Thursday, June 28, 2007
Israel finally puts the squeeze on Hamas
This morning, Israel rejected an offer from Hamas that would have reopened the Karni crossing, through which exports pass from Gaza, in return for a promise not to carry out terror attacks at Karni and an agreement to 'negotiate' over the suspension of Kassam fire. Israel would have been able to station whatever troops it wanted at the Karni crossing - presumably those of 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen would have been used. 'Humanitarian' aid continues to enter Gaza through the Kerem Shalom and Sufa crossings in any event.
According to a defense official, the offer was not practical and Israel did not intend to strengthen the Hamas government in the Strip.The official said that there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza and that goods were being transferred through the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings on a daily basis.Haniyeh's government, claimed the official, was not asking to alleviate the Palestinians' distress but rather bring prosperity and welfare to Gaza - possible only through reopening the Karni Crossing. There are two keys here. One is that Hamas is in distress and apparently realizes that it cannot continue like this in the long term. The other is that Israel actually put the squeeze on for a change. But don't worry. Either they will reach an arrangement with Fatah or Olmert will let up on them eventually.
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 1:01 PM