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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fatah unable to dismantle militias

If anyone had any doubts, this story shows the worthlessness of a 'promise' from Abu Mazen. I guess 'Palestinians' never heard the story of the Little Engine that Could when they were growing up.

The Fatah Movement will not be able to dismantle the militias of Hamas and Islamic Jihad despite a promise to do so by its leader Mahmoud Abbas, a senior official said on the final day of campaigning.

Top Hamas officials Monday launched blistering verbal attacks on Israel but left the door open to negotiations, in a mixed message aimed at shoring up last-minute support.

"We can't honor Abbas' commitment to dismantle the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militias," Fatah campaign chief Nabil Shaath said in an interview with Spain's El Pais newspaper.

Shaath, who is deputy prime minister in the Palestinian Authority, said there were three reasons for this.

Firstly the new PA that would emerge from Thursday's elections would need to "rebuild the security forces, have more weapons and munitions at its disposal and plan better training for the police and army. That will take time," he warned.

"Secondly, we need to develop the Palestinian economy and cut unemployment - which is currently at 65 percent - so that people don't join Hamas and Islamic Jihad. When there are jobs, they'll be less inclined to join the resistance."

Thirdly, Shaath accused the two Islamist movements of "not wanting to join the political process."

"It will take a long time before these three prerequisites are met," Shaath said.


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