Hamas Is Shocked And Awed
Israeli smart bombs and missiles continue to fall, and Palestinian casualties are over 1,100. About 10,000 Israeli ground troops, including nearly a thousand armored vehicles, are assembled near the Gaza security fence. Hamas admitted that the attacks had made a serious dent in their rocket supply. On the first day of the bombing. Hamas fired over 110 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel, but that fell to twenty the next day. And today there is no increase in Hamas rocket attacks. So far, Israel has hit at least 300 targets in Gaza, usually with one smart bomb or missile. Hamas appears to be surprised at the detailed targeting data the Israelis had assembled.
Israel is apparently trying to cripple Hamas military capability, forcing the terrorist organization to devote resources to rebuilding, instead of attacking Israel. Israel also hopes that anti-Hamas Palestinians will rise up and give power to Fatah. This is a long shot. Meanwhile, a ground offensive would recover lots of valuable intelligence, as well as capturing some key Hamas operatives (who could be used to trade for an Israeli soldier kidnapped two years ago.) Israel has an opportunity here to demoralize Hamas, and their Shia ally Hezbollah in Lebanon (both are supported by Iran, who will also take a beating if Hamas does not win some kind of "victory.")
The response in the Arab world is not quite what Hamas expected. Because Hamas is seen as a puppet of Shia Iran, many mainstream Sunni Islamic radicals are not terribly upset that Hamas is getting hammered.
Malaysia, however, is firmly siding with Hamas. Note the code phrases 'state terrorism', 'illegal occupation' and 'oppressed people' in the following article.
KUALA LUMPUR, 29 Dec 2008: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has called on all Malaysian political parties to support a motion in Parliament to condemn the latest killings in Gaza to demonstrate the country's unified stance against state terrorism and illegal occupation.PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali said ..."On this occasion, we urge Malaysians to pray for all the oppressed people of the world and hope there will be more careful and informed decisions on the part of powerful leaders, so that sanity and humanity can return to the occupied territories," he said in a statement here today.
The aforementioned code phrases deserve an explanation. 'State terrorism' and 'illegal occupation' are things that only infidels, specifically the US and Israel, are guilty of doing. Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas are never guilty of these crimes, no matter how many mortar shells and rockets they may fire at Israeli towns (i.e. civilians). Additionally, 'oppressed people' can only be Muslims--never Jews or Bahai in Iran, Coptic Christians in Egypt, Hindus in Pakistan, etc etc.
But Malaysian support of Hamas extends far past rhetoric and sympathetic press releases. According to Global Security, "HAMAS receives funding from Palestinian expatriates, Iran, and private benefactors in Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab states." This includes Malaysia, which as of 2006 had provided at least US $16 million in supposed 'humantarian assistance'.