Monday, June 12, 2006

Intrafadeh: Palestinian infighting spreads to West Bank

Let’s forget for a moment whether the Palestinians have a right to an independent state or not. Read this article. It seems to me the salient question is: Are they capable of even running a state?

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Hundreds of Palestinian security men loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas went on a rampage against the Hamas-led government Monday, riddling the parliament building and Cabinet offices with bullets before setting them ablaze in retaliation for an attack by Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip…

… In Monday's unrest, hundreds of members of the Preventive Security force shot out the windows of the parliament building before storming the two-building Cabinet complex, where they smashed furniture, destroyed computers and tore up documents. No casualties were reported.

Shooting wildly in the air, the mob then set fire to one of the Cabinet buildings, gutting the fourth floor. When a fire engine approached the scene, one gunman lay on the road, preventing it from reaching the building.

"Every time they touch one of ours in Gaza, we will get 10 of theirs in the West Bank," said one member of the Preventive Security force. Dozens of gunmen from the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a pro-Fatah militia, joined the mob.

The crowd also set fire to the parliament building and a Hamas office. Both blazes were quickly contained. Abbas' presidential guard later arrived to guard the burnt-out parliament and Cabinet buildings.

Late Monday, Fatah gunmen briefly abducted a Hamas lawmaker, Khalil Rabei, after attacking his office and setting it on fire. Rabei said he was kicked and threatened before he was released.

Abbas' personal guard granted refuge to Rabei and nine other Hamas lawmakers, and was ordered to escort the men home safely.

The rampage in Ramallah followed an earlier attack by Hamas gunmen on a Preventive Security installation in Gaza. The attack set off daylong clashes that left two people dead and 14 wounded.

Most of the Palestinian infighting in recent weeks has occurred in Gaza, Hamas' stronghold. Monday's incident signaled that Fatah is now ready to move the conflict to its West Bank power center.


Blogger airforcewife said...

The good point for the Palestinians having their own state, capable of running it or not, is that the Israelis can then respond to their actions as a state threatened by another state can... by bombing the holy crap out of them. It also takes the law enforcement onus off the IDF.

However, inasmuch as I totally agree with you that they can't handle their own state at the moment, I do believe that there would have to be yet another occupation after they were spanked for their terrorist actions as a state.

What other options would there be?

12:27 PM  
Blogger semite1973 said...

That was the benefit of pulling out of Gaza; it showed the world how the Palestinians govern. But it doesn't seem to affect world opinion very much...

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Are they capable of even running a state?"
thanks for ur try to make a peacful middle east

1:11 PM  

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