Monday, June 05, 2006

The Palestinian stand-off intensifies...

Lessee, some more mob hits and executions, the takeover of the Palestinian TV station, some threats back and forth, and a new `referendum' in the making.

The fun started with a driveby shooting in Khan Younis, where a Hamas leader was riding in a car with his brother and his pregnant wife. The brother and the wife were killed,but the Hamas leader apparently survived,though wounded. Two Fatah operatives were shot dead afterwards in Gaza City. Three bystanders, including an 8 year old boy were also caught in the crossfire and gunned down.

This was followed by a bombing of the home of Muhammad Sari, a leader of Hamas’s military wing, Izzadin al-Qassam, in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza this morning.

Another bit of pure Palestinian wonderfulness came when Hamas gunmen stormed the thePalestinian TV studios, interupting the latest installments of the `Sesame Street Suicide Martyrs'cartoons and the soap opera `Days of our Jihad'.

"You are collaborators. You are biased. You are dirty people," they screamed, according to the workers. (gee, I can't help but wonder what it would be like to do this to CNN or CBS News...sorry...)

The Hamas thugs threw the employees out of the building, beat up a cameraman and shot up the studios, cameras and other equipment before they left. I don't have any reports on whether one of them mooned the camera before they left.

The turmoil has increased as Abbas has given Hamas until Tuesday night to accept the so-called `prisoners manifesto' that supposedly implies conditional recognition of Israel (BTW, it doesn't), or else he will call a popular referendum to vote on the matter. He has also threatened to dissolve parliament and call an early election.

Hamas, needless to say, isn't having any of this. Ismail Haniya, Hamas prime minister, declared that a referendum on the document would be illegal. He and the other Hamas kingpins rightly suspect that this is Abbas' bid to throw them out of power.

Don't expect them to take it lying down.

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