Friday, June 16, 2006

Hamas offers, then rejects, renewed truce with Israel

You read that right.

What actually happened is that the Hamas-led Palestinian government offered to restore the truce. But later Hamas militants rejected the idea, saying it did not speak for Hamas-the-movement.

I think the Palestinians are now learning the frustrations of dealing with an organization that has a growing separation between its political and military wings, just like the Irish endured with the IRA and Sinn Fein. People always suspected Sinn Fein was colluding with the military wing, but in the end it turned out that Sinn Fein didn't exert as much control over the military side as people thought. That made ending the conflict in Northern Ireland more difficult, since Sinn Fein couldn't guarantee it could deliver on its agreements.

Let's hope that doesn't foreshadow events in Palestine.

Meanwhile, as if to demonstrate how surreal the Palestine/Israel relationship can be, we get this story from the Washington Post:

Israel is unlikely to target Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh despite recent threats to kill leaders of Hamas if the Islamic group resumes suicide bombings, a senior Israeli defense official said on Friday.

This undoubtedly makes Palestinian legislators a bit more willing to attend Haniyeh's next parliamentary address....

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