Palestinian Family Feud and the terrorists grip on power

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian gunmen waged a street battle outside the residence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas around dawn Monday, dashing hopes that an overnight truce would bring quiet to the Gaza Strip.

The rival factions Hamas and Fatah are fighting for control over the Palestinian government, and the volatile coastal territory was buffeted by violence all day Sunday. Three people were killed in Sunday’s fighting, in which gunmen shot up the Palestinian foreign minister’s convoy and militants launched mortar shells at Abbas’ office.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has accused Abbas of inflaming the political crisis by calling for early elections and said his Hamas group would boycott the poll. Abbas, a moderate from Fatah, called for new elections to resolve the political deadlock that has paralyzed the Palestinian government since the hardline Hamas militants won January parliamentary elections.

The Palestinian Authority keeps coming closer to dissolving into two separate governments and two major bases of operation for each. Hamas already has primary control of Gaza, while Fatah holds the West Bank, although each has plenty of representation in both places. Both have their own armies, and both seek to gain full control over the state apparatus. In short, this is the civil war in the Mid-east..

Over a decade ago Yassr Arafat had an oppertunity to work with Ehud Barak and achieve a two state solution. Doing so however, would have endangered his grip on power in the Palestinian Authority.  Terrorists, like Arafat then and Hamas now, need the conflict with Israel to continue for them to maintain their hold on power. Without that conflict Palestinians would be demanding their leaders address the deplorable conditions in which they live.  

How the Palestinian Family Feud plays out is anyone’s guess, but my money is on Hamas launching new and more lethal terror attacks on Israel sparking a response that distracts the media as well as the population from the internal differences, and failures of the current Hamas leadership.     

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