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Head of IDF’s Gaza command: Hamas is the new policeman in Gaza

An Israeli army general says Hamas is stopping attacks against Israel and even ‘keeps the peace’ when the IDF operates along the border.

Hamas police training on the streets of Gaza, February 7, 2012. (Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Israel’s Channel 10 revealed the contents of a closed meeting between the head of the IDF’s “Gaza Command,” the top general responsible for the strip, and Israeli citizens living in the region. In the meeting, Brig.-Gen. Miki Edelstien confirmed what has been speculated for some time: that Hamas authorities are preventing all military activity against Israel and are even conducting crowd control near the border with Israel. However, Edelstein said that there is no direct cooperation between the two sides.

Here are some of the quotes brought by Channel 10 Monday night (my translation):

Hamas leaders, both military and political, are doing everything to maintain restraint. One of their most important brigades is now acting as ‘border police,’ with 800 combatants taking shifts preventing all sorts of tiny organizations that want to fire rockets or place roadside bombs [on the border].

According to the report, Hamas is even preventing anti-Israeli activities that the IDF is not aware of.

Suddenly Hamas is the strip’s policeman. There is no guarantee that it will last for long but for now it has brought about very serious restraint [in activities against Israel]. They know how to get to people […] Today we have a space of 100 meters inside the strip in which we operate. At the beginning they [Hamas] demanded that we not go in even one meter, but we sent them a message that the 100 meters is for their own good. It takes away their need to act against Palestinian civilians who might try and disturb public order near the fence.

Today Hamas knows where we operate. We tell them in advance and [Hamas] places its own people on the other side to keep the peace.

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    1. Richard Lightbown

      “…the head of the IDF’s “Gaza Command,” the top general responsible for the strip…”

      Surely not. I mean the whole world knows that Israel is not occupying the Gaza Strip.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Average American

      If there are no actions taken against Israel, it would be done out of good sense. Remove the thing Israel is using as reason for not negotiating. Nothing would be left for Israel but to honestly negotiate. Also removes something for Israel to beat on, nothing left to sustain Israel’s militarist identity. If that doesn’t work for Hamas, they can always go back to violence. Hamas can even say so. Look Israel, we can make it easy or we can make it hard.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Rehmat

      Hamas emerged as an alternative to the failure of secular PLO, which as result of Israeli invasion of Lebanon (1982) was forced to move to Tunisia – thus leaving Palestinians to protect themselves from the Zionazi military attacks. The 1987 popular uprising by the Native Muslims and Christians in Gazzah and West Bank (Intifada I) was the result of people’s shift of emphasis from the secular, leftist tone of PLO to an Islamic understanding of the situation, reflecting the instincts of Muslim Palestinian and the success of Islamic movement in Iran.


      Reply to Comment
    4. jjj

      Misleading title.

      Hamas is prepping up tunnels and bunkers fo massive missile attacks against Israel. It has an interest now to maintain order, but it is ready for a serious escalation.
      So, instead of prompting Palestinian economy, it continues accumulating and preaching pure hatered, on the back of the Palestinians in a promise of a bloody victory over the Israeli pigs, and you know what you do with pigs, right?

      Reply to Comment
      • PartyofBud

        Tunnels? Bunkers? Where’s the proof? The last tunnel they found was in construction for 2 years and was halted, either due to lack of materials, or in honor of the cease-fire.

        Reply to Comment