Sunday, December 16, 2012

16-Dec-12: Lies, Damned Lies and Rockets

What are children good for? The rocket-rich thugs of Hamas have an answer.  A Palestinian Arab child dressed in military garb carries a pretend missile as he shakes hands with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal during 25th anniversary rally marking the creation of the Hamas terrorist organization, Gaza City, December 8, 2012 [Image Source: Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters]    
Over at his blog, Challah Hu Akbar asks:
Thus far in December, there have been no rockets or mortars fired from Gaza into Israel. Will this be the first month in 5 plus years without a rocket or mortar being fired from Gaza into Israel?
He points out that we need to reach all the way back to 2007 for a month in which no rockets or mortars were fired into Israel from the armed-to-the-teeth Hamas enclave, the Gaza Strip.

Does this indicate better, safer times ahead? No, not if we consider the very latest opinion poll data released by the Ramallah-based Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD) yesterday.
For this survey, 1,200 Palestinians were interviewed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  All socioeconomic groups were represented in the poll... The margin of error in this poll is plus or minus 3 percent.
The findings that seem of greatest significance to us do not appear in AWRAD's own summary. You need to dig into the report itself to get to them. Referring to the November 2012 battles in and around Gaza:
  • Optimism is widespread [but] the majority of respondents do not believe that the results of the conflict will lead to real change on the ground. 50 percent believe that the confrontations in Gaza will not lead to real change in the affairs of Palestinians. 46 percent believe otherwise. 
  • 73 percent believe that the Palestinian cause has been advanced by the recent events.
  • 87 percent are optimistic that the conflict will lead to reconciliation and unity. [Between whom? Not stated.]
  • More respondents in the West Bank say they prefer the Hamas approach (42 percent) over the Fatah/Abbas approach (28 percent). In contrast, Gazans prefer... the Fatah/Abbas approach (40 percent) over the Hamas approach (37 percent). 
The kicker:
  • 88 percent believe that the results of the confrontation in Gaza prove that armed struggle is the best means of achieving Palestinian independence.
Bottom line: the chances that Gazan mortars and rockets are being withdrawn from service? Not so great.

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