donderdag 14 juni 2007

Abbas orders Fatah forces to fight back in Gaza

Nadat Hamas de Gazastrook heeft overgenomen, krijgt Fatah het bevel terug te vechten, en dit pas nadat Fatah officials Abbas onder zware druk hebben gezet. De prangende vraag is, waarom Fatah alle wapens die het van de VS heeft gekregen en de westerse trainingen niet eerder heeft gebruikt?? Op papier heeft Fatah meer strijdkrachten met superieure wapens en training. Je zou haast gaan denken dat ze zijn omgekocht. 
Ondertussen zal de democratische gekozen Hamas een democratisch islamitisch bestuur in Gaza gaan instellen, waarin vrouwen die zonder hoofddoek op TV verschijnen worden bedreigd, en te vrijpostig geklede vrouwen op straat zuur in hun gezicht krijgen gegooid, en internetcafe's en uitgaansgelegenheden worden gesloten.
Last update - 12:15 14/06/2007   
Aides: Abbas orders Fatah forces to fight back in Gaza
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent, and Agencies

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas gave his first order to his elite presidential guard Thursday to strike back against Hamas rivals.
Fatah and Islamic rivals Hamas have been engaged in bloody battles since Sunday, resulting in the deaths of at least 60 people. Of that number, 33 were killed Wednesday.
Numerically superior Fatah forces have been crumbling fast under the onslaught by the better-armed and better-disciplined Hamas fighters.
Hamas gunmen Thursday morning broke through Fatah defenses at its Preventive Security compound in Gaza City.
Fighters from the two factions were waging heavy battles inside the compound, sources said.
Before dawn Thursday, Fatah fighters abandoned positions in central Gaza, then blew them up rather than turn them over as Hamas forces advanced.
Hospitals were operating without water, electricity or blood units. Even holed up inside their homes, Gazans weren't able to escape fighting that turned so many apartment buildings into battlefields.
Angered by the rout of their comrades in the Gaza fighting, Palestinian security forces in the West Bank allied to Abbas have arrested large numbers of men from Hamas.
On Wednesday, Hamas militants seized most Fatah positions in the coastal territory, prompting an Abbas aide to declare that "Gaza is lost."
A Hamas militant was killed early Thursday in clashes with Fatah gunmen in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. At around the same time, three bodies were brought to Gaza City's Shifa hospital.
Hundreds of senior Fatah officials fearing for their lives requested Wednesday that Israel evacuate them from Gaza by sea.
Diplomats said a top aide to Abbas told them that some of the Fatah leader's men ran for their lives, others ran out of bullets and that after days of battle "Gaza is lost."
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah was to meet with the decision-making bodies of the organization and the PLO, and was to make an important announcement later, aides said.
One aide, speaking on condition of anonymity because no decision had been made, said Abbas was considering dissolving Fatah's dysfunctional governing coalition with Hamas.
Earlier in the week, Fatah ministers suspended their activities in the government due to the Gaza violence, but stopped short of dismantling the partnership.
The unity government was formed in March in a bid to stem a previous round of violence, and as a move to ease the international boycott imposed in the wake of the Hamas election victory in January 2006.
Truce talks
The West Bank arrests came after Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas agreed late Wednesday on the need to bring an end to the fighting between their respective parties, which killed at least 27 people Wednesday.
Abbas and Haniyeh made their clearest move yet to reach out to the other, agreeing in a telephone call on the need to staunch the bloodshed, according to a Hamas official and a television station run by Fatah.
Hamas emphasized, following the Fatah-affiliated television broadcast, that the two leaders had not reached a cease-fire agreement, but were merely in preliminary talks.
Hamas radio denied the two had reached an agreement, and clashes increased in intensity in the hour after the statement was broadcast.
Earlier, a Hamas spokesman offered a conditional cease-fire under which the interior minister, a post now held by Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, would command all of the Palestinian security services.
"[Egyptian mediators] received the proposal and promised to present it to Abbas. The ball is now in [his] court. Hamas does not set impossible conditions, and if there are serious intentions to resolve the crisis, we will be ready to reciprocate," said Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman.
Abbas has branded the fighting "madness," and pleaded with Hamas' Damascus-based political leader, Khaled Meshal, for a halt to the violence. His forces - desperately trying to cling to their remaining bases in Gaza - lashed out at Abbas, saying he left them with no directions and no support in the fight.

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