Hamas’ takeover of Gaza has not gone over well. Fatah is solidifying its base in the West Bank while the Arab States and Israel are placing economic sanctions on Gaza.

The population is turning against Hamas, even in Gaza.

The poll of Gaza residents shows a backlash. Hamas got only 23 percent support, down from 29 percent in the previous survey last month, while Fatah climbed from 31 percent to 43 percent.

The poll, the first major survey since the Hamas takeover, also showed that 66 percent of Hamas supporters said they would vote Fatah if it undertook reforms.

The Palestinians in Gaza now see the economic repercussions of Hamas’ rule. Israel closed the Karni Crossing, a major transportation junction between the two countries. Egypt has likewise sealed the border with Gaza. The world community is withholding aid to Gaza, but have turned the spigots back on to the Fatah ruled West Bank.

Gaza is underseige. The Arab states realize they have a problem with radical Islamists and it doesn’t start with Israel. The Arabs are even thinking about sending a delegation to Israel.

The US and Israel announced that they will provide military and economic aid to Fatah in its civil war against Hamas. I do not believe that Fatah has reformed itself in anyway – it is still corrupt and many of its members will still attack Israel. However, they are primarily looking to kill members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, and the new Al-Qaeda branches in Palestine. We might as well fuel the civil war and watch what happens.

Fatah, in any case, is an improvement over Hamas in one respect. Fatah realizes that it must at least pretend to want peace. Hamas openly calls for the destruction of Israel. This doesn’t mean Fatah is “moderate” in a normative sense, but they are the lesser evil. They’re also a lot more incompetent than Hamas, so they are less of a threat to Israel.

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