"Washington politicians take note: Gaza is what can happen when you precipitously pull your military forces out of a Middle Eastern war zone without making sure there is in place a truly democratic government and adequately trained and armed security forces capable of insuring law and order."--Joel Rosenberg
"Hamastan is here, Welcome to Hell"--Israeli Press
I've learned a lot the past couple of days as I have tried to wrap my brain around what is going on in Gaza. I'm sure most bloggers are very familiar with Israel and Palestinian issues but for those (like me) who initially didn't have a clue what was going on, here is a crash course.
Gaza--A 25 mile strip of land with a population of 1.4 million people
Lands that Palestinians occupy--Gaza and The West Bank
Hamas--Recognized Terrorist organization supported by Iran and Syria
Fatah--Supposed to be a more moderate Palestinian group backed by the Western World but some argue it is also a terrorist group that just pretends to acknowledge Israel, was started by Yasser Arafat (who publicly would denounce suicide bombers but was known to secretly support them)
Palestinian President--Mahmud Abbas (member of Fatah)
2006 elections--Members of Hamas were elected to the Palestinian government which thus gave a known terrorist organization shared power with Fatah.
Civil War--Between Hamas and Fatah for control of Gaza, which fell within a few days to Hamas
When did the Civil War start?--Acts of violence started escalating on Sunday, June 10th.
Control--Hamas now controls the Gaza strip and Fatah controls the West Bank
Killed--At least 113 Palestinians have been killed so far in the bloodshed
Gang-style executions--Carried out by masked Hamas against Fatah and PA security forces in front of their wives and children
Fleeing--Many Palestinians, especially members of Fatah have tried to flee from Gaza knowing their lives are at risk but Gaza has been sealed off
International Embargo--After Hamas took control of part of the Palestinian government an embargo was placed on aid to the Palestinian people. The embargo may be lifted against the West Bank since Hamas will no longer be in the government there.
Whose fault is all of this?--According to our very own Boston Globe, Israel. It is unfathomable to me how 2 Palestinian groups at war with each other could be Israel's fault but it is like everything here, somehow no matter what happens everything is George W. Bush's fault.
Israel's response--Plans are already being made to take out Hamas in Gaza.
Bibi Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky warned in 2005 that it wasn't a good idea for Israel to take troops out of Gaza. They had argued that it would show weakness and surrender, I think they have been proven right. I'm not sure what the solution is to this mess now but Joel Rosenberg concludes his excellent post with these 2 thoughts:
"1) Iran's efforts to surround Israel and prepare to "wipe Israel off the map" has just been significantly advanced and thus the prospect for a full-blown war in the Middle East this summer or fall now seems more likely, not less; and 2) U.S. politicians had better think twice about a precipitous withdrawal of American military forces in Iraq before the Iraqis are ready unless they want a repeat of the nightmare now unfolding in Gaza."
Meanwhile, Mr. Insanity aka Jimmy Carter supports the terrorist group Hamas. This man knows absolutely no shame.
**I wrote this post several days ago in preparation for the radio show and then of course, never even got to it. Since I wrote this more has happened. Joel Rosenberg has this update at his blog.
Also, Shoprat points out in this post how now that Hamas has control of Gaza they are persecuting Christians as well.