(Article by Dr. Guy Bechor, Yediot Ahronot, 17.12.06, p. A3)
[Translation provided by the GPO]
Abu Mazen's speech yesterday was met with genuine worry in the Palestinian
streets, despite the Fatah movement's rejoicing.
Everyone knows that the worst is yet to come.
It is uncertain whether Abu Mazen meant to dismiss Haniyeh's Government,
dissolve the Hamas Parliament and go to elections. His speech has a
tactical aspect of applying pressure on Hamas in order to advance a national
unity government but it seems that he has already missed the train.
Following a weekend of violence and counter-violence, the chances of such a government are negligible. In my opinion, there was no chance for it to
The tension between the two sides is tremendous, with each faction yearning
to fight and arming itself with whatever comes to hand. That is what will
happen when events in the field oblige Abu Mazen to implement his call for
elections, the result of which will be a general conflagration. This is a
grave development for Palestinian society.
Hamas will in no way allow Fatah and Abu Mazen to cancel the great
accomplishment it reaped by legally gaining control over the parliament and
the government. In its view, this is not only a Palestinian development,
but rather a pan-Arab precedent of political Islam gaining control of an
If Hamas has no option, it will defend its accomplishment with armed force,
which it has. That is what happens when an undemocratic movement comes to
power democratically - and from that point on it is no longer interested in
hearing about democracy which might bring about its fall.
I do not ever recall such a serious exchange of accusations between Hamas
and Fatah, coming after a series of terrifying murders, which genuinely
shocked Palestinian society - murders and counter-murders, gunshots,
accusations, vehement cursing and specific threats. It seems that Abu Mazen
inadvertently brought the Palestinians closer yesterday to a general
Therefore, to the Palestinians' chagrin, this is the choice that they are
left with today: Between bad and worse.
Only a few years ago they had the world in their pocket. Israel was a
generous neighbor. Europe was smiling and America was supportive. With
great talent, the Palestinians wasted all of the credit that the world had
The Palestinians could have founded a flourishing, prosperous country next
to one of the strongest economies in the world -
Israel's. But they choose to become a new Somalia, with militia wars, a
tottering economy, revenge attacks and a totally wretched national future.
[The author is a Middle East and legal expert at Interdisciplinary Center in
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
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