In an official announcement released in Gaza on January 30, the Brigades said that the Hamas victory in last week’s election “will not affect the policies of the Al-Aksa Brigades or its resistance to the Zionist occupier.”The current conventional wisdom for rationalizing the Hamas electoral victory is to claim that the Palestinian electorate was protesting against the innate corruption in the ruling Fatah party. I could buy into that argument if the Palestinian Authority was a western country, which normally takes a very dim view of influence peddling and considers bribery a betrayal of the public trust but this is the Middle East where graft is king.
“No Palestinian government will prevent the Brigades from continuing in its path of resistance until all Palestinian land is liberated from the defilement of the occupation,” said the Brigades. Using terminology reminiscent of the Hamas and other radical Islamic terror groups, the announcement continued, “The Al-Aksa Brigades will not be silent and will punish those who try to weaken Palestinian resistance and jihad against the occupier that blocks roads, arrests, and assassinates jihad fighters on the West Bank, and kills innocent children in Gaza.”
Abu Zuheri, a leader of the Brigades, expressed satisfaction with the group’s more militant image. “Palestine from the river to the Mediterranean, coincides with the policy of the Hamas and is a source of pride,” he said.
I would suggest that the average Palestinian perceived that Fatah had lost its death grip under the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas despite all those photo-ops from last winter showing Abbas hanging out with Hamas and the boys, and decided to elect the strongest possible government to deal with the Zionist interlopers/occupiers/and just general all around defilers in the harshest possible way. This press release is Fatah’s attempt to win back the respect and support of the Palestinian mainstreet.