Fatah groups loyal to President Abbas escalated the situation in Gaza by openly using prayer meetings in order to protest the rule of Hamas. In retaliation, Hamas banned open prayer meetings which ‘went beyond the aims of prayer and they were used for the purpose of chaos, strife, rioting and practicising terrorism.” Fatah members of Gaza’s firefighting group went on strike. Deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyah called for Arab or international mediation to resolve the situation.
If there were intelligent leaders of our government, now is the perfect time to offer mediation and assure Hamas that American welcomes their participation in governing Palestine. Such a bold move would politically engage Hamas and make them part of the establishment and thus anxious for peace rather than strife. Hamas is confronted with the realities of governing an area and learning it is easier to be on the outside shouting than dealing with day by day governing issues.