"The situation in the Gaza Strip, and especially in the city of Gaza, is scary. Murders are committed by the dozen, using every [conceivable] weapon... The murder machine, fueled by every conceivable type of hatred, is hurtling in every direction, all the time, everywhere... in the mosques... in the schools... [There are] executions... Leaders are attacked, and their families humiliated... Children and innocent civilians are being murdered..." Talal Okal, columnist for the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam, May 17, 2007.
MEMRI has an analysis which is a must read for those interested in what is going on in Gaza and the Gaza strip. How bad is it?
Some consequences of the clashes are public statements by residents calling on Israel to reenter the Gaza Strip, and concerns regarding the effect of the fighting on the international community's faith in the Palestinians' ability to establish a state, to honor agreements, and to maintain peace.
I guess that in bold will surprise some, but violence between Hamas and Fatah are apparently to a level that even has Palestinians there longing for a return of the Israelis.
Palestinian journalist Majed Azzam wrote: "We should have the courage to acknowledge the truth... The [only] thing that prevents the chaos and turmoil in Gaza from spreading to the West Bank is the presence of the Israeli occupation [in the West Bank]... [as opposed to] its absence from the Gaza Strip."
You know it's bad when you see that in print. There are also calls for Arab or international forces to enter the strip and keep peace between the two factions.
Meanwhile both sides continue to trade charges while what amounts to a civil war rages in the streets of Gaza and the strip:
Fatah and PLO spokesmen accused Hamas of staging a coup against the Palestinian Authority and of trying to renege on the Mecca Agreement. The PLO Executive Committee issued a statement saying: "What is happening in Gaza is an attempted coup against the legitimate security apparatuses, aimed at imposing by force the legitimacy of the armed militias, and especially the legitimacy of the Hamas militia [known as the] Executive Force." It should be noted that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pronounced the Executive Force illegal immediately after its establishment."
A statement issued by the Fatah Central Committee said: "Behind the mutual killing of Palestinian by Palestinian stand local leaders and field [commanders] from Hamas who are working to overthrow the national unity government and the Mecca Agreement." In a similar vein, Fatah spokesman Tawfiq Abu Khoussa accused Hamas of losing control over its armed militias.
Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Azzam Al-Ahmad demanded that all armed gunmen from both sides be removed from the streets, saying: "PA President [Mahmoud Abbas] issued a presidential decree proclaiming the Executive Force illegitimate only two days after its establishment was announced." On another occasion, Azzam Al-Ahmad called to dismantle the Executive Force, accusing its men of carrying out executions that were pushing the Palestinians to the brink of civil war.
Of course, as can be expected in every open sore of this sort that goes untreated, the maggots have arrived:
Yousef Al-Qazzaz, a senior Palestinian Broadcasting Authority official and columnist for the PA daily Al-Ayyam, wrote: "A strong smell of Al-Qaeda is rising from what is being done in Gaza by the [forces] of chaos, which are murdering Palestinian security personnel and killing innocent women and children [right] in front of Prime Minister [Ismail Haniyya] from Hamas, who is unable to restrain them."
Wow, there's a surprise.
Various reasons for the fighting have been posited from the probable, such as 'greed for power' to the improbable but expected 'a conspiracy theory blaming the U.S. and Israel for the situation in Gaza.' Another likely possibility is:
[T]he factor of tribal and factional affiliation taking priority over national solidarity. Al-Ayyam columnist Ashraf Al-Ajrami wrote: "We are facing a new nakba, which actually began when the second intifada turned into a chaos of armed militiamen, shortly after it began. Palestinian society is eroding, and the values of national affiliation are disappearing, to be replaced by factional and tribal affiliation and by personal interests.
Or said another way, it is back to tribalism for the Palestinians. Speaking of an awakening in Iraq, it appears the same may be happening among the Palestinians in the Gaza:
Senior PA official and Al-Ayyam columnist Ali Al-Khalili wrote: "We are not insane. There are nine million Palestinians, and we will not be swept up in the madness of several hundred suicidal extremists among us, who are [heading] for a great nakba, after which there will be no rehabilitation, no [Palestinian] people, no Palestinian cause, and not a single inch of Palestine left. Our only option is to [go out] on the streets and announce that we refuse to take leave of our senses, of our reason and of our determination to deal with the mother of all nakbas before it is too late, and before history sweeps us all into the void of oblivion and death."
Maybe, just maybe, this is the beginning of the burn out with the love affair with terror and violence. Maybe. But in the meantime, it appears there's a lot more of both in store for the Palestinians. And, given their culture and how they've raised and indoctrinated their young ones, they have no one but themselves to blame.
The situation in the Gaza Strip, and especially in the city of Gaza, is scary. Murders are committed by the dozen, using every [conceivable] weapon... The murder machine, fueled by every conceivable type of hatred, is hurtling in every direction, all the time, everywhere... in the mosques... in the schools... [There are] executions... Leaders are attacked, and their families humiliated... Children and innocent civilians are being murdered..." Talal Okal, columnist for the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam, May 17, 2007.
Upside: If enough Pali women and children are killed off, the problem will go away of its own accord...