Over at the Guardian, Jonathan Steele claims that Hamas’s seizure of control of the Gaza Strip was aimed a pre-empting a Fatah-led, US-sponsored coup against it.
Steele presents Hamas as a victim of sinister US, Israeli and Fatah plotting all stemming from their refusal to accept Hamas’s election victory.
Hamas a victim? Who knows? There are no doubt elements of truth in Steele’s report. It certainly is true that the US and Israel overtly attempted to isolate and weaken Hamas. So I suppose it would be no surprise if they were also doing some things covertly.
Nevertheless, Steele completely fails to mention that this whole episode might have been avoided if Hamas had accepted, perhaps even tentatively, international demands that it reject terrorism, recognize Israel’s right to exist and abide by previous Palestinian agreements.
That might not have mollified Fatah, of course, or made it a more willing coallition partner. But it could potentially have deflected some international pressure onto Fatah to reform itself, reduce corruption and bring its security services into line.