Friday, April 21, 2006

Hard Bargaining

Hamas says that it does not want to give up the right to violence because it needs it as a bargaining chip. ABC reports in response to Monday's murder of 9 Israelis:

Hamas leaders defended the attack as a justified response to Israeli "aggression" against the Palestinians.

Hamas's response was in line with its refusal to give up its right to violence. Hamas leaders see it as an essential bargaining chip in future negotiations, one that it believes Abbas and late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat gave up too quickly and received nothing in return.
In response the Israelis seem to be doing some hard bargaining of their own:
Israel's response to the bombing likely won't make headlines as there is no single massive military operation taking place. However, the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli politicians are hardly idle.

For the last three weeks the IDF has fired about 4000 shells into Gaza in attempts to stop a handful of militants from firing the Qassams (homemade rockets that are mostly inaccurate) into Israel. (The last Israeli to be killed by a Qassam was in August 2005).
Further on in the article we get evidence that the Cash Flow Jihad is working. The Palestinian Authority (such authority as it has) is desperate for funds. Many Arab states have promised large sums but there seems to be a delivery problem:
It's not clear how the money will get into a place like Gaza, even with money being donated. Banking laws prohibit the transfer of funds to Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization.

Being in Gaza this week, I saw the store shelves pretty much empty, as I am told even the shopkeepers don't have enough money to buy supplies. At some point, despite support for Hamas and democratic elections, there could be some type of protest because of the financial crisis.
Well, there are further worries about what the next Palestinian government will look like. After the civil war and all. It won't be pretty.

Hat tip: LGF and friends.

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