Arab media on Gaza clashes: Radicalism breeds radicalism
Leading Arab world newspapers say weekend's clashes between Hamas forces in Strip, al-Qaeda affiliated Jund Ansar Allah group not surprising. Leading publicist in London's al-Hayat newspaper says 'Hamas seems to be stricken with 'Talibanism' and will eventually be conflicted by its own ideas'
The weekend's clashes between Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip and members of al-Qaeda-affiliated Jund Ansar Allah group, have many in the Arab world both gloating and critical of the Gaza regime.
The violent face off left 24 people dead including JAA leader Abdel-Latif Moussa, and prompted al-Qaeda loyalists in the Strip to declare war on Hamas.
Sunday saw Tariq Alhomayed, editor in chief of the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat, for example, publishing an editorial saying that one cannot be surprised that radical groups have sprouted in Gaza, "Since radicalism can only breed radicalism."
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"The question is whether what happened was a surprise and the answer is – of course not. It was a surprise only to those who believed Hamas, and called anyone saying the Gaza coup was a mistake or a crime, criminals and traitors.
"That is why," continued the editorial, "What happened was a natural thing, since radicalism can only breed radicalism. The (internal) division can only bring about a deeper division… Today we can say to Hamas and to its supporters in the Arab world… you got a taste of your own medicine."
Alhomayed's sentiments were echoed by Daoud al-Sharian, a leading publicist with London's Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat: "The conflict between Hamas and Jund Ansar Allah reminds us for the early days of the Taliban," he wrote.
Hamas forces in Gaza (Archives: AP)
"In its early days, (the Taliban) too recited radical slogans, constricted people's movements, used religious and Jihad-laced political slogans and made it easy for enthused youngsters to join its ranks. That is exactly what Hamas is doing in Gaza."
Anyone following the Palestinian media, al-Sharian wrote, "Can feel the social and political history of the Taliban repeat itself via Hamas in Gaza. Just as the Taliban birthed al-Qaeda, the Palestinian movement is birthing similar groups; and just as al-Qaeda had lost the Afghan people and made Afghanistan the base for the 'liberation of the world,' Hamas follows a path which will result in a depriving future for the Palestinian people.
"Hamas' way has brought about a clash with the radical group Jund Ansar Allah, which means (Hamas) is heading towards a future of conflict with radical groups which may find their way into the Gaza Strip. Hamas seems to be stricken with 'Talibanism" and will eventually be conflicted by its own ideas," he wrote.
Egypt's state backed al-Ahram weekly also slammed the Islamist movement, with its lead editorial saying the weekend's events "were renewed proof that the chaos the Palestinians have had to endure since Hamas took over Gaza can only lead to more disasters for the Palestinian people and will could any attempts to stabilize the territories."
The paper urged "all the Palestinian forces, and first and foremost Hamas, to understand that there is no alternative to a united Palestinian view and the existence of one, united Palestinian Authority, in order to weather the challenges related to the prolonged Israeli occupation and the peace process."