The Two Faces of Hamas
After last week’s announcement that US agencies are banned from contact with Hamas-Led Palestinian Authority agencies, Hamas’ new PA Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, sharply criticized the US decision and suggested that the United States give Hamas one full year before reaching such a policy decision. “Let them bear with us for a year,” he said.
He went further and stated that the United States is ironically violating it’s own purported support for democracy by breaking ties with the freely and fairly elected Hamas leadership. Meanwhile, the US will be maintaining contact with the Fatah leadership through PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
But Haniyeh’s pleas for Western patience might be better recieved were it not for abrasive comments like that offered by the Palestinian Authority’s new Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar, who said over the weekend, “I dream of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home which does not show Israel on it. I hope that our dream to have our independent state on all historic Palestine (will materialize).”
Couple that with the recent statistical disclosure from Israel revealing that fully 234 of the 713 terror-related arrests by the IDF in the first quarter of 2006 were members of Hamas, more than any other group from the Palestinian Territories. Said the source of the report data to Ynetnews, “That figure just shows that under the surface Hamas is involved in attacks, albeit not directly.”
Hamas’ open partnership with Iran, the world’s premiere State Sponsor of Terrorism, is a barometer revealing the choices Hamas is willing to make, and their refusal to acknowledge Israel or standing pre-Hamas agreements an equal indicator of the choices Hamas is not willing to make. They, and the people they represent – who indeed freely and fairly elected them into power – will have to endure the consequences of such choices.