Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Those peaceful Palestinians* are back at their own throats again, and civil war appears to be right around the corner.
Palestinian minister quits amid war fear
Palestinian Interior Minister Hani al-Qawasmi resigned yesterday, rocking a two-month-old coalition government, after the biggest surge in faction fighting in months revived fears of civil war.
Two Palestinian gunmen were killed in Gaza in clashes between the rival Hamas and Fatah groups, hours before a government official announced that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh had accepted the resignation.
As interior minister, Qawasmi was to have overseen Palestinian security services, but officials said the former academic faced competition from powerful Fatah rivals for control of the armed contingents.
The resignation cast new doubt on whether the power-sharing partnership between Islamist Hamas and secular Fatah could continue.
Sources in President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah said tension stoked by the renewed violence with Hamas — despite an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire late on Sunday — could lead to the collapse of the unity government within days.
And the violence is getting worse. Yep, these people definitely deserve a state of their own.
13 killed as Palestinian infighting intensifies
Hamas gunmen riddled a Fatah police jeep with gunfire at close range Tuesday, killing eight policemen in the most ruthless round yet of factional fighting, pushing the Palestinian unity government closer to collapse.
Gunmen in black ski masks controlled the streets as terrified residents huddled in their homes. Israel, too, was briefly drawn into the battle.
"I don't know when it's going to end and what the future will bring, " said Salman Abu Arafeh, 42, an interior decorator who, along with his wife and two children, was pinned down by gunfire in the hallway of his apartment for hours. Thirteen people were killed in Tuesday's fighting.
And what is the Palestinian reaction to this infighting and civil war? Well, fire some more missiles at Israel, that's what.
Olmert restricts response to rockets 'since no Jews killed'; Projectiles slam Israeli towns, PM reluctant to allow significant military action
Two Israeli civilians today were wounded – one seriously – after the Hamas terror group fired a barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip into nearby Jewish communities, but Israel's response has been restricted by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert since no Israeli citizens were killed.
WND has learned the Israel Defense Forces in recent days petitioned Olmert's security cabinet to allow the military to respond more forcefully to Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza, but at a meeting Sunday, Olmert's government postponed a decision to approve a broader anti-rocket offensive.
According to sources close to the cabinet meeting, Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz were reluctant to order stepped-up attacks, explaining no Israelis were killed recently by Palestinian rocket fire.
Today's rocket attacks seriously wounded a 44-year-old woman and lightly injured her 4-year-old son in Sderot, an Israeli town of about 25,000 located about three miles from the Gaza border. Rockets also slammed into a Sderot schoolyard, which was empty at the time of the attack.
Hamas said in a statement it fired the rockets to commemorate the Al-Nakba Palestinian day of mourning, on which Palestinians commemorate what they call the catastrophe of Israel's creation.
Hamas also said the rocket attacks were meant to divert attention from deadly Palestinian infighting in Gaza the past few days. The terror group warned it would launch more rockets into Israel in the near future.
How long before the entire Pally government collapses is anyone's guess, but how many want to bet that the Pallies and their Islamic nutbag allies blame Israel for the violence?