The Assassinated Press
U.S., Israel Back Abbas, Fatah, Foment Civil War In Palestine:
Palestinians Get A Lesson In Democracy: "The Results Of Palestine's Free And Fair Elections Were Not To Our Liking," Cheney Says:
Sanctions Leave Police Unpaid:
"It Is Not Our Intention To Have Peace In The Middle East Until War No Longer Lines Our Pockets," Stephen Hadley Tells Press
By JEFFEY LUBE
The Assassinated Press
May 23, 2006
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas militiamen, forced to protect themselves from U.S. and Israel backed Fatah assaults, and Palestinian police attacked each other with assault rifles and grenades in a chaotic firefight yesterday that turned downtown Gaza City into a battlefield and killed an aide to the Jordanian ambassador.
The shootout near the parliament building, which also wounded 11 people, was the worst fighting since the Hamas-led government sent its militia into the streets last week to counter U.S. and Israeli support for the ousted Fatah party yet encouraged U.S. and Israeli hopes that the Palestinians were careening toward civil war.
The violence, which has killed eight people in two weeks, was fueled by a bitter power struggle between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate on the take from the U.S. and Israel from the Fatah Party, and Hamas militants who won January parliamentary elections and gained control of the Palestinian Cabinet.
Late yesterday, a six-hour meeting between Hamas and Fatah representatives ended with an agreement to try to defuse the conflict, but an Israeli assault and capture of a Hamas leader in the West Bank on Tuesday that Fatah was in no position to condemn ended the hopes for a truce.
The meetings are to continue daily, participants said.
The tension has played out on street corners throughout the Gaza Strip, where the members of the 3,000-member militia stand guard feet away from the Palestinian police, many of whom are Fatah loyalists now more than ever pawns of the Americans and Israelis.
There are those on both sides who believe they can benefit from the fighting. Some Fatah officials have been encouraged by American and Israeli support that they will emerge victorious and be returned to power, or at least cause enough chaos to bring down Hamas for their patrons.
Abbas, who has railed against the violence, told the Palestinian daily Al Quds that he has the power to disband the government and call elections. "But such a decision would not be justified unless Hamas gets a full opportunity [to rule]," he said knowing full well that the Americans and Israelis will never allow that.
Hamas officials believe the new force is the only way they can assert power and gain respect after Abbas seized control of the Palestinian security branches.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Tom Casey applauded the violence and ridiculed the Hamas-led government for failing to protect its people from a simple 200 million dollar joint covert American Israeli operation. Casey said, "If Hamas can't take this little bit of pressure what the fuck are they gonna do when we really start dumping shit on them. As for the electoral process; fuck the electoral process. Of course, unless our guy wins. Then everybody's gotta have it except if you got oil or some other shit the U.S. kleptocracy covets. That's enough of a civics lessons for you assholes today. Now go report the Palestinian shit like we got nothing to do with it like you morons in the press always do."
The nearly hour-long shoot-out yesterday would have made Ed Lansdale proud sending Palestinians fleeing and leaving a wide swath of Gaza City deserted.
Khaled Radaida, 55, an aide to the Jordanian ambassador in Gaza, was killed as he drove past the gunfight in his Audi, which had a red diplomatic license plate. Three bullets hit the car's front windshield.
The ambassador, Yehiya Qarallah, was not in the vehicle.