January 16, 2005

Serpentine Diplomacy


From Financial Times: 'Furious' Abbas to meet Hamas after attack.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, has ordered an inquiry into an attack in the Gaza Strip last week that killed six Israelis and derailed his plans to reopen peace talks, security officials said on Sunday.

Mr Abbas, elected a week ago, met his security chiefs at the weekend and told them he was "furious" about Thursday night's attack in which gunmen blasted their way though the main Gaza-Israel cargo terminal at Karni. He demanded to know how the militants succeeded in reaching the attack site without being detected, according to a senior security official.

Mr Abbas is due to hold ceasefire talks with Hamas and other militants in Gaza this week. ...

Although he refuses to outlaw the militants, he won the backing of the leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation yesterday in urging it to halt its attacks.

Refusing to outlaw the terrorist gangs is bad enough. But the Times article fails to mention that the "other militants" include the terrorist arm of Abbas's own Fatah Party. From a report last week: "Three Palestinian militant groups claimed joint responsibility for the attack, including Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades -- a faction of Abbas's Fatah movement -- Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees."

And it isn't just Israelis that Fatah is murdering. The Jerusalem Post reported this weekend that Fatah vigilantes executed two Palestinians considered to be Israeli "collaborators". (Via Little Green Footballs)

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cut ties with Abbas following the attack. Bush should do the same.

UPDATE I -- January 17: CNN reports: Abbas orders Palestinian security forces to crackdown on militants. This is a continuation of the farce. Hamas has already declared that it would not comply with the order. But here's the real indication that Abbas is merely posturing:

Abbas also ordered that Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades be integrated into Palestinian security forces ...

Did you get that? The terrorist gang that in the last few days murdered Israeli civilians and executed Palestinian "collaborators" is being made a part of the very Palestinian security forces that are supposed to be hunting down the terrorists. Some "crackdown"...

UPDATE II -- February 4: From The Jerusalem Post: Abbas, Qurei dispute new PA cabinet. (Hat tip Barry Rab.)

A sharp dispute between Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei is preventing the formation of a new cabinet, senior PA officials in Ramallah disclosed Tuesday.

According to the officials, Abbas and Qurei have been at loggerheads since Abbas announced two weeks ago his intention to replace at least six ministers. ...

"It's a serious crisis," [an] official said. "It looks more like a power struggle between the two men. We hope we won't return to the same power struggle that we had under [Yasser] Arafat."

Posted by Forkum at January 16, 2005 09:59 PM