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Guns For Hire In Gaza: Entrepreneurial Spirit of Jihad

While Gaza sinks fast into the Wild West of the Middle East, a Reuters report is interesting mostly for the question it fails to overtly raise.

They call themselves the "Executive Force" of the Hamas-led government. Rivals prefer "Black Militia" or "Peshmerga" -- a word that literally means "those who face death" but is used by some Gazans for a gun-for-hire.

In the increasingly lawless Palestinian strip, Hamas' force has nearly doubled in size in five months -- its answer to chaos in Gaza and efforts by President Mahmoud Abbas to consolidate security control and expand his presidential guard.

The Hamas-led force says it has grown to 5,600 men, up from 3,000 in May when it was created over Abbas's objections.

The Fatah demonstrations-turned-riots were in protest to unpaid wages since Hamas was elected into power and the West cut off aid, a situation exacerbated by recent Hamas refusal to recognize Israel, thus extending the aid cutoff.

It is within this economic context that the "Executive Force" needs to be considered.

The question - which regular ThreatsWatch readers will recognize as rhetorical - that must be asked is: Where is Hamas finding funds to pay their mercenaries while the PA's own official security forces work without wages remitted?

The article fails to ask this question or to seek the hardly concealed answer, choosing rather to dismiss the source of funding as seemingly nameless, faceless 'smuggling' rather than terrorist funding.

The answer to the question unasked represents the proverbial 'Keys to the Kingdom' as Palestinian civilians find themselves seemingly eternal pawns in a conflict fueled by others more than themselves.

In Gaza - with an invisible government and a non-existent economy - the one business that pays is terrorism. In this respect, Hamas is Gaza's corporate leader. Employment opportunities abound are driven by outside entrepreneurs of terror, investors in the conflicts of others.

2 Comments

maybe from the same place that the money for hamas schools, charities and hospitals came from for decades.

people who are interested in palestinian suffering imposed by an occupation 11 times longer than the occupation of nazi germany?

which probably has been diverted from those aformention schools, hospitals and charities to worsen conditions for the palestinians further deepening the polarization between the US and the middle east.

have fun!

Andrew,

In essence you are correct in that the funds are likely, at least in part, from the same sources.

Where I fear you've gone astray is in the implication that those funds are a sign of some sympathy for the Palestinian people. Just as you are wrong to compare the Palestinian situation with that of the Jews under Nazi Germany.

Arab states and, unfortunately, Islamic charities have focused on exploiting the Palestinian people rather than truly assisting them. They are now a cause célèbre (after having been the cause célèbre for decades) for those who favor ideological and religious views in opposition to the West and to Israel.

Given the amount of aid Israel provides the territories, their recent unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, and more significantly their continued attempts to find a negotiated settlement to end the conflict - it should be apparent that the exploitation of the Palestinian people isn't the business of Israel. It is the business of other states, charities and NGO's.