In an otherwise utterly conventional New York Times story on the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, Isabel Kershner opens with this:
Louai Faisal, 27, a Palestinian resident of this West Bank city long considered a Hamas stronghold, has spent three periods in Israeli prisons, starting in 2003 when he was sentenced to two and a half years as a would-be suicide bomber for Hamas.
More recently, he has spent three terms in Palestinian Authority prisons in the West Bank, arrested each time by a different security apparatus, he said, and interrogated because he was suspected of belonging to Hamas. The latest detention lasted six weeks and ended in March.
Mr. Faisal said he was never tortured in Israel, only in the Palestinian Authority prisons, where the treatment, he said, was “much worse.”
And the rule of Hamas in Gaza is, if anything, worse, including, as it does, summary executions and other assorted barbarisms. Kershner, however, is more concerned with the successful union of Fatah and Hamas than with the observance of civilized norms: “Human rights groups have reported detentions, torture and abuse of political opponents by both sides in recent years, underlining the obvious difficulty in turning bitter enemies into political partners overnight.” Kershner can only hope that they will overcome.