Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Holy Land - Good News, Bad News

Although I'm not terribly confident in Abbas yet, as it remains to be seen whether or not he simply considers some negotiations with Israel as a means to gain concessions which will simply lead to demands for more concessions and other behaviour in bad faith such as Arafat preferred. However, I will admit that the initial signs are promissing.

Abbas has forbidden civilians from carrying firearms and sent in the police to dampen clashes as the Israelis prepare to withdraw from Gaza. The willingness to actually impose some sort of order is a huge step forwards as Arafat never did anything more than shake his finger at terrorists and say "bad terrorists bad", only to wink at them while he was doing it.

However, I did mention bad news which would be.

But Abbas suffered a setback Friday when the militant group Hamas won an overwhelming victory in elections for municipal council seats in Gaza.

Hamas won more than 65 per cent of the vote, with 30 per cent going to Fatah, led by Abbas.

Hammas is a terrorist group devoted to destroying Israel which promotes suicide bombings. I really can't take them recieving a popular mandae of any kind as anything but profoundly bad news for peace in the middle east.


At 5:57 AM, Blogger Kateland, aka TZH said...

I have no confidence in Abbas at all. If he had his eyes on a state for his people that did not require the destruction of the Jewish state he would be arresting Hamas and Islamic Jihad rather than seeking appeasement. That bann on weapons refers to unlicensed weapons only, all else is fair game, furthermore a license is easy to obtain in the PA. Arafat also regularly issued bans on unlicensed weapons and did in fact confiscate the unlicensed weapons when it suited his purposes.


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