The siege of the Hamas Government is causing them great pain.
GAZA, Nov. 10 — Hamas committed today to folding its eight-month government if that would restore the international assistance that was cut off after it won national elections earlier this year.I guess the political pressue of the siege is too much. Or else they have smuggled in enough weapons and are ready to start a war.
In a shrewd and dramatic speech, the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyah, said he would likely resign in the next “two or three weeks” to make way for a national unity government more acceptable to international donors than Hamas, the organization responsible for the deadliest attacks against Israel.
“When they put the siege on one hand, and having me the prime minister on the other, I said ‘no: Let us end the siege and let us end the suffering of the Palestinian people,’ ” Mr. Haniyah, 43, a former teacher and union official, told worshippers at Friday prayers here.
It was a public acknowledgment that Hamas had failed to run the Palestinian Authority on its own terms in the face of an American and Israeli-led cutoff of funds and aid, and that Mr. Haniya and his government would soon be replaced by a “unity” government of technocrats, currently being negotiated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Tha article goes on about how other Arab states are unwilling to give the required funds or unable because of the American control of the world banking system. i.e. the Americans will stop doing business with banks that are out of favor.
In any case the crux of the matter is not who rules, it is policy. That is the fly in the ointment.
Much as the speech roused cheers at the mosque, and praise here for its apparent sacrifice, it was unclear whether Mr. Haniyah’s stated intentions could restart the flow of aid as Palestinians.Not to mention stopping the violence and adhering to previous agreements.
On one hand, Mr. Haniyah suggested that any new government of national unity would be able to satisfy the demands of Israel and other donors, which include recognizing Israel’s right exist.
At the same time, Mr. Haniyah said that Hamas would remain a key player that would never waver from principle. This raises the question of whether a new government would be any more palatable to donors than the current one.
“We will not compromise,” he told worshippers. “We are going ahead with a government that will not give political compromises.”
Hamas has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, for example, but it is unclear that any new government, many of whose key officials will be appointed by Hamas, will do so either, at least in any explicit way.
In any case it is lovely seeing the Palestinians beg for mercy. When eating becomes more pressing than fighting wars usually end.
I have written some on the subject of the Palestinian siege here: Cash Flow Jihad Strikes Hamas and here: Can You Recognize Me Now?
H/T Don Singleton.