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Counter-Terrorism: Hamas Promises Crucifixion For Traitors
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December 26, 2008: Hamas, the Islamic radical group that controls the Gaza, has enacted a new law that allows for Islamic punishments for those who violate Sharia (Islamic law). This includes cutting off the hands of thieves, whipping those caught drinking alcohol, and crucifying traitors (the new law has a broad interpretation of treason).

In Gaza, Hamas has copied Hezbollah (with the help of Hezbollah advisors) and created a dictatorship dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Many, perhaps even a majority, of the 1.4 million Gaza Palestinians now oppose Hamas, but they keep quiet. Hamas police have crushed all the family based gangs that long dominated the Gaza economy. The gangs are still there, but mainly to make money, and not play at politics. Hundreds of tunnels from Egypt bring in mostly commercial goods (including live stock like calves and sheep to be slaughtered for the Moslem religious holidays), but also weapons (especially longer range rockets for the big attack on Israel). Hamas gets enough money and foreign food and medical aid to keep the population alive. Fatah is allowed to pay 70,000 civil servants in Gaza (for not working, and continuing to silently support Fatah). Hamas gets enough cash from Iran and Gulf Arab fans each month to pay salaries to 20,000 of its own supporters. Hamas also taxes the tunnel operations, and anyone making money. Thus Hamas survives, but does not thrive. Hamas is apparently planning to set up a separate Palestinian state, dedicated to terrorism and radicalism. Hamas is on a Mission From God, so logic and reality have little to do with their long range planning. There is some kind of plan, apparently involving Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

Many in Gaza do not care for Hamas attempts to set up a religious dictatorship, that includes lifestyle police (as in Saudi Arabia and Iran). Gazans also note that, while Israel allows enough supplies into prevent starvation or epidemics, Hamas controls the smuggling tunnels, which carry a lot of non-essential consumer goods, and Hamas taxes this trade heavily. So Hamas benefits from the Israeli blockade, which keeps out cheaper products. Hamas also tolerates competing terror groups in Gaza, because Hamas knows it can depend on these terrorists to help out if the more moderate Gazans try to rebel. In short, Hamas, once elected to power in Gaza, is never going to give up control. Gaza is, in effect, a religious dictatorship like Iran. And like Iran, Gaza is now dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

Hamas continues its feud with rival Fatah, which controls the West Bank. This extends to Hamas not allowing anyone from Gaza from going on the Hajj (the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia). Every Moslem nation has a deal with Saudi Arabia regarding how many may make the Hajj, and Saudi Arabia issues visas for the two million people allowed to visit. But Saudi Arabia is hostile to Hamas (which is backed by Iran, which in turn believes it, and not Saudi Arabia, should control the Moslem holy places in Mecca and Medina). So Saudi Arabia asked Fatah for a list of those from Gaza going on the Hajj, and ignored a list from Hamas. In response, Hamas refused to allow the Fatah approved pilgrims from leaving. Hamas also denied doing this, despite the many Palestinian and Egyptian witnesses to it.

Hamas seems to have painted itself into a corner. Unable to loosen up its Islamic radical view of the world, it feels compelled to get stricter, and more vicious, with real, or perceived, enemies. In short, Hamas believes it is better to be feared than loved. At least in Gaza. When word of its new laws reached the Western media, Hamas denied it. But in Gaza, the Arabic media made it clear that the new laws were very real, even if embarrassing when trying to explain it to the infidels.

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