Thursday, December 28, 2006
Israel, US & Egypt arm Fatah. posted by Richard SeymourThe New York Times reports:
After coordination with Israel and the United States, Egypt has sent a shipment of weapons and ammunition into the Gaza Strip to forces loyal to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, Israeli officials said today.
Senior Palestinian officials denied the report, including the spokesman for Mr. Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, calling the story "Israeli propaganda aimed at aggravating the situation between Fatah and Hamas."
But Israeli officials confirmed a report in the Haaretz newspaper that the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, approved the shipment in his meeting Saturday evening with Mr. Abbas. Four trucks with some 2,000 automatic rifles, 20,000 ammo clips and some 2 million bullets passed from Egypt through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza, they confirmed, and were handed to Mr. Abbas's Presidential Guard at the Karni crossing.
This Western campaign of civil war and sanctions won't finish Palestine, but this is certainly the beginning of the end for Fatah unless there is mutiny from within. One can well imagine that the New York Times reporter sincerely believes this to be an act of generosity to an embattled 'moderate' Palestinian leadership, but the reaction of Fatah supporters suggests they know it's more like the kiss of Tosca. Every gesture of Fatah's disgraceful leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has been sanctimoniously praised by Blair, Bush and Olmert. Of course, it isn't impossible that they could terrorise and immiserate the Palestinians so completely that they finally obey and select the leadership endorsed by Washington. Terror and bribery was a mixture that worked very well in Nicaragua. But it's hard to top a weekly record like this, and the Palestinians have not yet been broken.