Saturday, October 28, 2006
"Israeli officials on Saturday were deliberating over Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' request to grant Jordan-based Palestine Liberation Organization troops entry into the Gaza Strip.
Abbas made his request two weeks ago, in hopes of beefing up his loyalist forces, as rival Palestinian factions bolstered their ranks in anticipation of a feared civil war.
Israel has objected in the past to letting members of the Jordan-based Badr Brigade enter Palestinian areas. But with clashes intensifying between Abbas' Fatah Party and forces loyal to the Palestinians' militant Hamas government, Israeli officials said they would consider allowing them in.
The Badr Brigades are composed of several thousand Palestinians, mostly long-time PLO activists.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz's office said in a statement on Saturday that Abbas' request is under consideration, but Israel has not yet come to a decision on the matter.
Abbas, elected separately last year, is nominally the supreme commander of all seven Palestinian security branches, and most security personnel were hired by Fatah, which controlled the Palestinian Authority for more than a decade. But after Hamas swept Fatah out of office in January elections, it set up a militia of its own, which now numbers 5,700 armed men, and has announced plans to recruit an additional 1,500 forces in the West Bank, Fatah's stronghold.
The rival security forces have clashed frequently in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks as political tensions between the two sides grow. The violence has left more than a dozen dead and stoked fears of a bloody showdown.
The threat of heightened unrest led Palestinian officials from both sides to increase police presence on Saturday.
In Gaza, police in blue-and-white camouflage uniforms deployed around the parliament building, and in the West Bank town of Ramallah, security personnel were posted outside parliament, the Prime Minister's office and the Education Ministry.
In an attempt to ease tensions, a coordinating committee for all Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, met on Friday night in Gaza, and agreed to remove all their non-uniformed gunmen from the streets.
The confrontations have heated up amid Abbas' efforts to ease crippling international sanctions by persuading Hamas to moderate its anti-Israel stance and ally with Fatah in a coalition government."
Is this not sweet and touching? Jordan and Israel working together to help an American puppet in trouble.
The Palestinians are looking more and more like the rest of the Arab world, with puppet dictators protected by "security forces" whose job is not the security of the people, but suppressing them instead.