Ignoring Gaza's Suffering, Hamas Girds for War

(Washington Post) Editorial - The Washington Post's William Booth witnessed a chilling event in Gaza on Thursday: thousands of youths lined up "in crisp military fashion" for a "graduation ceremony" after a week of training by the armed wing of the Hamas movement. Even as thousands of Gazan families struggle to survive amid the rubble of last summer's war with Israel, Hamas is once again investing its resources in preparing for another unwinnable battle. This Islamic terrorist movement has started three wars with Israel in six years while depriving the 1.8 million people on its devastated territory any hope of peaceful development. After last year's war, the U.S. and Egypt pressed a formula under which the PA would take over responsibility for security on Gaza's border, allowing for an expansion of trade and humanitarian relief. The deal never took hold. Hamas refused to give up its checkpoints on the border, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chose to focus his energies on another empty diplomatic offensive at the UN rather than the more difficult work of restoring order in Gaza. UN officials, like much of the rest of the world, are quick to blame Israel for Gaza's horrific situation, even though Egypt's border "blockade" is tighter. Israel, however, can hardly be expected to facilitate Hamas' relentless preparations for more war, to which concrete and other reconstruction materials have been diverted in the past. An Israeli official told Booth that Gazan workshops were "assembling new rockets as fast as they can" and that the Strip's militias would be fully rearmed and trained within months.

2015-02-03 00:00:00

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