June 16, 2007

Hamas Takeover in Gaza Makes Defining Targets Easier for IDF

The silver lining in the Hamas cloud over Israel. From Hamas Takeover in Gaza Makes Defining Targets Easier for IDF:

Some Israeli defense officials said there was reason to be thankful for Hamas' takeover of Gaza. Prior to this, Israel had to distinguish between Fatah and Hamas gunmen in Gaza and make sure that Abbas loyalists were not targeted. Now, all gunmen are Hamas and therefore fair game. "The bank of targets has grown tremendously with Hamas' takeover," explained one official involved in planning policy in Gaza. "Hamas is a clear and defined enemy, and that means that when we decide to respond it will be easier than before, since all their buildings are now targets, as is anyone walking around with a weapon."

Hamas operatives man roadblocks throughout Gaza with laptops that contain lists of Fatah officials, supporters and families. Anyone found on the list is either executed or severely beaten. Hamas' brutality was demonstrated on Wednesday when it raided Shati in central Gaza and rounded up female members of the Baker clan, known Fatah supporters. Hamas gunmen executed three of them, aged 13, 19 and 75.

Regarding proposals to send a multinational force into Gaza, the assumption in Israel's defense establishment is that no European country would be willing to send troops unless Hamas supported the idea.