"Everything has been destroyed. All that we built since the Oslo Accords is gone. Now we have to start from square one. This intifada was a big mistake, and we shouldn't have allowed it to continue for such a long time. Even worse, we made a mistake by turning this popular uprising into an armed conflict. This played into the hands of Israel, and justified its use of military force against our people."
With Hamas in tune with the Gaza street, this is what I fear:
Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, on the reasons why his movement agreed to the hudna: "Our acceptance of the hudna doesn't mean that we have recognized Israel's existence. We believe that Israel has no right to exist on this part of land. We accepted the hudna first and foremost to avoid a Palestinian civil war. We didn't want to be responsible for intra-Palestinian fighting, because this would only serve the enemies of the Palestinian people and Islam.
"The hudna is the result of a Palestinian initiative, and Israel has nothing to do with it. Anyone who tries to disarm the Palestinian resistance would be committing a grave sin against the Palestinian people, and could cause a civil war, which we are trying to avoid..."
..."The hudna will collapse with the first Israeli aggression. There is no doubt about that, because we will then see ourselves as free to act. We are convinced that this process will fail based on the past experience of Oslo. They have sat in all the world capitals and signed more than 10 agreements, and the result was that Israel reoccupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip. What is happening now is a cloned experience of the Oslo process, and the days ahead will prove that we are right. Justice can never be achieved as long as Israel exists."
Why, when they are out-numbered Fifty-to-one, does Hamas carry so much clout? I can only assume that Arafat wants a powerful Hamas as part of his manifold security apparatus.