|MAP Member Opinion "Peace"|
Response to Daniel Ayalon
Abbas knows that cracking down on Hamas could well lead to a civil war, which he must avoid at all costs. Hamas won several victories in local and municipal polls this year. It maintains a network of welfare centers. Hamas has honored cease fires as long as Israel has honored them. When, however, targeted assassinations, night raids and other military incursions occur, Hamas responds violently to Israel¹s violence. For comparison: in the four years of the current intifada, Israel killed about 4,000, including 400 children under 16; Hamas killed about 300. (Statistics by Ghazi Hamed, editor of al Risala, cited by Jonathan Steele.)
Furthermore Hamas accepted the Saudi Initiative adopted by the Arab League at its meeting in Beirut March 28, 2002, and re-affirmed in 2005. This proposal would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as all 22 nations of the Arab League offered peace and diplomatic relations with Israel in return for Israel¹s return to its June 4, 1967 borders, in implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. Israel rejected this offer.
Hamas is growing in popularity because the PA has not delivered. Life is no better now than before Oslo. Indeed, because of settlement expansion, the separation barrier, and destruction of numerous homes in Rafah to provide a buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt, life is much worse.
The Government of Israel bears considerable responsibility for Hamas'
growing popularity by not allowing Abbas to succeed in improving the lives
of Palestinians. So
many moves would help, including removing the internal
checkpoints; and releasing prisoners, as promised; stopping demolition
of homes and construction of the wall.
Florence Steichen, Retired Educator,