Gaza Fighting Far From Popular Struggle
As an accompanying thought to go along with today's today's InBrief on Hamas-Fatah tensions, there is an article today in Haaretz titled 'Fatah expected to retaliate for Hamas attacks' that contains a very key observation deserving more attention.
Hamas today is more popular than Fatah on the Gaza streets, but its security control is extremely limited: Its government has failed to subordinate the security services. Fatah also has a clear numerical advantage in the Gaza Strip: It has some 30,000 militants, compared to Hamas' 3,000 to 5,000.
Although the struggles in Gaza are spreading and violent incidents occur daily, this is not a mass conflict. Incidents involve armed cells, not a populist struggle by thousands. The growing anarchy increases the concern of residents for their personal safety, which now comes before their concern over Israeli actions.
Often hesitant to use Haaretz beyond quoted figures within an article, this is an instance where there is no hesitation. The author is right on the money and ably and directly makes the point intended to be conveyed in today's InBrief when it concluded:
There is indeed “real danger ahead” of the Palestinian people, but that danger comes less in the form of Israeli tanks and airstrikes than it comes from angry clashes between Fatah and Hamas factions in the streets and neighborhoods throughout Gaza and, potentially soon, the West Bank as well.
The 'danger' and the Palestinain people are clearly not one and the same.