Gaza may be becoming a tinder-box

With ongoing reports about extremist activity in the Gaza Strip – and we shouldn’t preclude black-ops by the Israelis to exaggerate the supposed threat – this is unwelcome news:

The leader of an al-Qaida-inspired group in the Gaza Strip revealed on Sunday that his men recently tried to assassinate former US president Jimmy Carter and Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair.

Mahmoud Taleb, a former commander of Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, also threatened that his supporters were planning to launch attacks on Hamas.

Taleb, who is wanted by Hamas’s security forces, has been in hiding for more than two years. Several attempts by Hamas to arrest him have failed, prompting the movement to detain many of his friends and relatives.

A veteran journalist in the Gaza Strip described Taleb as the Palestinian Osama bin Laden. The journalist said that Taleb’s group was seeking to establish an Islamic “emirate” in the Gaza Strip.