Saturday, January 10, 2009


The current destruction of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip was part of a well-planned political strategy of the United States and Israel soon after Hamas won the Palestinian national elections in 2006.

Washington and Tel Aviv wanted to starve the Palestinian Authority of Money and international connections to the point where Mahmood Abbas, the Palestinian President, would be compelled to call a new election.

The New York Times reported in 2006 the hope then was that Palestinians would be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they would return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement led by Mahmood Abbas.

The approach was discussed at the highest levels of the State Department and the Israeli government.

Hamas was given a choice: recognize Israel's right to exist, forswear violence and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements or face isolation and collapse. The US and Israel warned that life would get harder if Hamas refused to comply.

They did just that.

The Palestinian Authority then has a monthly cash deficit of some US$60 million to US$70 million after it receives between US$50 million and US$55 million a month from Israel in taxes and custom duties collected by Israeli officials at the borders but owed to the Palestinians. Israel cut off those payments once Hamas took power. Israel also stopped or reduced some of the aid that the Palestinians received.

Israel also took over the control of entrance and exit points from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for people and goods, they determine the number of workers allowed into Israel every day, and even the currency used in the Palestinian territories, which is the Israeli shekel.

Hamas members of Parliament were prevented from travelling freely between Gaza and the West Bank, in fact, a number of them including the Speaker of Parliament were detained.

The approach to oust Hamas had failed although Hamas was left with only the Gaza Strip to administer and lost its control over the West Bank to Mahmood Abbas's PLO.

The US and Israel listed Hamas as a terrorist organization. To Hamas, they are fighting to free Palestine from Israeli occupation, they are freedom fighters.

The original US and Israeli plan did not materialised and thus, military action was the option to destroy Hamas, with the blessings of George W. Bush, the most unpopular US President and the man solely responsible for the destruction of Iraq.

The fighting spirit of Hamas and the Palestinians are strong. They will not be easily defeated, for like the phoenix, they will rise from the fire to continue fighting for their survival and victory.

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