It is time for the much-anticipated Second Annual Splodie Awards, where we honor the best of the year's "work accidents" and other self-inflicted deaths in the peaceful Palestinian Arab areas.
Without further ado...
Best house explosion: A house exploded in Gaza on February 15th, killing an Islamic Jihad member and his entire family of 8. Apparently, the house was also the site of a missile factory, as eyewitnesses saw debris from the huge explosion that looked like Qassam rockets. Which just goes to show - sometimes, they really are home-made rockets!
Almost as bad as sand in your swimsuit: A beachfront Hamas training area was rocked by an explosion on March 20, killing two Hamas members. Hamas claimed that it was merely two really, really bad cases of sunburn for the vacationing jihadists.
Best place for Farfour the Mouse to play: On May 11, a Hamas member who was trying to bring some explosives to Israel exploded at the Gaza border fence. The Hamas press release said that he had been killed in the "playground of death" while preparing for a Jihad mission. Well, the UN does complain that Gaza doesn't have enough playgrounds.
Second best house explosion: In June, around 7 Hamas members attained paradise when the house of the Hamouda family in Beit Hanoun blew up. Unless there is a clause in a hadith somewhere that you don't get into heaven unless you kill some Jews. Boy, that would suck, wouldn't it?
The pen is mightier than the sword award: In October of 2007, Reuters credulously reported that Hamas was building a "media city" at the site of the former Israeli community of Ganei Tal in Gaza. They even showed a picture of a building being built there. Well, in July, a large explosion destroyed a building in that same community, killing two Hamas members. It must have been those highly-combustible 8mm tapes.
True truce award: Right after the "calm" started with Israel, a Hamas member was killed and his 17-year old brother severely injured when a bomb they were preparing blew up a bit earlier than intended. It was a moderate bomb, though, so Israel had no need to be concerned.
Best solution to the Gaza overpopulation problem: Hamas decided that the best way to train for urban battles was to use live fire - and missiles - in a residential neighborhood of Gaza City. Residents panicked and many houses were damaged. But, Gaza is so crowded, what choice does Hamas have? Anyone who complains must be a collaborator, anyway. (A similar live-fire exercise did kill a civilian a couple of months later.)
Bada bing, bada boom award: A senior Hamas member, along with four others, were fragged at an explosion at the El Hilal Cafe. They were warned not to criticize the soup. It is, after all, a matter of honor.
Cyber warfare award: One of those nests of evil and vice, an Internet cafe, was targeted by a very religious and moral man who couldn't stand the idea of something so vile in the middle of the beautiful place known as Gaza. He managed to blow it up, thank Allah. Unfortunately, he was still inside, giving a new meaning to the phrase "distributed computing."
"Can you dig it? Um, no": A smuggling tunnel collapsed in Rafah in August, killing 5, and another one a week later killing 6 more. At least they had a really good accidental death plan from their employer.
The dead can't complain award: A bus filled with happy Hamas supporters took exception to the Islamic Jihad member who asked them not to sing when they were passing a funeral home. So they killed him. But they were very respectful about it.
Best bomb disposal of the year: A bomb was discovered near Gaza City and the Hamas police were called in to defuse it. The explosives expert carefully transported the device to the police station. There, surrounded by other explosives and weapons, he managed to detonate the bomb, killing himself and wounding others, as well as causing secondary explosions. I guess that Hamas experts have much more experience building bombs than dismantling them.
(Last year's awards can be seen here.)