The Strange Arrest of Zaki al-Sakani
by Shoshana Bryen
American Thinker (Bryen)
January 14, 2013
Much of the Palestinian-Israeli Oslo "peace process" mythology is grounded in the idea that if "the Palestinians" were treated as a single, responsible partner, they would behave like one.¬† If "the Palestinians" got enough foreign aid, they would spend it to alleviate the poverty of their people. ¬†If "the Palestinians" had status, territory, taxation, and educational authority, they would govern.¬† If "the Palestinians" had elections, they would have a democracy.¬† If "the Palestinians" had a "security force," they would "dismantle the terrorist infrastructure."
If only.¬† The Palestinians are not a single political unit, nor even a single government.¬† Hamas and Fatah, for all their recent talk of "unity" (including a meeting in Cairo), remain no more reconciled to one another than they do to Israel.
Consider the odd tale of Zaki al-Sakani; the poor guy only wanted to blow up people.
It was without apparent irony that four years after his imprisonment, Hamas on Tuesday announced the sentencing of al-Sakani to 15 years in jail for "terrorism" and illegal possession of explosives and weapons.¬† Fatah protested.¬† "[The verdict] is unjust because it was issued by an illegitimate court, and because the motive behind the verdict was merely political. The man was a prominent leader of Fatah's al-Aqsa Brigades and one of its best fighters."
Al-Sakani was better than your typical bomb-maker in Gaza in the early days of the second "intifada."¬† Fatah credits him with designing the first homemade mortar shell and says he produced hundreds of shells that rained on southern Israel.¬† The Israelis actually wounded him once while he was mid-rocket-launch, according to the Palestinian news agency Ma'an.¬† A hero in the Palestinian pantheon.
But only half the pantheon. ¬†During the Hamas-Fatah civil war, Fatah-affiliated al-Sakani became the enemy for Hamas, which tried to arrest him in July 2008, but he escaped.¬† According to Ma'an, "Hamas forces confiscated his handgun, a homemade projectile and several mortar shells and explosives, as well as a computer."¬† All perfectly normal household items for bomb-makers, but now that the bomb-maker was working for the other side -- no, not Israel, Fatah -- al-Sakani had become a "terrorist."¬† All the more so when Hamas claimed he was involved when a bomb on the beach in Gaza City killed 5 top Hamas military men and wounded some 40 civilians later that month.¬† Al-Sakani was arrested in August, taken from a hospital where he was recovering from an apparent assassination attempt -- or arrest attempt.
Al-Sakani is still wanted in Israel, but he will serve his time, apparently, in a Hamas prison.¬† Still, he is convicted only of "terrorism."¬† Had he been accused of "collaboration" with Israel, his fate might have been that of the six Gaza men summarily executed in front of a chanting mob in November.¬† The body of one was chained to a motorcycle and dragged through the streets.
Under the circumstances, it makes the November decision of the U.N. General Assembly to grant "non-member state" status to a split territory governed by warring terrorist factions, neither of which has created institutions of statehood, justice, or human rights, look less like a step forward for Palestinians and more like a step backward for the UNGA.
Even the comments on the Ma'an website express the bewilderment and disillusionment of Palestinians brave enough to write in.¬† "Sami" wrote, "Isn't this what the PA of Abbas says when arresting the fighters of Hamas in the West Bank? ¬†The PA arrested more than 13,000 Palestinians between 2007-2011 almost 1.5 times of what the Zionists arrested of 9,700 Palestinians in the WB in the same period[.]"¬† "Nour" wrote, "What a sad joke the Palestinian state 'project' has become[.] ... We deserve each and every blow the enemy delivers to us -- EACH ONE. I challenge anyone to dispute this[.]... I'm beginning to think the 'Palestinian cause' is lost."
The "Palestinian cause" may not be lost, but it ill-serves the United States to presume that pressure on Israel or concessions by Israel will move it forward.
Related Topics: Hamas, Israel, Palestinians, Terrorism | Shoshana Bryen
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