Once again, the shrewd strategists of Hamas have played a blinder in the past few days, managing to wrong-foot the governments of both Israel and Egypt and manipulate the ever-obliging western media. First, Hamas bombards southern Israel with rockets and shells -- 220 in four days, the latest volley in the 4000-plus such rocket attacks since Israel disengaged from Gaza in 2005. Then, when Israel closes Gaza’s supply route from Israel in a desperate attempt to stop this relentless onslaught, Hamas shuts off Gaza’s electricity, claims that Israel is thus killing its old and sick and organises a candle-lit demonstration whose poignant images of winsome young faces illuminated in deep shadow are broadcast round the world, packing the emotional punch of an electronic Rembrandt. The resulting outcry by a so-called civilised world community that has resolutely refused even to report the rocket barrages (does anyone imagine that if any of those countries had been hit by 4000 rockets in two and a half years they would not have simply flattened the attackers making war upon them?) forces Israel to beat a hasty retreat and re-open the supply route.
Israel's swingeing blockade.And what’s this? Khaled Abu Toameh reports in the Jerusalem Post:
At least 90 Gazans, most of them women, were wounded by Egyptian border guards using tear gas, clubs, water cannons and live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators, who were protesting against the continued closure of the border crossing
Hamas, which took control of the coastal territory last June after a stand-off with Fatah, has denied that its men set off the explosions that brought down as much as two-thirds of the 12-km wall in the early hours. But a Hamas border guard interviewed by The Times at the border today admitted that the Islamist group was responsible and had been involved for months in slicing through the heavy metal wall using oxy-acetylene cutting torches…
The guard, Lieutenant Abu Usama of the Palestinian National Security, said of the cutting operation: ‘I've seen this happening over the last few months. It happened in the daytime but was covered up so that nobody would see.’ Asked whether he had reported it to the government, he replied: ‘It was the government that was doing this. Who would I report it to?’