2007 June 13 Wednesday
Fatah Crumbling In Gaza Strip As Hamas Victorious

You are probably as bored of Palestinian violence and the Arab-Israeli conflict as I am. Really, hasn't this series produced enough episodes by now? Can't we experience it through reruns in syndication? But the writers have thrown a new twist in it with civil war between Palestinian factions reaching a climax. Hamas is emerging triumphant over Fatah in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas fighters launched a fierce offensive on Gaza City Wednesday, firing mortars and rockets at Fatah's main security bases and the president's compound as the Islamic group appeared close to taking control of the entire Gaza Strip.

Fatah's forces were crumbling fast, with some fighters seen fleeing their security posts and hundreds of others surrendering, hands raised, to masked Hamas gunmen.

Hamas' control of Gaza and Fatah's control of the non-Israeli parts of the West Bank effectively split the Palestinian state into two separate states.

Some nutcases tried to have a peaceful protest. Didn't anyone tell them that all protests much use violence? Don't they know the rules? Or are they some sort of trouble makers?

Among those killed Wednesday was a man shot when Hamas gunmen fired on a peaceful protest against the violence, witnesses said.

The President of the two Palestinian statelets is a member of Fatah and he is not happy.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah called the fighting "madness" and pleaded with the exiled leader of Hamas to halt the violence.

Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas issued a joint statement after nightfall, calling on all sides "to halt fighting, and to return to language of dialogue and respect of agreements," according to a statement from Abbas' office. The call was broadcast on Palestinian TV.

I'm guessing maybe the greater Israeli control over West Bank will prevent Hamas from taking over there as well.

Should we care one way or another about all this? If so, why? I'm just asking.

Update: Over in the West Bank Fatah is making preemptive moves to defeat Hamas.

The Palestinians Authority's security forces, accompanied by Fatah members, began arresting senior Hamas members in the West Bank on Wednesday night.

The operation was launched in Ramallah, and the list of detainees contained 1,500 names of senior Hamas members and activists.

It will be interesting to see if Hamas and Fatah can quickly consolidate their power in their respective territories and put down all opposition. If so, one might ask why the civil war in Iraq is taking so much longer to finish.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 June 13 10:26 PM  MidEast Arabs Versus Israelis

John S Bolton said at June 13, 2007 10:52 PM:

Well, diplomats operating on the assumptions of the natural peace, brotherhood and equality between all mankind,
now have an occasion to go into a tizzy. Maybe they will exalt gloobalized public discourse with a UN resolution!
Since Islam itself requires the War of Religion and theocracy to be established,
the contenders for power in such a country must fight to the death for
their sect and their faction to come out on top.
The more Palestinians murder each other,
the more the civilized
should keep out of it, and be contented to restrain diplomats from issuing any statements of displeasure over it.

Wolf-Dog said at June 13, 2007 11:53 PM:

The real issue is that it became clear to both the West and East that the U.S. will probably totally leave the Middle East in a few years, probably around 2009. This includes not only Iraq but also Saudi Arabia and the other oil rich places. As a result, more extremist groups are already sensing victory in the air, and they are coming to power in anticipation of the new situation. This is what is going on in the Palestinian territories.

But at the same time, this does not mean that the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Middle East will buy the peace for the West the way the Crusaders bought the peace from Salach Eddin by returning back to Europe. On the contrary, this means total war between Europe and the Islamic World within a decade or two.

Kenelm Digby said at June 14, 2007 3:08 AM:

Mark my words:


Wolf-Dog said at June 14, 2007 4:36 AM:

Kenelm Digby,

Perhaps you think that this subject is superficial about to joke about it...

But AFTER the US totally leaves the Middle East in a few years, then first of
all, both Iran and the new Islamic Empire will be free to build not dozens
but thousands of nukes by the year 2025. Then the large European Muslim
population will make it possible to smuggle piece by piece and assemble
500 hydrogen bombs in all the major cities of E.U.... Then your prediction
will perhaps materialize: Europe would then surrender unconditionally.

This is truly a religious war, it is not just simple territorial dispute or
about who will get the oil fields.

Anon said at June 14, 2007 8:54 AM:

Why smuggle in and assemble nuclear weapons in European cities? When the muslims take control of the French military in a decade or so, they will have the key to the armory.

Jim said at June 14, 2007 12:08 PM:

really? you think that after millenia of existence, the Persians destroy the world in THIS generation?

or are we just trying to cause more war with this fear-mongering?

Randall Parker said at June 14, 2007 7:05 PM:


If the Peak Oilers are right then the Middle East isn't as oil rich as has been assumed.

We can kick the Muslims out of the West. Separationism is the answer. More people are coming around to the Separationist point of view.

Wolf-Dog said at June 14, 2007 11:22 PM:

Randall Parker said:
"If the Peak Oilers are right then the Middle East isn't as oil rich as has been assumed.
We can kick the Muslims out of the West. Separationism is the answer. More people are coming around to the Separationist point of view. "


This is wishful thinking, for it is too late. Despite the oil peak, the oil revenue of the Middle East will remain high enough during the next 2 decades for the emerging Empire to build innumerable nukes, maybe thousands.

And if Europe tries to deport its Muslims in 20 years, then the nukes of the Empire will be a deterrent, for they will have both ICBMs and Stealth Cruise missiles. In other words, even with deportation of Muslims from Europe, the coming war will be a serious one.

Kenelm Digby said at June 15, 2007 4:19 AM:

I'm not joking, I'm deadly earnest.
Just consider in your own mind two factors only:
1/.The prodigious fertility of middle-eastern and other muslim populations and the age profile skewed towards the young - who are likely to be unemployed, frustrated and angry.Compare to European demographics.
2/. The downright absurdity (no other term is strong enough) of European political leaders in formulating immigration policy.

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