Question: What does a great power do when it suffers an unexpected defeat and a major setback in its plans for achieving an acceptable solution to a problem? Answer: It sits back, regroups, deflects public attention to other issues, and works quietly behind the scenes to prepare the ground for a new attempt to achieve its objectives by some other strategy in future.
November saw both an intensification of Israel’s low-level war on Ghazzah, and a further murderous tightening of its economic blockade. But hopes for healing the breach between Fatah and Hamas failed yet again, largely as a result of internal political pressures on Fatah and the Israelis. IQBAL SIDDIQUI reports.
Asked about the lesson of fasting, Imam Husain (r.a.) is reported to have replied that “the rich should feel the pangs of hunger and appreciate what the poor have to endure, and therefore share Allah’s bounty with them.”As Muslims begin the month of Ramadan later this month, they should think of the suffering of their brothers and sisters in Palestine, and Ghazzah in particular.
Months of increasing tension between the Fatah and Hamas movements in Palestine came to a head on June 14, when Hamas militias captured Fatah-controlled institutions in Ghazzah that had refused to accept the authority of the Hamas government of prime minister Ismail Haniya. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas responded by dismissing the Haniya government and appointing a new administration, under Salam Fayyad, in Ramallah, in the West Bank.
Last month’s developments in Palestine are no great surprise. Basically, we have seen a political coup by an established, pro-Western political elite against a popular Islamic movement that was growing in power and credibility, and threatened to take a Muslim people and country in a direction unacceptable to Washington and Tel Aviv. The fact that this particular coup has taken place in the particular circumstances of zionist-occupied Palestine, rather than in one of the many Muslim nation-states where similar events have occurred, should not distract from that fundamental reality
Although Western propaganda portrays the Hamas takeover of Ghazzah as a coup against the legitimate power there, this is an exact inversion of the real situation. While the world’s attention turned to the West Bank and the politicking there after Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the Hamas government, people in Ghazzah were celebrating what many regarded as liberation from the oppression and exploitation of Fatah security officials, who were particularly known for their extortion from shopkeepers, businessmen and others, and for living well on the proceeds.
Months of negotiations between Hamas leaders and Fatah leaders on forming a coalition government, which they hope will break the political deadlock in the country and facilitate the lifting of the West's economic boycott, appeared to reach a significant breakthrough on September 11. It was announced that agreement had finally been reached after a series of meetings in Ghazzah between PA (Palestinian Authority) president Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, and Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader appointed prime minister after Hamas's stunning victory in January's parliamentary elections.
As Crescent International goes to press, it remains uncertain whether the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) that are due to take place on January 25 will actually go ahead. Israel made a clear attempt to sabotage them on December 21, when it announced that Palestinians in Jerusalem would not be permitted to vote if Hamas were allowed to take part in the polls.