Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Attacking Social Services

It's long been said that Hamas is popular because of its social services. Israel's defense establishment is now on the case:
"Israeli military officials have identified Hamas's civilian infrastructure in the West Bank as a major source of the Islamic group's popularity, and have begun raiding and shutting down these institutions in cities like Hebron, Nablus and Qalqilyah.

"Last week, troops focused their efforts in Nablus, raiding the city hall and confiscating computers. They also stormed into a shopping mall and posted closure notices on the shop windows. A girls' school and a medical centre were shut down in the city, and a charitable association had its computers impounded and documents seized.

"This policy, officials say, is meant to deny the Islamic group, which is committed to Israel's destruction, the ability to use these institutions as a pipeline by which money is channelled to finance attacks on the Jewish state. But the main goal of this campaign is to stem Hamas's growing popularity in the West Bank, and ensure it does not seize control of the area as it did in Gaza a year ago, when its forces vanquished the more moderate Fatah movement headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas...

"In recent months, the army has also closed down an orphanage, a bakery and other institutions in Hebron, which Israel believes are associated with Hamas. In Gaza, meanwhile, Israel and the Islamic group are observing a truce, but this does not pertain to the West Bank where the Israeli military operates freely."

Are they serious? Having Israel attack Hamas orphanages and medical centers is supposed to make Palestinians turn against Hamas?

(Crossposted to American Footprints)

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