Osama Bin Laden's number two has called on the Islamist group Hamas to unite with al-Qaeda after its victory in Gaza over Fatah, in a web-posted audiotape.
Ayman al-Zawahiri also warned against any attempt by Arab countries to wrest control of the Gaza Strip from Hamas.
Al-Qaeda has in the past criticised Hamas for taking part in the political process in the Palestinian territories.
Hamas leaders, who espouse a more moderate brand of Islamist politics, have always shunned al-Qaeda advances.
The Beeb needs to make Hamas sound moderate, because otherwise one needs to conclude that Palestinian Arabs voluntarily elected a terrorist government, which is just way beyond what the intelligentsia who trust the BBC for news can possibly comprehend in their giant sophisticated brains.
Now, what exactly makes Hamas more "moderate" than Al Qaeda? The BBC doesn't deign to tell us, although it implies that the fact that Hamas participated in an election gives it the "moderate" bona-fides. Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the spiritual father of both Hamas and al-Qaeda, is part of the political process in Egypt now as well. I suppose if al-Qaeda holds a Syrian-style election it can be called "moderate" as well.
In fact, Hamas and al-Qaeda hold virtually identical worldviews - the establishment of a world Islamic caliphate, and Hamas considers Palestine just the first step in its role. Hamas' slogan is "Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes." Is there any real difference between that and al-Qaeda's philosophy?
In reality, the reason that the BBC considers Hamas "moderate" is because its immediate target is only Israel, not the entire West. Since Israel is disposable from the Beeb's point of view, then by definition anyone who explicitly only wants Israel destroyed is a "moderate."
(h/t Daled Amos)