Abbas' control crumbles
TEL AVIV - An argument between two persons at an automated teller machine in the Gaza Strip early this week escal-ated into a battle between Palestinian policemen and Hamas members.Notice also the part about an automatic teller machine being involved. That shows you that, contrary to many reports of yore that the Arabs who live in Gaza are poor to the point of not having something like a bank machine handy, there really are some available there.
What exactly happened is disputed, but it led to the dissolution on Monday of the Cabinet of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said yesterday that Hamas was setting itself up as a shadow government of the Palestinian Authority and must be dismantled. He demanded that the Palestinian Authority disqualify the militant group from running in Palestinian parliamentary elections scheduled for January.
Hamas is a Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 to protect Islam from European powers, particularly Britain and France, which took over portions of the Middle East after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.
Tawfiq Abu Khousa, a spokesman for the Palestinian Interior Ministry, told UPI that policemen went Sunday to separate two persons fighting at the ATM. One of them, a Hamas member, summoned his friends, who fired in the air and hurled a hand grenade.
Al Jazeera television quoted Usama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman in Lebanon, as saying that Palestinian police were sent to arrest Muhammad Rantisi, son of the late Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi. Neighbors protected him and police opened fire. The fighting quickly spread to the nearby Shati refugee camp, from which Hamas members shot four rocket-propelled grenades at a Palestinian police station.
Three persons, including a police major, were killed and more than 40 wounded before representatives from the two sides put an end to the fighting.
Even more telling about this report though, is that:
The United States and the European Union have refused to deal with Hamas, and Israel has been fighting it because of its terrorist activity. Late last month, Hamas kidnapped an Israeli civilian, apparently to negotiate a prisoner swap, and later killed him.Update: The terrorist cell that did that has luckily been captured circa October 10. But even so, this shows just how unserious the US and Europe are about fighting terrorism if they're not going to take any serious steps against the Hamas.
As One Jerusalem says:
It is clear that American policy that depends on Abbas, who refuses to take on Hamas and the other terrorists, is sure to fail. Chaos in rules in Gaza and the terrorists with the most guns will end up ruling the roost.I do wonder, where would Abbas go? Well, you can be quite sure that more than enough Islamist dictatorships, Saudi Arabia included, would be delighted to host him.
In the past, Abbas would simply leave when he did not get his way. It may take a while because money from the EU and America is just starting to flow but soon after his pockets are full look for him to impose an exile on himself. Which isn't such a bad thing given his support of Arafat, his denial of the Holocaust, and his Marxist beliefs.