Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Hamas - Fatah standoff continues

A turf war for control of the Palestinian Authority (I won't dignify it by calling it a civil war) seems imminent.

For starters, after ordering its `security force' in Gaza to stand down, maintain a low profile and reliquish the strategic areas they controlled to allow the sitdown between Hamas and Abbas to proceed, Hamas interior minister Syad Siyam ordered them back into place a day later...which says something about how well the talks went! it also says something about the instructions Siyam received from his recent trip to Damascus, where he conferred with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.

As reported here, Hamas gained some new allies when the Abu Rish Brigades of the southern Gaza towns of Khan Younis and Deir al Balakh defected from Fatah and joined Hamas. Yesterday, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) joined Hamas as well.

Abbas wants all the Hamas `security forces' dismantled, and wants Hamas to accept the so-called `Prisoner's Document' drawn up by Palestinian terrorists in Israeli custody like Marwan Barghouti. Or he's threatening to call for a referendum (and essentially, new elections) in 10 days. Some Western journalists are touting this as calling for recognition of Israel and a `peace plan'. To read what it really is, go here.

A month of armed clashes and gangland style hits that have killed at least 10 people and wounded dozens has intensified the power struggle for control of the Palestinian Authority..and all that lovely aid money.

Talks have not completely broken off..we'll see what develops.

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