Why would Bush and Olmert contemplate a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank?
Readers of my novels will recall that in my second thriller, The Last Days (2003), a Palestinian civil war breaks about in the West Bank and Gaza, even as an American President is pushing hard for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. In numerous articles and weblog postings since then, I have continued to write about the dangers of a coming civil war between Arafat loyalists and radical Islamic jihadists. Sadly, such concerns now appear to be coming true. Fighting between PLO and Hamas forces has been intensifying in recent weeks, and talk of civil war is now on everyone's lips.
"The question on the Palestinian street is no longer when civil war will break
out, but when will it end," writes Khaled Abu Toameh in a
sobering article in The Jerusalem Post. "Armed clashes between
Hamas and Fatah supporters have been taking place every day since the deployment
of the new Hamas security forces in various parts of the Gaza Strip."
" Fatah, for its part, has done almost everything to provoke Hamas.," reports Toameh. "Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas was the first to alienate Hamas through a series of 'presidential decrees" designed to undermine the powers of the Hamas cabinet. The result was that Hamas was left without control over money and security. The tensions between the political leaders of Hamas and Fatah have since triggered a miniwar between their followers in various refugee camps and towns in the Gaza Strip....Over the past two weeks alone, the homes and cars of at least seven security officers loyal to Abbas have been targeted by Hamas militiamen. Hamas militiamen have also been targeted, with two of them killed in separate attacks by Fatah. This week's assassination attempt against Tarek Abu Rajab, commander of the General Intelligence Force, as well as the foiling of another attempt on the life of Rashid Abu Shabak, overall commander of three security forces, are seen as part of the Hamas-Fatah war."
Why then is Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Bush talking about surrendering the West Bank and handing it over to Hamas? It is a mistake on so many levels. Chief among them: rather than reward peace-loving moderates, such a move would reward the terrorists (and indirectly Iran, which is a prime backer of Hamas) and in the process create a new terrorist regime, just when the U.S. has destroyed Saddam Hussein's regime and the Taliban. CRO
2006 Joel C. Rosenberg