As the Israeli operation in Gaza wears on it appears Hamas has relinquished any visage of a socio-political party, abandoning its claim to govern the residents of Gaza in favor of engaging in open war at their expense.Is there no end to the legacy of Arafat?
A number of reports from the Strip paint a picture of very difficult humanitarian conditions, not least because of Hamas itself. The suspicion is that the group's operatives have seized control of any supplies passing through the crossings – including those sent by Israel and international organizations.
Reports say Hamas takes a cut out of all aid that arrives, including flour and medicine. Supplies intended to be distributed without gain among the population is seized by the group and sold to the residents, at a profit to the Hamas government.
One such incident was recorded Monday, when a convoy of trucks carrying supplies through the Kerem Shalom crossing was opened fire upon and seized by Hamas gunmen. Similar incidents occurred with trucks carrying fuel.
In other cases, civilians are simply used as cannon fodder or human shields. Reports out of Gaza say residents who attempted to flee their homes in the northern area of the Strip were forced to go back at gunpoint, by Hamas men.
The organization is presumably interested in increasing civilian casualties in order to give rise to international pressure against Israel. Arab media reported that in an IDF strike on a UN school 30 civilians were killed, but there is no legitimate way to prove gunmen were among those killed as Hamas tends to bury these bodies quickly, thus eliminating evidence in Israel's favor.
Other civilian complaints state that Hamas gunmen pull children along with them "by the ears" from place to place, fearing that if they don't have a child with them they will be fair game to the IDF. Others hide in civilian homes and stairwells, UNRWA ambulances, and mosques.
In other reported cases Hamas gunmen hold civilians hostage in alleyways in order to provide themselves with a living barricade to ward off IDF forces. Reports somewhat more difficult to verify say the group's men shot Fatah operatives in the feet to make sure the latter would not attempt a coup.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Freedom Fighters or just plain old Fashion Gangs Bangers
You decide. Ynet News: