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Analysis: Trying to stop Palestinian war
Cat : Palestine
Date : 2006-10-29 17:09:00                      Reader : 242

be achieved only by mutual recognition of both States Palestine and Israel based on 4th June, 1967 borders with return right of refugees. The world Community never recognized a state without borders !! Today situation , Israel occupies 78% of Palestine + 11% colonies, leaving 11% only for Palestinians. More worse this 11% is divided into cantons, with no way of contact , not even a road to the point that Ministerial cabinet holds its meetings by telecom network as they are not allowed to join each other. We appeal EU to think seriously of precondition to recognize Israel in such situation. It is ridiculous and stupid and against UN charter for a state without borders!!

UPI 29/10/2006

Analysis: Trying to stop Palestinian war
By JOSHUA BRILLIANT
UPI Correspondent


TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- With the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the feast of Eid al-Fitr, some of the restraints on Palestinian infighting are over and the prospects for a bloody power struggle are increasing.

Not that the past month has been totally quiet. Fatah-Hamas clashes have left dead and wounded, and a police car following Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's convoy was torched.

Some 10 days ago Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah told reporters at his headquarters in Ramallah the talks with Hamas on forming a national unity government were dead.

"In the near future we need to reach options that will allow us to get out of this crisis as soon as possible ... It is impossible to remain in this situation," he stressed, according to the Palestine Media Center.

Abbas favored a Cabinet comprising professionals rather than politicians. It should be "considered seriously" in order to emerge from the current deadlock, he advocated.

Bread is more important than democracy, he said on another occasion. In other words: realize Hamas won democratic elections, but its government is not functioning. It is not paying its bills. People don't have food -- and that is more important.

A government of technocrats could avoid sticky problems that have led the international community to boycott the Hamas-led government. The United States, the European Union and Israel are demanding the government recognize Israel, honor agreements the Palestinian Authority signed with it and cease violence.

Haniyeh's government has not met these demands and the international community has been boycotting it and refusing to provide sorely-needed aid.

However, Hamas insists on having its representatives in the government and that Haniyeh head it; experts may be co-opted but Hamas is not willing to give up its position.

Professor Helga Baumgarten, director of the MA Program in Democracy and Human Rights at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, told United Press International that it is "not so much (differences over) issues but a head-on clash" between Fatah and Hamas. It is a power struggle, "Either you or us," she said.

Fatah is trying to regain power it lost and Hamas is not relinquishing the positions it won following the elections, she noted.

Retired Brig. Gen. Shlomo Brom of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv maintained that Fatah and Hamas' inability to agree stems also from their internal fragmentation and power plays.

Baumgarten seemed to concur. Fatah activists have accepted Abbas as Yasser Arafat's successor because everybody realized Abbas' tenure is temporary. Others, including Mohammad Dahlan and Marwan Barghouti, are not strong enough. No one controls Fatah; individuals do as they please and are manipulated, she said.

Divisions in Hamas are fairly recent and, according to Brom, derive from differing perspectives.

One element based in Gaza and the West Bank is civilian. It controls the government, must provide for the public's needs and meet its expectations. The other element is the political leadership. It is based in Damascus and can more easily adhere to Hamas' traditional policies and ideology.

The leaders in Damascus fear the Hamas-led government in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will undermine them, so "the outside actors ... rely on whatever levers are left to them -- the claim of ideological purity and control of the military wing -- in order to frustrate attempts by 'inside' elements to assert their primacy," Brom noted.

The United States' insistence that the Palestinian government clearly recognize Israel has led Hamas to conclude there was no point in looking for compromise formulas with Abbas, Brom added.

Egypt has been trying to reconcile the sides and Hamas and Fatah representatives are expected in Cairo Saturday. Qatar has been trying to mediate. Its first attempt failed but Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaal was this week in Qatar's capital of Doha and discussed the situation with its ruler Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. Qatar, Syria and Spain are initiating Fatah-Hamas negotiations in Damascus.

Meanwhile, both sides are preparing for a decisive armed showdown. Accelerated arms smuggling from Egypt, in tunnels to the Gaza Strip, is partly designed to better fight Israel but also reflects the various militias' determination to be better prepared for the expected internal clash.

Brom, a retired major general, predicted Hamas would prevail in Gaza where its forces are better organized and disciplined.

A Haaretz reporter this week interviewed an unnamed senior officer in a Fatah-associated security apparatus as having said Hamas could win in Gaza "within hours."

In a clash this week with Israeli troops in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, Hamas guerrillas appeared with new vehicles, radio equipment and seemingly well maintained Kalashnikov rifles. When they realized the Israelis were prevailing, they followed the textbook guerrilla tactic and withdrew, in an orderly fashion. Some 30 to 40 men walked away maintaining distances from one to another, walking quietly and quickly.

In the West Bank, Fatah would have a clear advantage because the Israeli army is around. The soldiers would forestall rival groups, Brom predicted.

This could lead to the creation of two separate, quasi-states, each with a different government. That could further hinder a peace process.

"For ... deterrence and conflict management, not to speak of conflict resolution, a coherent enemy could still be preferable to anarchy and the absence of any address at all," Brom wrote.




 
 
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