Hamas afraid of Right-wing government?

Posted: March 14, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Politics
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Hamas terror academy: "When firing your weapons at the Zionist enemy, always make sure you are protected behind shelter".

Islamic Jihad whines this evening that Hamas has arrested ten of its men, one of them a senior commander in the Strip, and nine of the men were forced to sign agreements saying they won’t fire rockets at Israeli cities and towns.

The Hamas government in Gaza reportedly arrested 10 al-Quds Brigades gunmen recently for allegedly firing rockets at Israel, a senior Islamic Jihad source told Ynet on Monday.

According to the source, the men were arrested in the southern area of the Gaza Strip, near the town of Khan Younis. Among the detainees was a senior Jihad field commander. The latter, the source added, remains the only one in Hamas’ custody, as the other nine were released, but only after they were abused and coerced into signing a statement declaring they would stop firing rockets at Israel.

While this step by Hamas will obviously be translated as a way to pragmatism by international media, it is important to understand that besides the obvious peace-loving nature of Hamas, other factors might be in play. For example, Hamas might be expecting the soon-to-come Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which consists of quite a few “hawks”, like Avigdor Lieberman, Moshe Yaalon, Uzi Landau and a few others. Hamas might readily believe that these “warmongers” will be ready to re-start the Gaza operation, and this time they would finish it.

Another possible reason is Hamas hurrying up to finish the Israel-Hamas deal on Gilad Shalit, and cessation of rocket fire on Israel would possibly be viewed as a “gesture of good will” by the weak, soon-to-leave Israeli government, prompting PM Ehud Olmert to act quicker to release Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prison system.

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