Palastinian's unable to govern and control Gaza strip - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Palastinian's unable to govern and control Gaza strip

Gaza spirals into lawlessness
Analysis: History leaves Palestinian territory with seeds of anarchy
By Guy Raz, CNN Jerusalem Correspondent

Monday, January 2, 2006 Posted: 1956 GMT (0356 HKT)

Editor's note: In our Behind the Scenes series, CNN correspondents share their experiences in covering news and analyze the stories behind the events.

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Random kidnappings. Daily exchanges of gunfire between police and armed militants. Different neighborhoods patrolled and controlled by competing militias.

It appears as if Gaza has degenerated into anarchy.

In just the past 10 days in the 146-square-mile territory (about twice the size of Washington, D.C.):

Three Palestinian government offices were occupied by gunmen.

Armed militants detonated explosives in a United Nations club.

Three British nationals were kidnapped at gunpoint.

An Italian man was abducted.

Two rival families unloaded weapons at each other in a personal dispute.

A Palestinian police officer was killed in a shootout between police and militants.

The Palestinian-controlled border crossing was shut down by police angry at the death of their colleague, prompting European Union monitors to leave.

Palestinian police took over government offices in their continuing protest.

Israel launched air strikes on suspected terrorist targets.

Gaza was not supposed to turn out this way.

Last summer, Israel ended its 38-year military occupation of the area. For the first time in history, Gaza came under Palestinian rule.

No Ottoman Turks, no British mandate, no Egyptian control, no Israeli occupation. And in November, the Palestinian Authority took control over an international border crossing for the first time in history.

But there is this seeming absence of law and order in the territory -- caused by a number of factors and the subject of various theories.

First, a look at those theories:

Some Palestinian politicians say the trouble is a result of "labor pains." Palestinians are just beginning to taste political freedom, and freedom can sometimes be messy.

Others point to the Israeli occupation of 38 years, arguing it engendered a culture of violence in Gaza.

There is also the claim from some Palestinian officials that Israel decimated the Palestinian security forces during the past few years of fighting, rendering Gaza's police impotent.

Finally, many ordinary Palestinians point to the weakness of Fatah, the main Palestinian political movement which controls the Palestinian government. Fatah's leadership is widely seen as ineffective and, in some cases, corrupt.

Tainted legacies
Let's deconstruct those theories.

There is no doubt that the turmoil in Gaza is directly related to the fact that Israel's occupation has ended. Palestinians are now in control of their destiny in Gaza, and it's a new experience for a people who have lived most of their lives under some type of foreign control.

Today, there are tens of thousands of Palestinian men who are, formally, members of the security forces. Some have doubled as militants. Others have refused to carry out orders.
-- The Israeli military occupation and the Jewish settlements certainly didn't help make Gaza a "peaceful" place -- especially in the last five years of the occupation. But my experience, reporting from both inside Gaza and in the former settlements, showed the violence was not a one-sided affair.

The argument that Israel decimated the Palestinian security forces and helped render them impotent is an increasingly thin one. More than a quarter of the Palestinian budget is allocated towards the security services. Compare that to less than 10 percent for both health care and education.

Under the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the security services were divided up into more than a dozen different command structures. Arafat liked it that way. He preferred to "divide and rule," leaving a legacy of chaos and disloyalty to his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.

Today, there are tens of thousands of Palestinian men who are, formally, members of the security forces. Some have doubled as militants. Others have refused to carry out the orders of Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.

In terms of Fatah's imminent implosion, that has a lot to do with the disarray. The movement founded by Arafat in 1959 has dominated Palestinian political life since then. But between 1982 and 1994, most of Fatah's top leadership was based abroad, in Tunis, Tunisia.

When they returned to the West Bank and Gaza in 1994 after the Oslo Accords, many younger members of Fatah who never left the Palestinian territories resented these old men who rapidly assumed control.

Some of these older leaders were accused of skimming money from the Palestinian budget and favoring their political allies over the interests of the general Palestinian population.

It's now coming to a climax, and its causing a major headache for Abbas. He heads Fatah and later this month, he's hoping his movement will win the majority of seats in elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) or parliament.

Most political observers believe Fatah will win, but emerge badly bruised. Many ordinary Palestinian voters are tired of Fatah and tired of the movement's poor performance in government.

Seeking stability
The unsung beneficiary in all this is Hamas. The militant Islamist organization is also fielding candidates in the upcoming elections and has vowed to clean house. That is, to restore law and order to the streets of the Palestinian territories and to run an efficient, transparent, and open government.

All public opinion polls show most Palestinians want an end to internal chaos, a solution to the conflict with Israel, and self-determination.
-- The problem, though, is that both the United States and the European Union are threatening to cut off vital foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas takes power.

Why? Because Hamas formally refuses to accept the existence of Israel and still, again formally, is committed to Israel's destruction. Under the Oslo Accords of 1993, political movements who take part in Palestinian government must accept Israel's right to exist.

Now it should be noted that many Palestinians who will choose Hamas or another political party over Fatah aren't necessarily in favor of Hamas' political stance towards Israel.

But many voters are coming to the view that Hamas will bring stability and restore order. There is already evidence in certain Palestinian towns and cities now governed by Hamas officials.

Ultimately, all public opinion polls show most Palestinians want an end to internal chaos, a solution to the conflict with Israel, and self-determination.

Now we have to wait and see the outcome of the January 25 parliamentary elections to find out what happens next.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 01:28 PM
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Israeli Occupation is the reason for their failure

The Palastinian people have been under occupation for over 50 years.

Law and Order cannot be attained over a short period of time of 6 months.

"The Communists will defeat us, not by
virtue of their strength, but because
of our weakness. They will win by default."

Ngo Dinh Diem

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Israeli Occupation is the reason for their failure

Don't foget the 20k+ Palastinians the Jordanians killed.

Here is some info:

On September 1, 1970, several attempts to kill the king failed. On September 6, in the series of Dawson's Field hijackings, three planes were hijacked by PFLP: a SwissAir and a TWA in Zarqa and a BOAC in Cairo, on September 9, a British Airways plane at Amman, the passengers were held hostage. The PFLP announced that the hijackings were designed "to teach the Americans a lesson because of their long-standing support of Israel". After all hostages were removed, the planes were demonstratively blown up in front of TV cameras. Directly confronting and angering the King, the rebels declared Irbid area a "liberated region".

On September 16, King Hussein declared martial law. The next day, Jordanian tanks (the 60th armored brigade) attacked the headquarters of Palestinian organizations in Amman; the army also attacked camps in Irbid, Salt, Sweileh and Zarqa making no distinction between civilians and the guerrillas. Then the head of Pakistani training mission to Jordan, Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (later President of Pakistan), took command of the 2nd division.

The armored troops were inefficient in narrow city streets and thus the Jordanian army conducted house to house sweeps for Palestinian fighters and got immersed in heavy urban warfare with the inexperienced and undisciplined Palestinian fighters.

On September 18, Syria, through the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) branch (whose headquarters were located in Damascus and which was very close to the Syrian regime), tried to intervene on the behalf of the Palestinian guerrillas. The PLA size was equivalent to a division and was met by the 40th armored brigade of Jordanian army.

In light of the recent events, the Jordanian king asked for American support to prevent the Syrian backed attack which could ultimatly result in a victory of the Palestinians and an end to his pro-western government. In order to protect their vital Arab ally, the American government requested Israeli help. Israel Air Force planes made low overflights over the PLA tanks as a sign of warning. Soon the PLA began to withdraw. Israel had successfully intervened in an internal Arabic conflict on behalf of the American government through the mere threat of violence.

Meanwhile, both Hussein and Arafat attended the meeting of leaders of Arab countries in Cairo and on September 27 Hussein signed an agreement that treated both sides as equals and acknowledged the right of the Palestinian organizations to operate in Jordan. The next day, Egypt's Nasser died of a sudden heart attack.

Estimates of the number of the people killed in the ten days of Black September range from three thousand to more than five thousand, although exact numbers are unknown. The Western reporters were concentrated at the Intercontinental hotel, away from the action. Nasser's state controlled Voice of the Arabs from Cairo reported alleged genocide.

President Nixon responded by sending an additional carier task force and the Marine Assault ship GUAM to supplement the 6th fleet. The U.S. Navy positioned itself off the coast of Israel and Jordan to protect American interests and citizens. U.S. Forces remained on alert in the area throughout September and October.

After September
The situation in Syria became unstable and soon Hafez al-Assad became the ruler of Syria in a coup d'état.

On October 31, Arafat, whose position was weakened, had to sign another agreement (similar to one of November 1968) that returned control over Jordan to the King, requiring the dismantlement of Palestinian militant bases and banning their members from carrying unconcealed weapons. At a meeting of the Palestinian National Council that followed, both PFLP and DFLP groups refused to accept this agreement and instead, accepted the proposal that Jordan would be a part of a Palestinian state to replace both Jordan and Israel.

The violations continued and on November 9, Jordanian prime minister Wasfi al-Tal signed an order to confiscate illegal weapons. By January 1971, the army strengthened its control over the cities. Another agreement regarding surrendering weapons was signed and broken. After the discovery of illegal arms warehouse in Irbid in the Spring, the army placed a curfew and began arresting the rebels. On June 5, several leading Palestinian organizations including Arafat's Fatah, called on Radio Baghdad to overthrow King Hussein who was regarded as a "puppet separatist authority."

The army regained control over the last remaining PLO strongholds, mountainous cities of Jerash and Ajloun. As King Hussein declared "absolute quiet" in the kingdom, Fatah members announced that they prefer to die rather than surrender.

The number of casualties in what resembled a civil war, are estimated in tens of thousands, and although both sides were involved in intentional killing of civilians. It was a turning point for Jordanian identity, as the kingdom embarked on the program of "Jordanization" of the society.

Palestinian militants were driven out to Lebanon as a result of the Cairo Agreement. See Lebanon Civil War.

The group Black September, was established by Fatah members. On November 28 1971, in Cairo, four of its members assassinated Wasfi al-Tal. See also Munich massacre

More info:

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 01:44 PM
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RE: Palastinian's unable to govern and control Gaza strip

Yet another 2000 words, chopped and re-worked, when the link would have worked better by itself.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2006, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Palastinian's unable to govern and control Gaza strip

Marsden - 1/2/2006 4:44 PM

Yet another 2000 words, chopped and re-worked, when the link would have worked better by itself.
Please look at the statistics for the percentage of people that do not follow external links.
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