One of the most difficult aspects of bridging the gap of trust between Israelis and Palestinians is the presence of militant groups in both camps. West Bank settlers attack innocent Palestinians, destroy their crops and constantly seek to expand their housing. Yesterday, a small group of men approached the boundary of Gaza and attempted to plant explosives. They had several horses laden with explosives which somehow they planned to get into Israel and use in a terror attack. Israeli border guards spotted the men and killed them. Within a few hours a group which identified itself as the Soldiers of the Companions of God claimed responsibility for the attack. Hamas then praised the fallen men as martyrs.
The ironic aspect of this minor incident is that Hamas has been quiet and has avoided resorting to violence during the past few months. It would appear in their self interest to condemn these small groups who only cause more problems for those who seek to establish stability and peace in the region.