Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will demand that armed groups disband immediately after parliament elections in January in a bid to impose order in the Gaza Strip following the Israeli pullout, a top aide said Wednesday.This would be a very nice concept, except for two large problems:
Hamas reiterated it will not disarm, and Palestinian officials said they will not risk civil war despite intense international pressure to confront the armed groups.Abbas' forces are supposed to be working hard to stop the terrorists, but so far they are either not trying to failing miserably.
Abbas' security forces have largely displayed weakness since the Israeli withdrawal on Monday. By contrast, Hamas brought tens of thousands into Gaza City's main square late Tuesday — the first day Palestinians controlled Gaza — for the biggest rally by the Islamic militant group ever seen here.One job was to close the Egyptian/Gaza border:
The immediate test of the Palestinian security forces is to make good on a pledge to seal the Gaza-Egypt border Wednesday afternoon, and arrest all trespassers after the deadline. The once heavily guarded border has been wide open since the Israelis left, with thousands of people crossing in both directions.This, despite assurances to the contrary.
A Palestinian commander had pledged that hundreds of police would take up positions along the border by Tuesday evening. However, on Wednesday morning, only a few roadblocks had been set up, and people managed to reach the border.The Palestinian Authority is on occasion even directly allowing the terrorists to do as they please.
On Wednesday morning, chaos reigned on the frontier for the third straight day. Palestinian militants blew up a section of an Israeli-built metal wall on the border to make it easier for people to cross. The gunmen cleared the area just before the blast to prevent casualties, and Palestinian police did not intervene.And the Egyptians are doing absolutely nothing to stop them: Despite a supposed 30-year peace treaty with the Israelis.
Egyptian guards, deployed along their side of the border as part of an agreement with Israel, did not stop the flow of people.What's possibly saddest is the next step:
Israeli officials said Wednesday that they had filed a complaint with Egypt.Filed a complaint?! Pathetic! In what part of the world is there such blatant disregard for agreements and treaties as this? Egypt should be getting sanctioned and worse for not following to the only requirement asked of them by the border. The Palestinians should be warned that if they do not - at once - take control of the border the border will be taken control of for them.
There should be no more of these dumb games. Israel did its part; the Palestinians should be required to do theirs forcefully and immediately. Sharon's speech to the United Nations (assuming he gives one) will be telling. He should speak forcefully and unequivocally, and demonstrate to the world that this is the last chance.
Most importantly, he must mean it.
Technorati tags: Palestinians, Israel, Gaza, Abbas, Hamas.
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