Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Palestinian Civil War Watch - 3

The Palestinians are back to fighting the civil war. Note that in a previous post I predicted the truce would last no more that 12 hours. We actually got 2.

At least two Palestinian were killed and seven other people were wounded after fighting broke out just two hours after the implementation of a cease-fire between Hamas and Fatah on Tuesday night.

It was unknown whether the deceased belonged to Hamas or Fatah.
No doubt the details will be out by the end of the day.

We have more details:
Two people were killed and six others wounded early Wednesday in battles between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza City, just hours after the feuding factions agreed to hold fire for the second time this week.

The two slain men were identified as members of the Palestinian National Security Forces, allied with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction. They were killed when an anti-tank missile was fired at a police position in the city.

Hamas and Fatah security forces late Tuesday began withdrawing from parts of Gaza City at 11 P.M., security sources and witnesses said, after a week of rampant violence left 14 dead and dozens wounded.
It looks like the truce only lasted minutes. Time enough to check your weapon and reload if necessary. I was going to go out on a limb and say the truce could be over in an hour. What an optimist I was to expect 12 hours of relative calm.
Gaza residents reported gunfire between rival fighters minutes after the truce, which was brokered by Egyptian mediators, went into effect.

A previous truce between the ruling Hamas faction and once-dominant Fatah, signed Sunday, broke down within 24 hours.

"We bless and support this agreement," Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah during his confirmation of the second truce on Tuesday. "We hope all will abide by this agreement."

Hamas and Fatah security chiefs earlier appeared side by side in Gaza City to declare that Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas had agreed to pull back their gunmen.

The two sides also agreed to form a joint operations room with the Fatah-led security forces to respond quickly to any outbreaks of violence, a PA official said.
Like that is going to work.

The civil war will go on for decades. Arabs hold grudges for a very long time. Catholics and Protestants are on better terms than Sunni and Shia. BTW Fatah is backed by Sunni Saudi Arabia (and others), Hamas is backed by Shia Iran (and others). America is backing Fatah. Europe is hedging its bets. The Israelis back Fatah, but actually prefer to keep their distance. Not to mention closely guarding the border to Gaza, keeping the fight inside the cage.

Update: 20 Dec'06 1453z

Jordan worries that the fighting will get out of the cage and continue where ever Palestinians live. Places like Jordan and Lebanon for instance.
AMMAN [MENL] -- Jordan has been concerned that the Fatah-Hamas militia war could spread throughout the Middle East.

Government sources said the Hashemite kingdom has been preparing for the prospect that the war in the Gaza Strip would affect countries with large Palestinian populations. Seventy percent of Jordan's population is Palestinian.

"The situation in the Palestinian refugee camps is very tense," a source said. "They, too, have large cadres of Hamas and Fatah people."

The sources said Jordan has relayed messages to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority regarding the danger of the Fatah-Hamas militia war. They said the kingdom has bolstered security around the 11 refugee camps and near the Jordan River.

1 comment:

B.Poster said...

Thanks for the great articles. I understand that America and Israel back Fatah. I don't think any Israeli leaders would be deluded enough to think that Fatah is actually a friend. I hope no American leaders are deluded enought to think that Fatah is a friend. It must be a case of supporting who is percieved to be the lesser of two evils.