RealNews

Israel's Big Stick Boosts Popularity Of Hamas Foe

Ask Palestinians why Hamas militants are eclipsing the Palestinian Authority’s popular appeal in the Gaza Strip these days and their answer is swift: Hamas strikes fear in Israel, the Authority does not. After Israeli helicopter strikes on Gaza City last week killed more Palestinian civilians than militants, battering a new U.S.-backed peace plan that the Palestinian establishment approved, the only winner was Hamas’s rejectionist agenda. Sworn not only to ousting Israel from occupied Gaza and West Bank terrain but to destroying Israel itself, Hamas and its smaller ally Islamic Jihad together now outstrip the mainstream Fatah faction running the Authority in opinion polls. Hisham, 13, is one of many young aspiring volunteers for Hamas suicide bombing missions that have killed scores of Israelis since militant groups launched an uprising in 2000. “Why? Hamas is a fearful name to the Jews,” he said outside a mosque in Jabalya, one of the sprawling, cinder-block refugee camps that house the majority of Gaza’s 1.2 million Palestinians and resonate with bitterness on which Hamas thrives. Full Story

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