Israel: Palestinians Leaderless


November 13, 2007: Gaza remains a low level war zone, with several incidents each week of rockets being fired at Israel, and Palestinians trying to cross the security fence, or plant bombs along the road near the fence. Meanwhile, the Israeli army is planning a large scale exercise in the West Bank, to test tactics and procedures if there were to be large scale fighting in the West Bank. Fatah is seen as only nominally in control of the West Bank, with most Palestinians tolerating Fatah rather than encouraging an even more disliked Hamas.

In response to yesterdays confrontation, Hamas police arrested dozens of Fatah officials in Gaza. Hamas and Fatah are still competing to be the sole leader of the Palestinians, but neither group has the support of a majority of the Palestinians. Fatah is seen as incompetent and corrupt, while Hamas is seen as radical and suicidal. Both political movements attract a minority of Palestinians, and neither is capable of controlling the entire Palestinian population.

November 12, 2007: Fatah made a surprising showing by attracting 250,000 of Gaza's 1.4 million people to a rally commemorating the fourth anniversary of Yassir Arafat's death. But the gathering eventually turned violent, with stones thrown at the Hamas police. Sorts were fired and eventually seven Fatah supporters were killed. Hamas was shocked that Fatah could turn out a crowd that large in Gaza. Many in the crowd were there more to protest Hamas, than to support Fatah.

November 11, 2007: Israeli raids against terrorists continue in Gaza and the West Bank.

November 7, 2007: Hamas gunmen in Gaza are showing signs of professional military training, and being supplied with first rate military equipment. All indications point to Iran as the source of the training and stuff like night vision gear.




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