Urbin Report

Monday, April 17, 2006

It looks like a Civil War is breaking out...

Not in Iraq, but in the Palestinian territories:

Militant squatters loyal to rivals Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are turning open lots in the Gaza Strip into ad hoc military bases, a development that some fear will lead to open warfare between rival Palestinian factions.

Leaders at the camps say they are acting in the name of the Palestinian uprising against Israel, but the growing presence of what are essentially guerrilla training camps comes at a time of growing instability in Gaza.

"Everyone is showing their strength under the umbrella of the resistance," said Tawfik Abu Khoussa, a former spokesman of the Palestinian Interior Ministry. "If there is a little problem between the factions, maybe they will start a civil war."

Captain Ed has a good summary of situation:
[The Palestinians] have destroyed much of the economic development that the settlers established as well as the agricultural projects funded by the West to help the Palestinians become more self-sufficient. Instead of creating a civil authority, the two terrorist groups that pass for political parties have turned Gaza into a series of armed camps, ready to break out into open warfare at any moment. Sharon knew that Fatah and Hamas could not possibly govern but only impose petty fiefdoms based on proximity to their arms. Now the world knows it, too.

Gaza is about to erupt into a major civil war unlike anything seen in Iraq, despite the media portrayals to the contrary. Both sides are well-organized, well-armed, and will fight each other openly in the streets before long. They both hold land and seek to gain the rest. In this case, unlike other civil wars past and present, both sides deserve to lose -- but in the end, the biggest losers will once again be the Palestinians themselves.