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October 8, 2005
The Civil War Continues

Hamas has stopped aiming at Israel in its war for control of the Palestinian areas and now set its sights on Fatah, the faction of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. The New York Times reports that Hamas abducted and wounded a key Fatah intelligence operative in Gaza overnight. Fatah, however, may have provoked the fight:

A senior official in the Palestinian intelligence service was kidnapped and shot Thursday night in the Gaza Strip, then dumped in a street in Beit Lahiya with serious wounds, the newspaper Haaretz reported Friday.

The official, Samir al-Jour, is a member of the main Fatah movement. His abduction was another sign of the continuing tension between Fatah and the radical Islamic group Hamas.

Later Thursday, three Hamas officials were abducted in the West Bank in apparent response. A little known group, the Omar bin al-Khattab Brigades, took responsibility for the kidnappings, saying in a statement, "This is a response to Hamas's violations and disregard for law and order and their attacks on security institutions and Palestinian leaders."

Palestinian officials suggested that the Khattab group was a cover for Fatah.

Now we have proxy terrorist groups as stand-ins for the "official" terrorist groups of the Palestinian government, such as the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and Hamas attacking Palestinians. In the meantime, Gaza appears to slip further and further into an anarchic mess, much more violent and potentially dangerous in the war on terror than anything in Baghdad. This shows what happens when the world insists on a withdrawal of the only forces capable of keeping peace; we get another Mogadishu.

How long before the world begs Israel, or worse, the UN to march into Gaza for "peacekeeping"? We should veto any such proposal. What we now see is the utterly predictable result of granting statehood to people who clearly lack the resources or the will to manage themselves in a non-violent manner. Let them kill each other for a change rather than innocent victims in Israel and Egypt. They seem to want a civil war in Gaza, and until they choose to forego war for their political ends, we will never see any improvement.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 8, 2005 10:37 AM

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