The Shadow of Hamas

(Washington Post) Editorial - Hamas quickly claimed responsibility for two shooting attacks last week in which four Israelis were killed and two others wounded, and promised it was only the beginning of a campaign to disrupt the new negotiations. Middle East diplomacy regularly inspires such extremist violence. In Gaza, Hamas supporters held a demonstration to celebrate the murders. Those who supposed that the Islamic movement would quietly observe and even passively support the bargaining of Palestinian President Abbas with Mr. Netanyahu were brutally corrected. Violence by Hamas in the West Bank serves to underscore one of the central Israeli concerns about a peace settlement: that under Palestinian rule, the West Bank could become another base for attacks on Israel, as Gaza is. The only real counter to attacks such as those of last week is effective policing by Mr. Abbas' U.S.-mentored security forces. Palestinian police duly rounded up scores of Hamas operatives last week but quickly released them - reminding some of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's duplicitous response to acts of terrorism.

2010-09-08 09:04:40

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