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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gazans urge PA to stop Kassam attacks

Not all the 'Palestinians' are willing to take the heat. This is certainly a pleasant surprise. Maybe if we bomb all their neighborhoods the shooting will stop?

In the wake of Israel's escalated response, Palestinians living in the northern Gaza Strip have appealed to the new Palestinian Authority government to take immediate action to prevent gunmen from firing Kassam rockets from their neighborhoods at Israel, a senior Hamas official said Tuesday.

He said the appeal was made in an urgent letter sent to PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh by scores of Palestinians living in Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun and other areas that have been targeted by Israeli artillery over the past few weeks.

"They are demanding that we issue instructions to the security forces to prevent the rocket attacks," the official told The Jerusalem Post. "But how can we stop the rockets when we don't have control over most of these forces?" he asked.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently decided to place most of the PA's security forces under his direct control, in a clear attempt to block Hamas from controlling them. The National Security Force, which is supposed to prevent gunmen from firing rockets at Israel, reports to Abbas and not Interior Minister Said Siam. [In other words, Hamas can now duck responsibility for the chaos. CiJ]

According to the Hamas official, Abbas's ongoing attempt to cut the powers of the Hamas cabinet is largely responsible for the growing state of lawlessness and anarchy in the Gaza Strip. "These security forces don't know who their commanders are," he added. "They're not receiving clear instructions from anyone."[Maybe Hamas and Fatah need to agree on something. In a real country, governments change hands without any such confusion - and previous treaties are honored. CiJ]

Earlier this week, in yet another attempt to curb Hamas's powers, Abbas issued a "presidential decree" in which he appointed Rashid Abu Shabak, a former PA security chief and Fatah leader, as "director-general of internal security." As such, the official pointed out, "Abu Shabak and Abbas are now responsible for the security chaos and only they have the power to stop the rocket attacks."


Another Hamas official told the Post that his movement was interested in calming the situation so that it could deal with the other problems facing the Palestinians, first and foremost its severe financial crisis. [Let's get that violin out again. CiJ] However, the official complained that those who are seeking to escalate the situation are also trying to undermine the Hamas cabinet.

"Some of these groups are acting against the interests of the Palestinians," he charged. "These rockets are endangering the lives of many innocent people who are being attacked with Israeli shells." [If they weren't 'against the interests of the 'Palestinians,'' they would be happy to let them keep shooting. CiJ]

Hani al-Masri, a prominent columnist and senior official with the PA's Ministry of Information, on Tuesday called for an end to the rocket attacks on Israel. Noting that the homemade rockets had little effect on Israel's security, he said the Palestinians were making a mistake by resorting to military means in their struggle with Israel.

"Israel has enormous military superiority over us and enjoys the backing of the US," Masri said. "This is not a war between two armies, but between an occupation and a defenseless people."

Masri urged the Hamas-controlled cabinet to take a clear position regarding the rocket attacks "so as not to give Israel an excuse to pursue its aggression on the Palestinians." Hamas, he added, is in an embarrassing situation because it can't call for an end to the rocket and suicide attacks that it started during the intifada. [Awww.... CiJ]


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