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January 4, 2006
Palestinian Gratitude

After having their daughter give her life in a misguided attempt to assist Palestinians in keeping their weapon-transit tunnels open, Rachel Corrie's parents might have labored under a perception that the Palestinians might have some gratitude for their sacrifice ... or at least prove themselves worthy of her death on their behalf. Instead, to show just how civilized they can act when they have their own territory, members of the ruling Fatah faction tried to kidnap the Corries as they also blew up part of the Gaza-Sinai border, killing two guards:

PALESTINIAN society disintegrated further yesterday as gunmen from the ruling Fatah movement tried to kidnap the parents of an American activist who died trying to halt the demolition of Gaza homes, while other militants destroyed part of Gaza's border wall with Egypt - killing two guards.

Both actions, and the takeover of seven government offices in the town of Rafah, were undertaken by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in order to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to release a militant arrested on Tuesday for alleged involvement in the kidnapping last week of the British human rights worker Kate Burton and her parents, Helen and Hugh.

Spokesmen for the gunmen appeared on al-Jazeera television unmasked and announced that there would be no voting in Rafah on 25 January, the day of parliamentary elections, unless the suspected kidnapper, Alaa al-Hams, is released.

It now looks like Ariel Sharon may have struck the most devastating blow against Palestinian statehood by allowing them to have Gaza all to themselves. Sharon, who may be dying at this very moment, gave the world a fishbowl for the Palestinians to demonstrate the endgame of their nihilism. They have now made a ruin of Gaza, attacked Egypt, kidnapped the parents of one of their own folk heroes, and turned the territory into a gangland instead of a state. Egypt has yet to respond to the murder of its guards, but one doubts that Cairo will react with brotherly love to a government that it insisted be given this golden opportunity to prove it could run Gaza as a state.

Even the PA now admits that the statehood project has been a catastrophe and that its failure has little to do with Israel, according to The Scotsman. The Palestinian people have used democracy to repeatedly validate a mandate for war. The political factions involved in the territories have refused to disarm. The Palestinian Authority, an oxymoron if ever there was one, has proven itself impotent without the old terrorist Yasser Arafat at its head. The lack of law and order has reduced the entire area to little more than a free-fire zone and terrorist's delight -- and the only authority that could possibly control the violence has no more incentive to intervene, thanks to decades of scolding for providing that service without any recognition of its necessity.

If Sharon passes away tonight, he can go with a satisfaction of forcing the Palestinians themselves to prove themselves unworthy of the world's concern.

UPDATE: AP also reports that Corrie's parents were the target of the attempt, but that their identity eventually saved them from capture:

Elsewhere, Palestinian gunmen burst into a Rafah house early Wednesday and tried to kidnap the parents of Rachel Corrie, who was killed in 2003 as she protested the impending demolition of a house in the southern Gaza town, according to a witness.

The five gunmen appeared to be affiliated with the Fatah movement, according to Samir Nasrallah, the Corries' host. The gunmen eventually relented after being told who their targets were, he said.

The Egyptians had to withdraw a half-mile from the Rafah crossing until orders finally came to fire on the hundreds of Palestinian gunmen swarming over the border. They have cut the electricity to Rafah now. Do you suppose they have an inkling what Israel had to tolerate now?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 4, 2006 9:03 PM

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