Israeli excesses provoke Hamas

A short commentary by Fawaz A. Gerges is noteworthy mostly because it appears in USA Today. Whether we are witnessing the beginning of the Third Intifada seems like a pointless question to attempt to answer. Most likely, its beginning (if it occurs) will only become apparent after the fact.

Superficial observations in the Western news media that blame Hamas for the latest wave of violence ignore two important factors:

First, Israeli strangulation of Gaza through an air and land blockade in cooperation with Egypt have brought Palestinian frustrations to a boiling point.

The rocket attacks are a manifestation that Hamas feels cornered with its back to the wall. In fact, the attacks are probably the opening shots of a third Palestinian intifada.

Second, it is a fallacy to believe that the West Bank and Gaza are two separate entities. The bonds of Palestinian nationalism inextricably bind the two together, emotionally and politically.

Israeli excesses in the West Bank after the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens, especially the targeting and arrest of Hamas former prisoners in the West Bank, were bound to produce a reaction from Gaza.

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