Thursday, 10 July 2008

Palestinian state? A dream, nothing more.

The truce is falling apart, with Israeli raids against Hamas interests in the West Bank, and now, accusations that Fatah is actually assisting the Israel Defense Forces in their operations.

That's a story for another day.

One of the riskiest parts of the recently agreed truce between Hamas and Israel, was perhaps the fact that it was not extended to the West Bank.

Many analysts were saying it was a disaster waiting to happen. An increase in Israeli military activity in the West Bank would infuriate Palestinians in Gaza, and despite their desperate situation, might be tempted to retaliate – and thus give Israel an opportunity to respond.

And the Israelis are being provocative.

For example, the Israeli military has blockaded a Palestinian village for the alleged crime of protesting further construction of the West Bank Barrier – which the World Court has already deemed illegal.

Five Palestinians were seized in Nablus during a raid in which the Israeli army used sonic bombs.

Israeli troops stormed into the city of Bethlehem arresting another two.

In June, the Israeli army arrested 340 Palestinians in raids on the West Bank.

The Israeli military, obviously, view border demarcations, and signs that you are now entering areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority as nothing more than cute little street decorations.

Such is their lack of respect for any semblance of sovereignty or authority the government of President Mahmoud Abbas – and such behavior will achieve nothing more than undermine his authority and play directly into the hands of Hamas – an organization they have spend two years trying to weaken.

We have also seen a suspension of talks for a prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel, and the Egyptians are still acting as if they are a client state of the US and Israel by keeping the Rafah Crossing locked down.

Its been said that unification between Palestinian factions is the only way to push forward with the peace process – divided, while not perhaps not entirely without some negotiating power - severely limits their effectiveness.


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