Posted: 25 Jan 2007 11:29 AM CSTA report today in the Guardian says that Palestinians are beginning to tire of the civil war in the territories, and are getting angry at Hamas. The British paper covered a meeting between Haniyah, the Palestinian PM and Palestinian Newspaper Editor. These same Editors whose readers rushed out last year to put the terrorist organization in power are now questioning Hamas' rule.
One year on [after the election of Hamas], hopes for a significant change in their fortunes have for many Palestinians turned into disillusionment. Most questions at the meeting highlighted the deep and widespread anxiety that society was sliding into factional conflict.
The Editor's Questions showed their disillusionment
"If this civil war carries on it will destroy everything. Why don't we use the courts instead of killing people involved in killing?"
"Please step away from the problems between you and look to the Palestinians who are suffering now. It is causing chaos and insecurity."
Another said that Mr Haniyeh should put more effort into the struggling negotiations between Hamas and Fatah, to form a coalition with a political programme that might lift the economic boycott which Israel and the west had imposed after the formation of the Hamas government.
"Why don't the Palestinians speak with one voice and go to the world and ask for a state?" suggested another speaker. "We are paying the price of the differences among us."
The question now is how much Hamas is held responsible for the crisis of the past year. Ali Badwan, a Palestinian economist in Gaza, said Israel and the west were to blame, but that Hamas also bore some responsibility. "For me, after one year they have failed and they have to change and eliminate the mistakes they made before. They don't recognize the change from being a resistance movement to being in power ... and having to deal with the international community.
Raji Surani, a secular, leftist lawyer who runs the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, said he believed Hamas was ready to accept a Palestinian state on land occupied in 1967, and said it had been a mistake to boycott the government. But in the past month the possibilities offered by a new government have been losing ground to fears over the factional fighting that has taken hold on the streets of Gaza, he said.
"They have lost support from the grey area of voters. People tolerated the economic problems for a long time and didn't punish Hamas. But now they are scared to death. We can tolerate anything except this internal conflict.