Khaled Abu Toameh writes it may be that attacks on Israel are only means Hamas has to bolster its position, given the growing threat of protests:
Mortar attacks are aimed at dragging Israel into a military offensive that is needed by Hamas to rally the Palestinian public behind it.The problem started last week when Hamas undercover police attacked thousands of demonstrators who came out in response to a rally for Palestinian unity coordinated on Facebook--about 50 demonstrators were injured as well as eight local journalists.
The mortar attacks on Israel over the weekend were designed to divert attention from Hamas’s growing problems inside the Gaza Strip. The Hamas leadership has been under heavy pressure as a result of mass demonstrations in the Gaza Strip demanding an end to the Hamas-Fatah dispute.
After failing to prevent the protests, Hamas authorities began cracking down on the organizers, political foes and journalists.
Then on Saturday, Hamas directly targeted journalists, raided their offices and confiscated their equipment. In the process, three Palestinian journalists were beaten.
Hamas clearly wants to prevent coverage of the protests in Gaza.
That brings us back to the rockets fired into Israel from Gaza--which Hamas made a point of claiming responsibility for instead of blaming other groups 'beyond their control'. Another IDF operation in Gaza is just the thing for Hamas to divert the attention of Gazans away from the protests, and the unrest behind them, onto the more convenient target: Israel.
By the same token, after Operation Cast Lead and the way Hamas ran and hid--leaving Gazans vulnerable--the Hamas reputation took a hit. Is that really what they are willing to do rather than deal with the protests?
Technorati Tag: Gaza and Hamas.