Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Gaza Invaders - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

What is happening in Gaza today is political immorality in the real sense of the word on the part of both Hamas and Fatah. People are taken from their homes, killed and thrown to the street. Others are thrown off high-rise buildings alive. Hamas is busy talking about “traitors” and Abu Mazen is warning against a “collapse.” What treason and what collapse could be worse than what we are seeing in Gaza today?

The death toll on both sides is well above fifty. Fighting has even reached hospitals for example in Beit Hanoun Hospital. On account of the dangerous situation, humanitarian organizations ceased to provide aid, describing what is taking place as “war crimes.”

Just think about one atrocity committed in Gaza, which was the killing of Mohammed Sweirki. With his hands and legs tied, the 28-year-old cook for the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, was thrown off the roof of a 15-storey building.

How did that happen? Why? Time and again we stated that Hamas is not a government and will never be. An elected government would not violate the same election rules that bought it to power. Ideologically governed, the religious current Hamas does not comply with what a politician ought to comply that is giving priority to the interests of the nation rather than ideology and foreign associations. Hamas has not come to give hope but to declare jihad. Against whom? Fatah!

An elected authority should serve the people with permission from the people. It is neither a master of the people nor a speaker on behalf of God. An elected prime minister should speak to the people at government headquarters through specific mechanisms rather than at mosques during Friday sermons. He who delivers a sermon in the name of God should not break his promises that were made near the holy Kaaba [in Mecca].

What is sad is that both parties accuse one another of treason and conspiring. Is there greater treason than what is taking place in Gaza? No mediation whatsoever can bring the bloodshed to an end. The Palestinian leaders themselves are reckless with Palestinian lives.

Those who seek solutions (that will be very costly) need to avoid wasting time by calming the situation. They must aim directly at major solutions. What is happening in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon (whose government has been experiencing trouble from last summer’s war to the current war of protestors) is only part of the bigger picture that we see in Gaza. We cannot isolate one part in favor of another.

The hand that dictates is one, the party that finances is one and the protector is one despite that the victims are numerous and diverse.

Radical solutions are necessary, from draining the financial sources and armament to putting an end to destructive foreign interference. Hamas needs to understand that it must choose between acting like a militia or a government that is responsible for the nation and the people. It has to exercise self-restraint and shun armament and the discourse of distrust or quit political activity and adopt the tafkir policy [denouncing others as infidels] from afar instead of the policy of destruction from within.

The problem with our Arab world, particularly concerning the Palestinian issue, is that it avoids calling things by their names. If those who turned the issue into one of blame and violence had been confronted, we would not have found ourselves in this situation and would not have lost all those years, money and lives. It is deplorable to spend all this time and effort talking about the inter-Palestinian fighting rather than the Israeli-Palestinian fighting!

It remains to say that the blazing fire in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon today is a clear message that must have reached those who are concerned in the Arab world!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

More Posts