Saturday, May 20, 2006

Palestinian Fatah intel chief injured in assasination attempt; gunfights all over Gaza

The beast continues to eat itself.

Earlier today, Palestinian General Intelligence chief Gen. Tariq Abu Rajab was seriously wounded in a suspected Hamas bombing at his Gaza HQ, in a remote-controlled blast which killed his bodyguard and injured 9 officers as they stepped into an elevator in the fortified building Saturday morning.

This was a Hamas strike at the heart of what's left of Fatah and Abbas' power in Gaza.

Gunfights have erupted sporadically all over Gaza between Palestinian `police' loyal to Mahmoud Abbas and the new Hamas militia. The family of Rajab's aide fought a gun battle with Hamas supporters inside the Al Deira hotel on Gaza's seafront, scattering journalists who use it as their base and shooting several workers inside the hotel as well as Hamas `soldiers'.

'We don't care who you are,' gunmen screamed at journalists who rushed from the scene: 'Leave or you will be shot.'

Every corner of Gaza is now a heavily armed checkpoint...but unfortunately for Abbas and Fatah,most of the boots on the ground belong to Hamas, as I wrote yesterday. At least two fairly well connected Palestinian sources of mine say that a showdown is almost inevitable. One of them told me that Hamas has all of the top Fatah leaders marked for assasination, and that Abbas had better get rid of the Hamas government before they all ended up dead. The assasination attempt was an obvious message to Abbas and company not to get too far out of line and forget their place in the scheme of things.

All I ever needed to learn about the Palestinian Authority I learned from watching `The Godfather'.....

Abbas, for his part, is very intelligently hanging out at the heavily secured Davos Conference of the World Economic Forum in Egypt at Sharm-al-Sheik. Obviously Abbas is doing what he does best...begging for more handouts. He told reporters that he would open a dialogue with Hamas leaders within a week in a bid to patch things up.

"There is a crisis. We have to look for a solution. A dialogue will be opened within the next four or five days," he insisted.

Yeah, an offer of a sitdown..classic Mafia tactics. But will it work? Abbas is running out of cards to lay and is outliving his usefullness. The `impounding' of all that Hamas money yesterday might have been the last straw.

In a ludicrous end bit, I learned that four of the Fatah casualties in the bombing, including Rajab were transferred to - get this- an Israeli hospital! That's right....the Fatah operatives who've been waging war against Israel's civilians for the past 5 years and longer are now receiving TLC in Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

You can't make this stuff up.

In other news, the IDF took out the most senior commander of Islamic Jihad, Mohammed Dadouh in Gaza yesterday with a well placed car missle that also killed 3 bystanders and injured a half dozen more. Dadouh was in chage of the continuing rocket barrage from Gaza, one of which hit Ashkelon yesterday.

Now there's some poetic by the missle, die by the missle.

Rot in hell, jihadi.

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