Buyer’s remorse in Gaza?

posted at 1:21 pm on August 13, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

If anyone has a case for buyer’s remorse, it’s the Palestinians in Gaza. They elected Hamas to power after the Israeli withdrawal from the territory in a rebuke to Fatah’s corruption, and have suffered for it ever since. The corruption simply changed hands, and worse yet was Hamas’ attempts to militarize Gaza. That forced both Israel and Egypt to close the borders and enforce an embargo (which, contrary to common perception, happened after Hamas’ election and not before). Hamas regularly uses residential areas as cover for their rocket fire, which makes their homes and schools targets for Israeli retaliation, not to mention the tunnel entrances that Hamas created under their feet. In this latest edition of the Gaza war, more than 1900 Palestinians have died, and many more rendered homeless by the destruction created by Hamas’ war of choice.

Have they had enough of Hamas? That’s a complicated question, but the Washington Post’s Sudarsan Raghavan reports that opposition may be the result of this latest war — and especially the refusal to accept the cease-fire proposal at the beginning of it:

As the Palestinian death toll tops 1,900, more and more Gazans are questioning the decisions and strategies of Hamas, the militant Islamist group that tightly controls the Gaza Strip and is known to intimidate — and sometimes harm — those critical of its policies. Most of the disapproval is still beneath the surface, hinted at only in private conversations. But inbattered enclaves such as Beit Lahiya, discontent is bubbling up openly, fueled by a sense of helplessness and fatigue.

The criticism does not necessarily reflect a loss of support for Hamas. Most Palestinians, even Hamas’s biggest detractors, say they back the current war against Israel, believing it is the only way to achieve the short-term Palestinian demands of lifting the Israeli and Egyptian economic blockades of Gaza and opening the strip’s border crossings. No Beit Lahiya residents accuse Hamas of using them as human shields, as Israel claims, even as they acknowledge that militants are firing rockets from their neighborhoods.

Perhaps they don’t accuse Hamas of using them as human shields for the same reason many of them won’t speak out against Hamas openly. Hamas isn’t exactly a model of political tolerance, after all. The ruling group confirmed last week that it had executed so-called “collaborators,” after multiple reports that protestors against Hamas had been murdered for their activism. Hamas has also executed dozens of tunnel workers in an effort to keep intelligence on their underground systems from reaching the IDF.

That may explain why Gazans don’t speak publicly about their unhappiness with Hamas, or their plight as human shields. Neither can really be denied, however. Video from news organizations have shown Hamas setting up rocket launchers next to hotels and residential structures, inviting retaliation from the IDF that ends up killing civilians and displacing many others. That’s why Gaza looks like this now:

Even with the denials, which Raghavan repeats for emphasis at the end of the article, it’s clear that Gazans want a change for some reason. And that reason is because they’ve concluded that being human shields is not any way to live life:

Now, some Palestinians are questioning the decision to reject the first truce. Roughly 200 Palestinians had been killed in the fighting at that time. Today, amid another Egyptian-led truce effort, the death toll is nearly 10 times greater, and Gaza is a wasteland of destruction that exceeds that left behind after the previous two Israel-Hamas conflicts, in 2009 and 2012.

“All the people are whispering, ‘Why didn’t Hamas accept the Egyptian initiative in the beginning of the war when the casualties were still low?’ ” said Hani Habib, a Palestinian journalist and political analyst.

Those sentiments can be heard around Beit Lahiya, a sprawling, hilly enclave of large houses abutting the border with Israel. Many residents said they were exhausted from bearing the brunt of the war, noting that the fighting had done much less damage to Israel.

“They should have accepted the cease-fire,” said Hathem Mena, 55, a teacher, referring to Hamas and other Palestinian militants. “It would have stopped the bloodshed. We are the ones affected by the war, our houses and our lives. The destruction is over on this side, not the Israeli side.”

The reason for that is Israel builds systems to protect its civilians from Hamas’ attacks. Hamas builds its systems in residential areas to use civilians to protect Hamas from Israel’s attacks. As long as that happens, the damage from Hamas’ wars will always be in the Gazans’ own homes, and Hamas will continue to make war with Israel as long as Gazans leave them in power.

Meanwhile, the Egyptians believe they have a formula for a more permanent cease-fire that will attract both sides, but time is running out:

Mediators have proposed that talks on key Palestinian demands of a seaport and an airport in Gaza be delayed until a month after a permanent ceasefire takes effect, according to the Egyptian proposal contained in documents seen by AFP on Wednesday.

Negotiations on proposals for the handover of the bodies of two slain Israeli soldiers held by Palestinian militants in exchange for the release of prisoners in Israeli jails would also be postponed, according to the document.

Under the proposal, the buffer zone along Gaza’s border with Israel would be gradually reduced and guarded by Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas’s security teams.

The negotiations “are in a very sensitive stage and we hope to reach an agreement” before midnight (2100 GMT), said Palestinian delegation head Azzam al-Ahmed.

Hamas is understood to be demanding clear commitments to opening the ports in Gaza, even if they are to be established at a later date.

The Palestinians, included Hamas, are also demanding an end to the eight-year blockade of Gaza.

The blockade will be the sticking point. There is no way that Israel will relax the blockade and allow Hamas to rearm significantly. Egypt purposefully has remained vague on that point, but proposes that the blockade be part of later negotiations — but not with Hamas. Instead, the Palestinian Authority would conduct those negotiations, which might mean that Gazans who suffer under Hamas might think twice about their choice of leadership seven years ago.

The cease-fire expires at midnight local time (5 pm ET), and Israel says it’s prepared for the worst:

Israel warned Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip they face a harsh response if rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled area resumes, as the midnight expiry of a three-day truce drew near without word of an extension.

“Israeli forces are ready for any development,” Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz told reporters in Jerusalem today. “Quiet will be answered by quiet on our side, but if Hamas will resume the bombardment of Israeli citizens and towns, their rocket and mortar bombardments, our counterstrike will be very strong.”

Israeli and Hamas leaders have sounded pessimistic about turning the 72-hour pause in hostilities into a more permanent truce after four weeks of violence that killed more than 1,900 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side. Hamas said this would be its last cease-fire effort.

If they restart the Gaza war, it might be their last turn at being in charge. Gazan grumbling is getting out into the open, which considering Hamas’ bloody imposition of power, demonstrates just how unpopular their war and their leadership has become.


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OT – When I go to hotair.com I keep getting a 404 error! What gives?

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM

OT – When I go to hotair.com I keep getting a 404 error! What gives?

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Your computer suffers from Obamacare PTSD.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM

OT – When I go to hotair.com I keep getting a 404 error! What gives?

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Not seeing an issue on our end.

Ed Morrissey on August 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Your computer suffers from Obamacare PTSD.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Ha ha! I am able to see articles via the vault but my bookmark for (hotair.com) comes up with a 404 error.

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Not seeing an issue on our end.

Ed Morrissey on August 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I am using Foxfire and type in hotair.com and I get this:
http://hotair.com/cgi-bin/redirect.ha

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Not seeing an issue on our end.

Ed Morrissey on August 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I am using Foxfire and type in hotair.com and I get this:
http://hotair.com/cgi-bin/redirect.ha

I switched to Chrome and it works….very strange

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

“They should have accepted the cease-fire,” said Hathem Mena, 55, a teacher, referring to Hamas and other Palestinian militants. “It would have stopped the bloodshed. We are the ones affected by the war, our houses and our lives. The destruction is over on this side, not the Israeli side.”

Even better, they shouldn’t have started raining rockets on Israel in the first place. Then the bloddshed wouldn’t have even started in the first place. I think I see why these idiots chose Hamas in the first place.

Bitter Clinger on August 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Wait a minute – again.
How can “rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled area resume”, when this highly reliable, completely objective blog “reported” weeks ago that Hamas would have to say “Uncle” because it was running out of rockets?

corona79 on August 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Islamic State seizes several towns and villages from rival Islamist groups in Syrian province of Aleppo, monitoring organization says – @Reuters

davidk on August 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

When I was fresh out of college, I overheard one of my fellow workers saying that the supervisors of his community were corrupt. I, in my naive wisdom, responded that he should “vote them out.”

The gentle man looked at me with chagrin and said “why would I do that ? If I replace them, the new supervisors will just have to start over again to fill their pockets.”

Apparently, the Palestinian are just now learning this same lesson.

J_Crater on August 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

What’s the historical record of Palestinians ever choosing the less radical of representative options?

aquaviva on August 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Golda Meir:

“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

You’re almost there guys. Just a little more self awareness and you got it.

WitchDoctor on August 13, 2014 at 1:38 PM

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Clear you recent history and that should fix it. It happens when you’ve had an internet connection glitch in your network.

GADinSB on August 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Buyer’s remorse in Gaza?

Not just in Gaza I hope..

HotAirian on August 13, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Ah! the religion of peace, love and unicorns.

Ain’t Islam great

txdoc on August 13, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Clear you recent history and that should fix it. It happens when you’ve had an internet connection glitch in your network.

GADinSB on August 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

That did the trick thanks….I was started to have major withdrawal pains!

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Even with the denials, which Raghavan repeats for emphasis at the end of the article, it’s clear that Gazans want a change for some reason. And that reason is because they’ve concluded that being human shields is not any way to live life:

Automation has taken all th opportunity out of being a professional human shield.

I don’t see that anything is resolved if this negotiated ceasefire follows the others and only boils down to Hamas getting something in exchange for not firing missiles. And this is about the time when it has happened before- when Hamas has pretty much expended its stockpiles of missiles and needs to re-arm.

Happy Nomad on August 13, 2014 at 1:44 PM

I saw a guy on Hannity last night claim that Gaza is occupied because Israel controls all the borders. Are liberals really too stupid to know that Gaza shares a border with Egypt? Are they really too stupid to understand that Gaza is free to import anything that isn’t a weapon via the Mediterranean?

corkie on August 13, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I thought this was going to be about Dear Leader…..

d1carter on August 13, 2014 at 1:46 PM

“All the people are whispering, ‘Why didn’t Hamas accept the Egyptian initiative in the beginning of the war when the casualties were still low?’ ”

Because that would not serve the Devil worshippers’ purpose, which is the same as that of their god.

Fenris on August 13, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I saw a guy on Hannity last night claim that Gaza is occupied because Israel controls all the borders. Are liberals really too stupid to know that Gaza shares a border with Egypt? Are they really too stupid to understand that Gaza is free to import anything that isn’t a weapon via the Mediterranean?

corkie on August 13, 2014 at 1:45 PM

The answer to both of your questions is an unqualified “yes”.

Bitter Clinger on August 13, 2014 at 1:48 PM

“All the people are whispering, ‘Why didn’t Hamas accept the Egyptian initiative in the beginning of the war when the casualties were still low?’ ” said Hani Habib, a Palestinian journalist and political analyst.

Because the Gazans are muslims first.

Dying in an effort to wipe out Jews is a very high honor.

nobar on August 13, 2014 at 1:49 PM

…Are liberals really too stupid to know that Gaza shares a border with Egypt?

corkie on August 13, 2014 at 1:45 PM

It’s been decades since reality has had any effect on what leftists think.

Fenris on August 13, 2014 at 1:50 PM

No whining

cmsinaz on August 13, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Elections has consequences.

Gazans have bombed-out buildings.

Americans have a bombed-out health insurance system.

s1im on August 13, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Most Palestinians, even Hamas’s biggest detractors, say they back the current war against Israel, believing it is the only way to achieve the short-term Palestinian demands of lifting the Israeli and Egyptian economic blockades of Gaza and opening the strip’s border crossings.

That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. How does provoking Israel encourage them to trust you more? These guys are their own worst enemies.

Perhaps they don’t accuse Hamas of using them as human shields for the same reason many of them won’t speak out against Hamas openly. Hamas isn’t exactly a model of political tolerance, after all. The ruling group confirmed last week that it had executed so-called “collaborators,” after multiple reports that protestors against Hamas had been murdered for their activism. Hamas has also executed dozens of tunnel workers in an effort to keep intelligence on their underground systems from reaching the IDF.

Some people criticize Israel by calling Gaza an “open-air prison”, but this shows you who the real wardens are. Unfortunately for the Palestinians, they voted in tyrants to rule over them. I sympathize for the brave ones who now speak against Hamas.

LancerDL on August 13, 2014 at 1:59 PM

I’m confused. So Hamas is NOT a humanitarian organization???

redzap on August 13, 2014 at 2:02 PM

People get the government they deserve. Seeing as Palestinians are born with “I’m #$% STUPID!” on their foreheads, it will probably take them another 50 years to figure things out.

GarandFan on August 13, 2014 at 2:02 PM

The Palestinians voted for Hamas, they knew what they would get and are getting what they asked for, death in scads.

Rode Werk on August 13, 2014 at 2:04 PM

In this latest edition of the Gaza war, more than 1900 Palestinians have died, and many more rendered homeless by the destruction created by Hamas’ war of choice.

The 1,900 figure is bullshit Hamas propaganda, generated by the Hamas-controlled Department of Health. UN-provided death tolls are given to the UN by Hamas and not questioned.

Why do we accept this propaganda from a terrorist organization without question?

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2014 at 2:07 PM

that isn’t a weapon via the Mediterranean?

corkie on August 13, 2014 at 1:45 PM

shhh they don’t want anyone to know.

CW on August 13, 2014 at 2:12 PM

The people in Gaza will have to get rid of Hamas the old fashioned way – Kill them…..

Soon Hamas will figure the gig is up and will flee to ISIS.

redguy on August 13, 2014 at 2:13 PM

The reason for that is Israel builds systems to protect its civilians from Hamas’ attacks. Hamas builds its systems in residential areas to use civilians to protect Hamas from Israel’s attacks.

As Netanyahu said: “The difference between Israel and Hamas is that we use rockets to protect our people while they use their people to protect their rockets”.

The IDF should drop about a billion leaflets with this quote in Arabic across all of Gaza.

jbspry on August 13, 2014 at 2:22 PM

The Palestinians hate Jews more than they dislike Hamas. This is a war of attrition and the survival of Israel. Israel. Stay. The. Course.

vnvet on August 13, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Clear you recent history and that should fix it. It happens when you’ve had an internet connection glitch in your network.

GADinSB on August 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

.
That did the trick thanks….I was started to have major withdrawal pains!

fbcmusicman on August 13, 2014 at 1:43 PM

.
Bookmarks/Favorites do occasionally become corrupt.

In that event, delete the individual bookmark and re-create it.

listens2glenn on August 13, 2014 at 2:27 PM

I’m so sick of this “Palestinians elected Hamas” meme, used by their supporters to legitimize their rule and by their detractors to delegitimize all Palestinians. Hamas won a slim plurality of votes in a legislative election over eight years ago, mainly as a protest vote against PLO corruption. They never got a majority of votes, won the presidency, or won reelection, so calling them “elected” only furthers their deceptive propaganda.

calbear on August 13, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I’m so sick of this “Palestinians elected Hamas” meme, used by their supporters to legitimize their rule and by their detractors to delegitimize all Palestinians. Hamas won a slim plurality of votes in a legislative election over eight years ago, mainly as a protest vote against PLO corruption. They never got a majority of votes, won the presidency, or won reelection, so calling them “elected” only furthers their deceptive propaganda.

calbear on August 13, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Yeah, because if they had elected the PLO then everything would be sweetness and light.

Fenris on August 13, 2014 at 2:30 PM

I’m so sick of this “Palestinians elected Hamas” meme, used by their supporters to legitimize their rule and by their detractors to delegitimize all Palestinians. Hamas won a slim plurality of votes in a legislative election over eight years ago, mainly as a protest vote against PLO corruption. They never got a majority of votes, won the presidency, or won reelection, so calling them “elected” only furthers their deceptive propaganda.

calbear on August 13, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Hamas got a higher percentage of the vote than Bill Clinton did in 1992.

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2014 at 2:36 PM

People get the government they deserve. Seeing as Palestinians are born with “I’m #$% STUPID!” on their foreheads, it will probably take them another 50 years to figure things out.

GarandFan on August 13, 2014 at 2:02 PM

FIFTY? You’re an optimist.

aunursa on August 13, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Hamas got a higher percentage of the vote than Bill Clinton did in 1992.

That was a Presidential election, though, and, anyway, if he still ran the country now, I wouldn’t call it a democracy.

calbear on August 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM

There are a lot of voluntary human shields in gaza. If they have buyer’s remorse, it’s probably due to the fact Hamas is losing:

“They should have accepted the cease-fire,” said Hathem Mena, 55, a teacher, referring to Hamas and other Palestinian militants. “It would have stopped the bloodshed. We are the ones affected by the war, our houses and our lives. The destruction is over on this side, not the Israeli side.

They would be perfectly happy to continue if the casualties were Israeli.

dogsoldier on August 13, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Buyer’s remorse in Gaza?

They have nothing on us. We elected Obama twice.

Oldnuke on August 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM

No doubt any opposition to Hamas will be interpreted as “unIslamic”, followed by charges of collaboration with Israel. A swift extra-judicial carrying out of “justice” will ensue. Thus, all opposition will be silenced.

This is the same dynamic that has animated Islam itself for 14 centuries now. Whatever doesn’t comply with the elements in power is deemed as apostate and worthy of death. This is why Islam has never reformed, and indeed cannot until either outside influence prevails or somehow a critical mass arise from within.

The good news is that even in this hellish dynamic, many Muslims are coming to the Lord, aided by satellite transmission, personal witnessing, and miraculous dreams and visions of the Lord.

paul1149 on August 13, 2014 at 3:31 PM

The Palestinians hate Jews more than they dislike Hamas. This is a war of attrition and the survival of Israel. Israel. Stay. The. Course.

vnvet on August 13, 2014 at 2:23 PM

I think it was Netanyahu that said the Palestinians hate Jews more than they love their children.

Oldnuke on August 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Ed, you hit the nail on the head. This is what I’ve been saying all along…the crisis in Gaza will, if unabated, lead to the ouster of Hamas. The people in Gaza should feel like this conflict is pointless and is in vain. If they come to that conclusion, and realize that silence will mean their death anyways, then perhaps they will have the courage to speak out and force a regime change.

ConservOvrGOP on August 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

As Netanyahu said: “The difference between Israel and Hamas is that we use rockets to protect our people while they use their people to protect their rockets”.

The IDF should drop about a billion leaflets with this quote in Arabic across all of Gaza.

jbspry on August 13, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Why?

I think it was Netanyahu that said the Palestinians hate Jews more than they love their children.

Oldnuke on August 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Netanmyahu is right fin both instances. Israel protects people, Hamas protect weapons. The Palestinians hate Israel more than they love their own families. The people of Gaza will not get rid of Hamas to save themselves because they hate the Jews more than they love themselves.

talking_mouse on August 13, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

- HL Mencken

307wolverine on August 13, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Hamas got a higher percentage of the vote than Bill Clinton did in 1992.

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2014 at 2:36 PM

That was a Presidential election, though, and, anyway, if he still ran the country now, I wouldn’t call it a democracy.

calbear on August 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM

So perhaps you should revise your talking point to “Gaza is overdue for a new election”.

slickwillie2001 on August 13, 2014 at 5:27 PM

A ton of crap is broken in gaza, thats for sure.

Everone is frustrated and mad, some at hamas local leaders, some at hamas remote leaders, some at fata, some at each other, some at collaberators, some at the other factions, many at the UN, most at the US, all at Jews.

I think you mistaken AP, there is no remorse except at not being as good at killing as they’d like to be. There will be no demilitarization or remorse for those who tie 5 year olds to fences as sheilds and then fire rockets from next to them.

Now is the time to settle internal scores for most of them. Maybe a more moderate junta will form and will murder the current jihadis allowing another stretch of relative quiet, or more likely they will just kill each other for appearing remorseful at a faster pace than israelis.

IMO we need Dresden.2

Rea1ityCheck on August 13, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Now is the time to settle internal scores for most of them. Maybe a more moderate junta will form and will murder the current jihadis allowing another stretch of relative quiet, or more likely they will just kill each other for appearing remorseful at a faster pace than israelis.

Rea1ityCheck on August 13, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Palley killing Palley is good news.

307wolverine on August 13, 2014 at 8:37 PM

The only way to fix this is for Israel to absolutely level Gaza if more rockets come from Hamas. Then eliminate Gaza as an entity and take it back into Israel with a forced evacuation of the Palestinians there to the West Bank.

The “Palestinians” led by Hamas (who got more votes than anyone else in the last election in which everyone participated by the way) hate the Jews and have not felt enough pain yet to decide to try and make a new life in their own state. Arab leaders sold them out in the late 40s as Israel was being reformed, the picked the wrong horse. Deal with the fact that decisions have consequences. If you are unwilling to learn, then death is your only recourse. Israel needs to try and get the Gazans to learn that lesson.

Fights get resolved when someone loses – and loses big.

Zomcon JEM on August 14, 2014 at 8:21 AM