Friday, February 1, 2008

New dawn

"Spontaneous popular action on the part of Palestinians in Gaza left all political players reeling last week, sparking an influx of an estimated 700,000 Palestinians -- near half of the Gaza Strip population -- into the Egyptian Sinai, desperate for food, fuel, medical supplies and other basic necessities of life. Can the genie be put back in the bottle? And should it?

When the walls collapsed, so did the red lines drawn by Israel and the Palestinian Authority"

By Saleh Al-Naami from Gaza
Al-Ahram Weekly

".....Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza regard the border breach in Rafah as an unqualified victory for Hamas and the beginning of the end of the Israeli siege strategy against the Palestinian people. Maamoun Al-Tamimi, a Palestinian writer and economist from Jerusalem, believes that the ball is now firmly in the court of Abbas. "The Palestinians are overwhelmingly sympathetic to Hamas following what happened, and they support the actions along the border with Egypt which have caused considerable embarrassment to the Palestinian leadership headed by Abbas," he said.

Even someone as close to Abbas as the prominent scholar Mahdi Abdel-Hadi cannot help but to agree. The Gaza-Egypt border breach, he said, has weakened Abbas not only in Gaza but in the West Bank as well. The editor of the Fatah mouthpiece Al-Bayadir Al-Sayasi drew the same conclusion and added that Abbas's only way out of his current predicament is to open a channel of dialogue with Hamas as soon as possible......"

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