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Hamas clearly wanted publicity. Not only were these public executions - they allowed photographs to be taken. Most of the images are too gruesome to show.
Obviously these public executions do nothing for the Palestinian cause in the international court of public opinion, but they do illustrate why Hamas has such a stranglehold over Gaza.
One of the recurring questions throughout this war is: How much support does Hamas actually have? Well this ruthless display explains why there are so few dissenting voices.?
I suspect that the resumed fighting is less in Hamas' interest than in Israel's.
Hamas look weak at the minute for one thing and they barely have a friend in the world. Yes, Arab countries have condemned the Israelis over the death toll is Gaza but there have been few, if any, expressions of support for Hamas.
The same is true of the West Bank. One might have imagined that Palestinians on the West Bank would have risen up by now in support of their Gazan brethren but that hasn't been the case.
Hamas relies on global sympathy for the situation in Gaza, but of late the World's attention has been focused on the barbarism of Islamic militants in Iraq and I suspect that may have diluted any tolerance or support there was for Hamas' conduct.
They too are Islamic militants, so for the time being I think the Israeli's are going to hammer Hamas. Peace is off the table.
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