Hamas and Fatah have accepted a Saudi Arabian offer to mediate
differences. The peace talks will be held in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis
have brokered peace deals in other Arab conflicts over the years. But the
Palestinian civil war is tricky, because the Saudis are supporting Fatah, while
the ancient Arab archenemy, Iran, is supporting Hamas. Neither side seems
willing to back down. A week of street violence has left over two hundred
Palestinians dead or wounded, and dozens of buildings damaged or destroyed.
up north in Lebanon, Hizbollah has called off its siege of government offices
in Beirut. This siege was intended to peacefully force the government to give
the Shia minority, and Hizbollah, veto power over government decisions. This
did not work. However, Hizbollah then lost control of the "peaceful
demonstrators," some of whom proceeded to invade Sunni neighborhoods.
Fighting broke out, and there were casualties. The Shia gangs withdrew, but
Hizbollah leaders are saying that the non-Shia (mainly Sunnis and Christians)
are weak and cowardly. This implies that, if the Shia started a civil war, they
would win. Dangerous talk in Lebanon. But Hizbollah has Iranian support, and
their "victory" over Israel last Summer, to inspire them. Iran is on
27, 2007: The fighting between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza is getting worse. Gunmen
are launching attacks on the homes of each other leaders. Most of the fighting
is still groups of armed men firing wildly at each other, but the daily
casualty rate is now over twenty.
26, 2007: About half the population of Gaza is wholly dependent on aid
organizations for food and medical care. The continuing anti-Israel violence
has made it increasingly difficult for the economy to operate. Israel is wary
of allowing Palestinian goods, or workers, into Israel, because the terrorists
use this access to get suicide bombers in.
25, 2007: Hamas and Fatah continue to try and work out a joint government. But
on the street, gunmen from each side keep running into each other, and opening
fire. At least a dozen gunmen were killed or wounded today.
24, 2007: The violence in Gaza is now more often directed at the Arab media.
Hamas and Fatah partisans see any criticism as worthy of a violent retort. One
TV station was bombed, in a case where all they did was broadcast exactly what
the Hamas prime minister said.