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Hamas chief attacks 'stupid' Palestinians

A SENIOR member of Hamas has broken a taboo by calling on Palestinians to stop blaming Israel for all their ills and look instead at their own failures, claiming they had been "attacked by the bacteria of stupidity".

A SENIOR member of Hamas has broken a taboo by calling on Palestinians to stop blaming Israel for all their ills and look instead at their own failures.

Ghazi Hamad, the Hamas government's official spokesman, said Palestinians had been "attacked by the bacteria of stupidity".

"The anarchy, chaos, pointless murders, the plundering of lands, family feuds . . . what do all of these have to do with the occupation?" he asked in the opinion piece published in the Palestinian newspaper, al-Ayyam.

"We have always been accustomed to pinning our failures on others."

He was particularly scathing about the failure of the Palestinians to make a success of the Gaza Strip, the territory Israel effectively surrendered a year ago. "When you walk around in Gaza, you cannot help but avert your eyes from what you see: indescribable anarchy, policemen that nobody cares about, youth proudly carrying weapons. From time to time you hear that so-and-so was murdered in the middle of the night, and the response comes quickly the next morning. "The reality of living in Gaza can only be described as miserable, a failure in every sense of the word."

His article is a sign of growing division between Hamas members living in the Palestinian territories and exiles elsewhere, including the leadership in Damascus.

The exiles take a hard-line attitude, insisting on militants continuing to fire Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel.

But people, such as Mr Hamad, who live in Gaza seem to have lost patience with these tactics. The rockets have killed only four Israelis, yet hundreds of Palestinians have died in Israeli retribution. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

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