoys a de facto peace with Hezbollah and a de facto state of war with Hamas. Why? Trade

I think it has more to do with the fact they are fighting for their patron Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, and can't afford to also fight Israel at this time.

What if Hamas goal of the current invasion is a giant fund-raising with the rest of the Arab world? Get as many pictures of Israeli bombing the Gaza strip on Al Jazeera and use this raise funds and recruit a new group of terrorist.

If this is the purpose, then the current Israel invasion may not be long term effective.

Carlton Meyer at g2mil.com has a conspiracy theory that the Israeli government is arranging for the rockets to be fired at Israel, as part of a false flag operation. Here is the theory:

"If one reads international news (i.e. non-USA), stories appear about Israel's gradual ethnic cleansing of the West Bank. Israeli squatter towns (aka settlements in American news) continually expand after Arabs are forced off their lands, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. In order for this to continue year after year, a "comprehensive peace plan" must be avoided. This is achieved by perpetual "fighting" around Gaza. Israel maintains complete control of Gaza's borders (including access to the sea), so how do "militants" acquire thousands of unguided rockets every year? Most are home made, but where do they get the propellant and explosives?

"Israel ensures they are supplied. Israel refuses to guard Gaza's border with Egypt, even though it could easily establish a security strip on the Gaza side to ensure that no rockets, propellants, or explosives cross into Gaza. Egyptian troops could also secure the border, but show no interest. There have been several international news reports over the years of large tunnels under the Gaza border where all sorts of things are "smuggled." This includes the current issue of "National Geographic" and television news shows where reporters walk through the tunnels. However, whenever Israeli airstrikes occur, the tunnels are rarely targeted. I wouldn't be surprised if Israel's Mossad secretly ensures a steady supply of rockets to Gazans.

"Despite all our "news" coverage, no one ever suggests the solution is to simply seal the Egyptian-Gazan border, using UN troops if necessary, so that no more rockets rain on Israel and a comprehensive peace plan can be enacted. No one asks why Israeli warplanes bomb varied targets around Gaza rather than the tunnels? Why doesn't the Israeli army just sweep into the border area and destroy all the tunnels? Most television reporters can read a map, so why do they fear to address this obvious question?"

Note that this was published on November 18th, and according to other commentators here, Egypt has secured the border. This still raises the question of how the rockets get into a small blockaded area.

Another theory I've seen on the web is that the rocket attacks are to see how the Iron Dome missle defense system works. In this case the situation will suddenly be resolved peacefully for no apparent reason, and Hamas will try up to come up with a way to defeat or bypass the anti-missile defenses. This still leaves unanswered the question of how they are getting the rockets.

"Israel refuses to guard Gaza’s border with Egypt, even though it could easily establish a security strip on the Gaza side"

Hmm... really??

Think incentives, not goals.

What positions can you take, as a mid-level leader in Hamas, which will enhance your chances to rise to greater power? What sort of factions within Hamas do best? That's what will drive Hamas' decisions, not some kind of chess playing.

Similar calculations apply to Israel, though I gather losing the power stuggle in
Israel means you lose the election, where losing a power struggle in Hamas probably has more permanent consequences for you.

"losing a power struggle in Hamas probably has more permanent consequences for you":

"Abu, you've lost a power struggle; here's the shovel and cement mixer, back to the tunnelling."

Or get tossed off a building.

I don't understand why "The Cause" of Hamas' actions doesn't center on the only rational thing they could do as their economy collapsed under their boot. Using an external conflict to prop up a failing regime is hardly a new idea, just ask Bill Clinton. (only partially serious there).
Force is no solution? Is factually incorrect, and obviously so. I assume you mean that as a prediction: that ultimately force will not form the core of the solution. Predictions have no truth value, but can be assigned a probability. When Palestinian mothers and fathers "love their children more than they hate" them, isn't quite correct. (It should be obvious they (most of them) do already (and always have). When Palestinian parents understand that hating Jews and Israel turns their children into murderers and kills them young, then perhaps, they'll have peace. It requires education, economic opportunity, and a different social context.

Just like any form of racism / ethnic intolerance. Gosh, just look around you.

Since we've just passed the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the actual fighting in the first world war, it seems worthwhile to remember that what people believe or teach their kids or even vote for often doesn't have much to do with what policies would be in their actual long-term interests.

not targetting civilians?

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/24/israel

please foad all you apologists for israel.

and no, im no supporter of hamas either.

> please foad all you apologists for israel.

The Guardian was one of the British newspapers which invented the "Jenin massacre". Which you probably think is a real thing.

After it's all over the true picture will emerge, but you won't be interested in reading about it. You seem a little gleeful in these drive-by remarks of yours.

> > please foad all you apologists for israel.

Nice peaceful sentiment. Like in another thread where a lefty referred to Israelis who buy apartments in settlements as "vermin".

Hamas apparently used the latest ceasefire to carry out a suicide bombing and kidnapping by one of their infiltration tunnels.

Watch the scumbag media (especially the BBC and Guardian) say something like: "Israel ended the ceasefire with intense shelling today blah blah blah" and then mention a few paragraphs later: "The Israelis claimed that they were responding to the kidnapping that Hamas carried out immediately after the ceasefire was declared.

Everyone should be aware that BBC etc. don't present "news" anymore but rather current-events based dramas that cater to the tastes of its viewers and editors.

As I predicted, the WaPo: "Gaza militants captured an Israeli soldier in southern Gaza Strip just as the ceasefire was falling apart, said a senior Israeli military official".

What does that even mean?

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