In May, Israel and Hamas—along with Hamas’s terrorist ally/rival Islamic Jihad—agreed to a six-month ceasefire after Hamas had launched several hundred rockets into Israeli territory, killing four. Rather than using the guarantee of peace and quiet to focus on civilian concerns—schools, unemployment, and the like—Hamas and Islamic Jihad are doing what they’ve always done, writes Khaled Abu Toameh: loading up on guns and missiles.
It seems, then, that for Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the ceasefire understandings, reached under the auspices of Egypt and the UN, are meant to give the Gaza-based groups a chance to continue building their military capabilities without having to worry about Israeli retaliatory measures.
Apparently, Islamic Jihad and Hamas do not perceive the ceasefire as an opportunity to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. From all accounts, they are not planning to seize the lull in the fighting to brainstorm on ways to lower the crippling unemployment rate or raise the abysmal standard of living.
Such features of basic decent governance have not found their way onto the agenda of these two groups for the past twelve years. And evidently, they are not making it onto the agenda in the foreseeable future. No time for that: the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are otherwise occupied—with the destruction of Israel; the Palestinian people be damned.