ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Behind Concrete Walls, Under an Iron Dome

Israel's invasion of Gaza has changed nothing, it remains in a permanent state of war with its neighbours.

Until the Palestinians actually began practising it, demo­cracy was quite the flavour of the season, the cure-all for all ailments of a people under military occupation. By fairly winning the Palestinian national elections in January 2006, the Hamas resistance movement ended a florid celebration of democracy, at just the time that mortification over a military misadventure in Iraq was peaking in the United States (US) and Israel. It also ruined plans hatched by Ariel Sharon, the then Israel’s prime minister to leave the compliant and compromised Fatah faction in control of Gaza, a territory he had pulled out from in August 2005 in despair at being unable to subdue its people. By the time Palestinian elections were held, Sharon’s successors lacked the brute political will to push through the plan. They did author a minor tactical victory though, by orchestrating a series of provocations by Fatah that led to Hamas being corralled into the Gaza strip.

Despite this circumstance of convenience, Israel’s provocations mounted in direct proportion to the insecurities spawned by growing strategic instability in the region. And Hamas was not about to roll over in abject surrender. It made shrewd use of the turmoil in the Arab world to cultivate patrons within newly i­nstalled regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and even proved adept at cultivating the kindness of the arriviste regime in Q­atar. The latter enterprise earned it bitter accusations of “­ingratitude” from the Syrian dic­tatorship, for long Hamas’ sole patron in the Arab world, but currently in the throes of disintegration on account of a rebellion orchestrated from Qatar and the wider alliance of oil emirates.

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