that set off the current conflict. This occurred on October 29th, before Hamas began lobbing bombs over the Israeli border:
“The affair reveals, once again, the Hamas leadership’s efforts both here and abroad to bolster their enterprise in the field and improve their operations,” the army said in a statement.
The suspects had allegedly been in contact with foreign-based leaders of Hamas in order to gather intelligence and transfer funds. Some of Hamas’s leadership cadre — including former political bureau chairman Khaled Mashaal — was based in Syria from 2001 to 2012, when the Syrian uprising compelled the group to relocate to Qatar.
The only people who will benefit from the current conflict are Assad & Ahmadinejad.
Update: Also worth noting – since Qatar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, it could be helpful to figure out how this whole thing got started…
Another update: The Emir of Qatar’s visit to Gaza, legitimizing Hamas and giving them a pile of cash, certainly didn’t help the situation. From the Wall Street Journal’s report (October 23, 2012)
But some analysts worried that Sheik Hamad’s largess threatened to deepen the estrangement between Palestinians in Hamas-ruled Gaza and the Fatah-ruled West Bank by empowering Hamas to ignore the long-delayed reconciliation process, and frustrating any potential rapprochement with Israel.
“It gives a stamp of permanence to Palestinian secession, you have two Palestinian de facto states that refuse to talk to each other,” said Yigal Palmor, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman. “What does that do to the ability to negotiate peace?”
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority’s president in the West Bank—also known as Abu Mazen—wasn’t invited to Tuesday’s ceremony. Activists in his Fatah Party published pictures of the Qatari emir with a line through his face saying he was unwelcome in Gaza.
“All of the Fatah people are not happy. Qatar is coming only for Hamas,” said a former cabinet minister in the Palestinian Authority. “It’s not coming for both Abu Mazen and Hamas. Hamas won’t need to reconcile with Abu Mazen because it has its own money now.”