Monday, January 15, 2007

The Gaza underground

One of the joys of reading the Palestinian Arab press in the auto-translated Arabic is uncovring the rich tapestry of culture, education and technology that these enterprising people have that we just don't hear about in the West.

So while we know about how adept the Palestinian Arabs are at digging tunnels under borders, we didn't know that the same skills are being used in much more productive ways.

Today, Abdel Hakim Awad, spokesman for Fatah, announced an extensive network of tunnels underneath Gaza that were all aimed at Fatah institutions and leaders - and filled with explosives. Not only that, but some of the tunnels originated in mosques. Imagine that!

Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh responded back that the Fatah textbooks included a geography question that was asking the distances between Gaza at 30 degrees longitude and Baghdad at 45 degrees longitude, where an assassination attempt was being planned for Haniyeh. (It seems unlikely that textbooks are that new or topical, but it seems to be what he was accusing.)

There is so much more to learn about these lovely people!

UPDATE: I misunderstood the geography question - it was Fatah that claimed that Hamas had this question, showing not Fatah antipathy towards Hamas but Hamas paranoia (and, Fatah claims, divisiveness.)