Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Chaos as a Strategy in Gaza

By Ramzy Baroud

"Israel, on one hand, desperately tried to link its fight against Palestinians — which evolved into a war against Palestinian democracy following the January 2006 legislative elections — with America’s “war on terror”. Palestinian factions, wary of the dangerous Israeli scheme, seemed least interested in any involvement with Al-Qaeda and its criminal affiliations. Desperate, yet canny Israeli attempts, reported sporadically in world media, failed miserably.

The Israeli redeployment around Gaza, ending on Sept. 12, 2005, was hardly the end of Israeli interests in the impoverished Gaza Strip. It left behind a legion of self-seeking, dare I say a pro-Israeli crowd, incessant in its attempts to redeem the many privileges it had lost since the restructuring of the political landscape introduced with the democratic toppling of Fatah in the recent Palestinian elections. While many Palestinians wish not to admit the size and significance of such a group, all signs point to their unmatched influence, and ability to wreak havoc within Palestinian society, permeate chaos, and impede genuine attempts of Hamas and a less corrupt Fatah faction to achieve a national unity government.

Regardless of who is exactly behind the journalists’ kidnapping in Gaza, this episode highlights the volatility of a situation when an elected government is being forced to operate underground (with many of its members already in Israeli jails), leaving the matter of security to be handled by the same dysfunctional and power hungry Fatah faction that caused most of the chaos and insecurity in Gaza.

Is it a surprise that the Fatah security forces always fail to carry out even one arrest once the release of foreign hostages is secured, perhaps with the hope that the kidnappers will strike once more whenever such distractions are convenient for both Israel and its beneficiaries?

The mockery is most disturbing."

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