December 20, 2006 -- JERUSALEM - Rival Palestinian factions raised the ante
in their bloody power struggle yesterday, firing rocket-propelled grenades and
mortars at one another and triggering a shootout at a hospital.
At least six people were killed and 19 wounded - including five
schoolchildren hit by gunfire as they took cover, witnesses said.
"It's a real war," said Suleiman Tuman, a 53-year-old shopkeeper trapped in
his Gaza City grocery store by the fighting. "Both sides used to fight the
Israelis together. Now they are directing their weapons toward each other and
we're in the middle," he said.
"This is madness," said taxi driver Adel Mohammad-Ali, 40. "The streets are
divided between Hamas and Fatah gunmen. You never know who is who."
* Two Fatah security officers were executed by a Hamas-led police unit
after they were kidnapped, Fatah said.
* The violence appeared to be
spreading to the West Bank, where four armed men shot and wounded a Hamas judge
in the city of Nablus.
* At day's end yesterday, security chiefs of the rival
factions claimed they had agreed on a cease-fire. But there was no assurance it
wouldn't collapse as quickly as the truce negotiated by Egyptian officials
Sunday. (It's collapsed by the time I'm posting this-Chris)
So there is a civil war in the P.A. Whose side is Al Queda on? Al Queda's number two, Ayaman Al Zawahiri, released a tape today, as reported on CNN:
DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri
released a new videotaped statement Wednesday in which he sided with Hamas'
opposition to early Palestinian elections.
Al-Zawahiri warned Palestinian leaders that "holding elections won't lead
to Palestine's liberation."
"Those who try to liberate Muslim land through elections ... will not
liberate one grain of sand of Palestine," al-Zawahiri said. "Their efforts will
only result in creating a reversion to jihad and will negatively affect the
[current] struggle of mujahedeen," al-Zawahiri said.
Al-Zawahiri also had some words for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas, calling the Fatah party leader "America's man in Palestine." And he
obliquely criticized Hamas leaders, asking: "Why didn't they ask for an Islamic
constitution for Palestine?"
It looks like Al Queda doesn't support either of the major factions of the PA. As I've said before, the terrorists really don't give a hoot about the Palestinians, except as a tool to attack Israel, and America. They have been promulgating this strategy for decades, through Arafat. Since his assumption of room temperature, the real battle is becoming evident, in the P.A: democracy, or repression. Fatah seems to support democracy: (CNN) (same story as above link)
Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi -- a member of the Fatah party, which
supports new elections -- said al-Zawahiri should "stay out of it."
"Nobody asked him [for] his opinion," Ashrawi told CNN.
"Palestinians -- including Hamas, including the Islamist parties -- do not
claim any affiliation with or allegiance to al-Zawahiri and his ilk. Al Qaeda
does not have anything do with Palestine, and we would thank them very much to
stay out of it and not to exploit the Palestinian question and not to try to
interfere," Ashrawi said.
And yet, I distinctly remember the cheering and passing out of candy in the PA on 9/11/01. So some there support Al Queda. Perhaps the ones who refuse to accept the democratic process? The ones who are trying to continue the "rule of the gun?" Hamas? I don't know enough to be specific here, but some in every faction are controlled by different terror masters, with different agendas. They are willing to kill indiscriminantly to achieve their goals; that much is certain.