My Mideast Punchlines: of Beeb bollocks and Hamas hubris….

Hamas sources in Gaza say 18 people suspected of collaborating with Israel have been executed.

The killings came after an Israeli air-strike left three senior Hamas leaders dead on Thursday.

Officials in Gaza say at least two more Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes overnight, and Israel said more rockets were fired from Gaza.

More than 2,070 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 66 Israelis, mostly troops, have been killed in six weeks.

Small FistThe second half of the final sentence is correct, but what of the first? According to the BBC’s own statistical research, extreme doubt must be attached to the figures put out by Hamas, who lump together civilian deaths with those of its own fighters. So why is the Beeb pushing out the same garbage again and again? Lazy journalism, an anti-Israel agenda, or, as is more likely, a combination of the two? I wonder what odds you could lay on most of those executed being members of Fatah. Losing your leaders to pinpoint Israeli assassinations is a great excuse for taking it out on any internal opposition. Don’t forget that PA president Abbas was reported to be apoplectic about the revelation that Hamas was planning to overthrow him in the West Bank. I think the latest executions without trial were more of a message to Abbas than anyone else. Arabs have long memories, and Fatah doesn’t forget its leaders were shot or thrown from the top of tall buildings when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. If Fatah ever gets back control of the Strip, you can expect to see, to a chorus of Allahu Akhbar, a lot of bearded ones suffering the same fate. Sometimes I can’t help feeling that the Palestinian people get the leadership they deserve.

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