January 27, 2006:
Hamas, with control of parliament, can now take over the Palestinian government. But Israel, and most of the countries that contribute aid money to keep the Palestinian state alive, have declared Hamas a terrorist organization and refused to deal with it. Hamas was founded for the purpose of destroying Israel and driving all Jews from the Middle East. Fatah, which founded the Palestinian state in the 1960s, declared, in its English pronouncements, that it wanted to make peace with Israel. But in Arabic, it spewed the same hate as Hamas. The UN, and those nations (mostly the U.S. and European) who gave money to keep the Palestinian state alive, ignored this dual message from Fatah. They have not ignored the unified message from Hamas. However, Hamas has observed the current truce with Israel. The recent terrorist attacks on Israel were carried out by a rogue (or not-so-rogue) faction of Fatah. Hamas has a chance to change course, but there are hard core terrorists in Hamas who will be against any compromise with the original goal of destroying Israel. The Hamas electoral victory may finally trigger the Palestinian civil war that Fatah has long feared.
January 26, 2006: Fatah has accepted that it lost the election, and is preparing to hand over the government to Hamas. However, it remains to be seen how the Fatah employees, especially those with guns, will react to being unemployed. One of the primary sources of jobs in Gaza and the West Bank has been the Palestinian Authority, which will now be run by Hamas. It is believed that Hamas will want to provide jobs for its supporters, and will take them away from Fatah supporters. In the past few months, there have been incidents of armed men demonstrating, and sometimes shooting, over jobs. Actually, it's not always real jobs that are at stake, just money. If you have a gun, and are willing to use it, you can just ask for a payment.
January 25, 2006: The Palestinian parliamentary elections produced an upset, as the Hamas terrorist organization won a majority (76) of the 132 seats. Hamas has been growing in popularity because its officials, while murderous towards Israelis and Moslems who oppose them, are honest in their dealings with Palestinians. The Fatah party, which has dominated Palestinian politics since the 1960s, has grown increasingly corrupt and unpopular. Fatah refused to form a government with Hamas, apparently believing Hamas would make a mess of governing, and enable Fatah to make a comeback.
January 21, 2006: Palestinian terrorists continue to try, without much success, to plant mines and roadside bombs on roads Israeli military patrols use in northern Gaza.