THE ABBAS COUP IS ALMOST HERE
Israel prepares to allow Palestinian troops into Gaza
"Israel is on the brink of a policy U-turn that would authorise 1,500 armed Palestinian soldiers based in Jordan to move into the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
While Israel sees the move as a way to counterbalance the growing power of Hamas, such a policy shift could worsen the internecine violence between rival Palestinian factions which has claimed scores of lives this year.
It reverses years of strict military sanctions imposed by Israel on the territories because of fears that weapons provided to Palestinians would end up being used for attacks on Israeli targets.
The United States, which is behind the initiative, hopes that the arrival of the troops, trained and equipped to relatively high standards by the Jordanian armed forces, will restore badly-needed order in the occupied territories.
No official announcement has been made although President George W Bush is understood to have formally requested the troop transfer before the 45-minute private meeting he held with Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, this week.
Raised in the early 1970s from among the millions of Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, the Badr Brigade has never been allowed into the occupied territories because Israel has regarded it as an enemy force.
But the rise to power of Hamas has led to a re-think because the Badr Brigade is loyal to Fatah, the faction of the moderate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, that Israel now supports.
Mr Olmert, speaking privately on Sunday a day before he met Mr Bush, indicated that he would respond favourably to America's request.
The reason behind Israel's U-turn was spelled out by Yuval Diskin, the head of Israel's domestic spy service, the Shin Beth, in testimony to an Israeli parliamentary committee yesterday.
Mr Diskin said unless moderates from Fatah became more powerful in the occupied territories, Israel would have to stage widescale incursions to neutralise the growing strength of Hamas and its militant supporters.
"Israel must prepare for a wide military confrontation in the Gaza Strip, if moderate sources in the Palestinian Authority do not get stronger," he said.
"Israel has no good options in Gaza. There only bad options and we need to choose the least bad of all.""
NOW I CAN SAY THAT I HAVE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO SEE FATAH AND THE ISRAELI AND JORDANIAN MILITARIES AS ALLIES.
Of course, the Badr forces are on their way to liberate Jerusalem! Oh, yeah.
Hamas: are you watching? "Brother" Abu Mazen is getting the firing squads ready; but of course you still trust him. How are those "unity" talks going? Abu Mazen needs 2 more weeks to get ready to slaughter you, so please be patient with those "unity" talks. How stupid can you get!