A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
June 20, 2007 Abu Mazen Speaks Out Against Hamas
Abu Mazen spoke today for the first time. He called the actions of Hamas criminal and called for a total cut-off of any contact with the Hamas government in Gaza. Abu Mazen stated in his speech that this was not a politcal fight between Hamas and Fatah, but instead a fight between those who believe in civilization and those who believe in extremism and death.
The goal of Fatah and Israel seem the same, pressure Hamas enough and it will collapse in Gaza. The problem is how to pressure them without creating a true humanitarian crisis. A humanitarian crisis is imminent. It will be a mere matter of weeks until Gaza runs out of all basic material.
Meanwhile even the most basic contacts with Gaza seem impossible. Hamas will not speak to directly to Israel, and without the Fatah as intermediaries they are in an impossible position. Barak took his first public actions as Defense Minister today and ordered the transfer of all wounded or sick Palestinians to Israeli hospitals.
There seems to be very little sympathy for Gazans in the West Bank. Numerous interviews with West Bankers on Israel TV showed them saying that they did not want any of the Palestinians from Gaza to come to the West Bank. They feared that the Gazan's would lower the standard
of living in the West Bank. Then, if West Bank incomes went down Hamas would have a better chance of gaining control there as well.
Today a statistic was published that clearly explains the difference between the West Bank and Gaza. In Gaza 79% of the people are unemployed, while in the West
Bank the unemployment rate is 39%.
Of those who work in Gaza 15% workfor the Palestinian Authority, while in the West Bank 44% work for the Authority.
A new poll of Israelis shows that while Olmert's popularity is not rising, most of the country is happy to have Barak as Defense Minister. When asked are you happy with the job that Prime Minister
Olmert is doing... 14% said yes... while 70% said no. When asked if
they were happy that Barak was now Defense Minister... 53% said yes while 34% said no.