Hamas and Fear of a US-Sponsored Coup
Jonathan Steele writes in The Guardian:
Washington’s fingerprints are all over the chaos that has hit Palestinians. The last thing they now need is an envoy called Blair.
Did they jump or were they pushed? Was Hamas’s seizure of Fatah security offices in Gaza unprovoked, or a pre-emptive strike to forestall a coup by Fatah? After last week’s turmoil, it becomes increasingly important to uncover its origins.
The fundamental cause is, of course, well known. Israel, aided by the US, was not prepared to accept Hamas’s victory in last year’s Palestinian elections. Backed by a supine EU, the two governments decided to boycott their new Palestinian counterparts politically and punish Palestinian voters by blocking economic aid. Their policies had a dramatic effect, turning Gaza even more starkly into an open prison and creating human misery on a massive scale. The aim was to turn voters against Hamas – a strategy of stupidity as well as cynicism, since outside pressure usually produces resistance rather than surrender.