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Ayoon Wa Azan The Victims Will Not Be Brought Back to Life.

Byline: Jihad el-Khazen

The Palestinians have long been accustomed to expulsion at the hands of fellow Arabs. But a few days ago, in an unprecedented development, Palestinians in Gaza were expelled by their brethren, as wrote Roni Shaked yesterday in Yedioth Ahronoth. Shaked, a well-informed and prominent Israeli commentator, describes Hamas' delicate military operation against Fatah supporters, with Qassam rockets and mortar bombs. This assault, as he expects, will equally target Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Daghmash clan after the Helles. Now, Palestinians displaced at the hands of other Palestinians are inquiring about their wives and children living under the other occupation.

The Israeli commentator is not writing with a vengeful spirit. He does not need to in the first place. He is merely depicting the truth. Last Saturday, 11 people were killed and tens were wounded, while 181 Palestinians took refuge in Israel. Of the 22 Palestinians treated in Israel, 16 stayed in hospitals there. Earlier, a July 26th blast caused the death of five Hamas members and one girl.

The victims will not be brought back to life. This time, Palestinian blood has stained the hands of other Palestinians. Though I am angry and sad, I am trying to be objective. I am not accusing Hamas or Fatah of treason. They are both militant movements that want to liberate Palestine, each in its own way. However, I accuse all Palestinian leaders of failing to lead the Palestinians and as such call upon them to step down. I even instigate Egypt and Jordan to re-impose their direct rule on Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as the Palestinians are not eligible for self-rule.

I am not idiot and do not the least expect this to take place. The Palestinian leaders who succeeded where Israel failed - as they destroyed their own cause by themselves - will not step down. Nor will Egypt and Jordan intervene. The Palestinian people will keep paying the price of failure and even the crime.

Had the Palestinian leaders been ashamed of themselves, they would have committed suicide. But instead, each side shifts its wrongdoing to the other party. The truth, however, is that they are all accomplices in the crime against their own people.

They will soon pay the price; I have no objection to that. But I am afraid the Palestinian people will equally bear the price. Israel is planning to invade the Strip once again. Its Defense Minister Ehud Barak openly said this week that those calling for an assault on Gaza would not have to wait for long. In turn, Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi said that Israel knew where Gilad Shalit is being kept and by whom.

If we link Ashkenazi's slip of the tongue to Barak's threat and the ongoing Israeli media efforts to display the horrors committed in Gaza, we perceive a planned preparation for the invasion of the Strip. The same goes for the talk about an upcoming war with Hezbollah, a war the only logical reason for which is a potential strike to the Iranian nuclear facilities.

According to Commentator Ben Dror Yemini, a right-wing columnist in Ma'ariv, Fatah prisoners were killed, women were forced to wear the veil, and Christian institutions were attacked under Hamas' rule in Gaza. Prisoners were even inflated with gas in a Nazi-like practice, as Yemini claimed, criticizing the Israeli TV for not broadcasting the available footage of such crimes.

I do not know if this is true. But what matters is the instigation. The issue does not have to do with torture inflicted upon a Fatah captive; it is rather about a regime that must not stay in power given its practices. In parallel, there is talk about Hamas keeping weapon caches in the Strip and Hezbollah being supplied with rockets and arms smuggled through Syria.

I am not as angry or desperate as to endorse an Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip. But I warn all the Palestinian factions that the attack will be inevitable if the present situation persists. In this case, Israel will be met with international support and Arab silence, perhaps connivance.

Neither the United States nor Israel and Arab countries are responsible for the disaster. The Palestinian factions are to blamed. For they prove every day that they are losers, ineligible to rule and even to mount resistance. For this reason, they must have mercy on the Palestinians and step down.

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Publication:Dar Al Hayat, International ed. (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Aug 10, 2008
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