Friday, May 25, 2007
It is imperative that Fatah and Hamas reach an accord sooner or later to prevent further infighting
By Khaled Amayreh in the West Bank
"......Some observes speculated that the disproportionate attacks on Hamas, coupled with renewed threats to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal constitute pro-active Israeli intervention in the intermittent confrontations between Hamas and the so-called "pro-American trend" within Fatah, headed by Mohamed Dahlan.
Indeed, Israeli military leaders were hesitant about attacking Hamas while the infighting between the two Palestinian organisations raged. However, when it died down, the Israeli army moved specifically against Hamas.
Last week, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that unnamed Western governments, including presumably the US, had asked Israel to help Fatah defeat Hamas, following the example of Ethiopian intervention in Somalia against the former Union of Islamic Courts' fighters.
Fatah angrily dismissed these accusations as any veracity thereof would portray them as proxies of the Israelis and Americans fighting Patriotic Palestinians.
On Sunday, Urayeb Rantawi, a Palestinian commentator based in Jordan, urged Fatah to confirm their raison d'être and clarify their goals. "We want to know and the Palestinian people want to know, is Fatah still the glorious liberation movement that started and maintained the struggle for freedom and liberation over the decades or has it turned into an Israelised group that is being financed and armed by the United States and Israel?"......
On the political level, it is also safe to assume that confrontations will resume sooner rather than later if the forces and militias answerable to Dahlan, and Hamas's Executive Force continue to refuse to answer to the Palestinian Interior Ministry.
Indeed, it was due to this refusal that Hani Al-Qawasmeh, the former interior minister, angrily quit his job recently, arguing that the militias ignored orders from the Interior Ministry.
More to the point, it is also imperative that the Palestinian leadership make sure that the Fatah forces sever all contacts and coordination with American representatives, such as the United States Security Coordinator to the PA and Israel, Keith W Dayton, who make no secret of their desire to stoke the fire of civil war among Palestinians, apparently for the purpose of serving Israeli interests."