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But not in the way that the usual anti-Israel crowd think.

Israel([search]) is blamed for the fratricide in Gaza([search]) - The thinking goes that because the population in Gaza is living under horrendous circumstances it is only natural that they are dysfunctional and take violence as an acceptable political and social mechanism. If only Israel had not repressed them, they assuredly would have created a progressive social paradise. And only Israel benefits. QED.

Glib and pat.

Except that it is horse-puckey.

When Israel still occupied Gaza, the locals at least had the pretence of common cause and a common enemy to keep them semi-united. Firing rockets at Israeli towns could be propagandized as resistance to the occupiers, and would be excused by the Europeans as a regrettable but understandable response to the untenable conditions (and after all, it wasn't civilized Europeans reacting to other civilized Europeans, but noble savages against evil imperialists).

But by withdrawing, Israel left them nothing but each other.

Fatah, still diplomatically committed to talking to the civilized world, could not officially approve of acts of terror, even though their newsmedia would still laud Israeli deaths to the local readership.
Hamas, not being bound by any such constraints, could cheerfully continue smuggling weapons, plotting murder, and shooting rockets at the civilians on the other side.
The rogue elements that both Fatah and Hamas sponsored could do whatever they pleased, which historically consisted of shooting women and children at close range (for instance Tali Hatuel 34, Meirav Hatuel 2, Roni Hatuel 7, Hadar Hatuel 9, and Hila Hatuel 11; see here:, extortion and kidnapping, and telling tall tales to credulous foreign giurnalisti.

But Israel withdrew. As both Hamas and Fatah had demanded, and which both Hamas and Fatah had committed murder to encourage.
And for which both Hamas and Fatah had been willing to waste the lves of their fools and idiot-young, provided that Jews might also die.
Suddenly, putting on a bomb-vest and making a grandeloquent statement on a video-tape seemed somewhat less worthwhile. There was loot to be had, and Jews were harder to reach.

What really got to Hamas and Fatah was that it was not through their efforts that Israel had withdrawn from Gaza - it was the sober realization by the Israelis that continuing the occupation would mean being responsible for the locals. How much better to let them take care of themselves, and merely keep them at arms length (and at the end of gunsights, at least until they stopped being thugs).
The direct and immediate benefit to Israel was in the withdrawal itself, not in anything the Palestinians might do afterwards.

Nevertheless, both Hamas and Fatah boastfully claimed credit for the withdrawal of Israel. And the Arab world believed them, until they themselves were asked to support this now autonomous yet eternally unproductive area. Violent and disputatious Arabs, it seems, are not appreciated even by other Arabs.

But while Fatah was lip-serving the Europeans and the Americans for hand-outs, Hamas was stoking up the fires and preparing to prove that they and they alone had liberated Gaza, by liberating it again. This time from Fatah.

Which, earlier this month, they did.

Now there is no one to provide plausible deniability. No one who can claim that violence is being stoked by outside forces keen to sabotage progress. The only ones left that Hamas can hold for ransom are the people of Gaza. The very same people who voted for them, and supported them, and praised their violent acts. If Gaza is to be liberated again, they'll have to fight themselves this time.

The West-Bank is hardly any better off - brutal one-party rule lacks a certain amount of plausible deniability, even to the Europeans.

Which, no doubt, is also all Israel's fault.

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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