As Middle Eastern leaders gathered in Washington to inaugurate a new round of Israeli-Palestinian talks, Hamas gunmen killed four Israeli settlers in their car outside the West Bank city of Hebron.The attack appeared to be an attempt to spark violence that could undermine the peace negotiations and was a stark reminder that the Islamist Hamas movement remains an important force in Palestinian politics, no matter how much either the Israelis or the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas wish they would go away.[image caption] Hamas supporters celebrate the shooting attack in the West Bank, in Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, on Aug. 31.
Dec. 21, 2001 (EIRNS)—In interviews with leading Italian publications, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat went into some detail regarding the genesis and operation of Hamas. To Corriere della Sera on Dec. 11, he said, "We are doing everything possible to stop the violence. But Hamas is a creature of Israel which, at the time of Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Shamir [the late 1980s, when Hamas arose], gave them money and more than 700 institutions, among them schools, universities and mosques. Even [former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin ended up admitting it, when I charged him with it, in the presence of [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak."
This disgusting attack and celebration of it were clearly intended to provoke conflict, and I think you can guess who I think is ultimately behind it. I find it difficult to believe that Palestinians in general would be proud of this "accomplishment." For one thing, they know that they will probably suffer at the hands of Israel as a result of it.