“The radicals gained ground after a visit to the Middle East earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who tried to rally “moderate” Arab regimes into a united front against Iran, Hamas and the Lebanese militia Hizballah.”
“New Calls by Hamas Militants to Target the U.S.: Washington’s efforts to isolate and topple the Islamist government is amplifying calls from its more extreme element to abandon its reluctance to directly attack U.S. interests,” by Tim McGirk in Time Magazine, with thanks to Middle East Info:
Commanders of the military wing of Hamas, the Islamist movement elected to power in the Palestinian territories earlier this year, are locked in a fierce debate over whether to launch terrorist attacks on U.S. targets in the Middle East. Despite its anti-American rhetoric, Hamas has until now refrained from any known terror strikes against the U.S. “” only Israel is in its bomb sights, Hamas says. That position has been reinforced by the argument of more moderate elements in Hamas that if the movement acted in a reasonable manner, the U.S. and Europe would eventually be persuaded to release funds and foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority blocked last March after Hamas assumed office.
But within Hamas, the argument may be tipping the other way. In furtive, underground meetings held in the West Bank and Gaza, a growing number of Hamas commanders say they are running out of patience with the U.S. and want to strike back. Insiders say the radicals are trying to exploit the exasperation within the movement at what they perceive as the Bush Administration’s one-sided support of Israel and its attempts to press Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the Hamas cabinet.
The radicals gained ground after a visit to the Middle East earlier this month by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who tried to rally “moderate” Arab regimes into a united front against Iran, Hamas and the Lebanese militia Hizballah. “The U.S. has become very hostile to the Palestinians,” one Hamas field commander told TIME. “We shouldn’t stand by idly while the Americans are plotting against us.”