October 17, 2005
Dancing with the Wolves
By: Khaled Duzdar*
'Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise: "Gray"'
Deeds not words "Chaucer".
A few months ago I gave warning about the local lawlessness and anarchy in Palestine in a piece I wrote titled “It’s now or never”. I said that if the Palestinian Authority would not take serious actions immediately, the situation would deteriorate to the level of total chaos. Today the situation is in a quandary, the Palestinian territory is under anarchy which is leading to the level that can be described as the "Somalia model". Political factions and militia do as they please; the cities and towns are divided into vandalizing feudal Lords with the absence of law and order. The Palestinian security forces do not control and in some cases they were themselves involved in a number of incidents of misused force only adding to the sense of total chaos.
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds," Shakespeare".
The worst of the worse in this situation is when the Palestinian security forces carry out acts that violate laws and contravene with their responsibilities and duties. A case in point is when members of the Security forces broke into the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza city during a formal session to protest the absence of security and chaos, they themselves acting in a gangster like style. There are no logical reasons or excuses for this kind of behavior by the security forces. They are supposed to prevent acts of armed protests and anarchy. They are supposed to protect the immunity of the Council. Adding insult to injury, the majority of these “protesters” were not even in uniform, indicating that while on duty they might be providing security, but while off-duty they are busy violating laws that they are supposed to enforce. Moreover, few days ago, members of one of the security forces broke into a civilian house shooting and injuring the civilians, menacing women and children, over a minor dispute regarding the parking a car.
Judge not, that ye be not judged, "Mathews 7:1-2".
Anarchy in Palestine had reached its highest chaotic level now. Armed forces in Gaza are now even adopting the Iraqi model of bedlam and kidnapping, without distinguishing between the targets, even foreigners working in assisting the Palestinian community are targeted. This is being done to blackmail the Authority to answer their demands. The perpetrators of these crimes have never been arrested and have never paid for their crimes. They move and acting freely with confidence that they can achieve what they want through their criminal acts. There are absolutely no justifications for the claim of “armed resistance” when these arms are used to target their own people.
"Ill weeds grow apace".
Today, the territories are controlled by thousands of myriad armed militia, who are proliferating and growing daily. They defy the Authority and endanger not only Palestinian unity, but the Palestinian people themselves. Violence and acts of anarchy in all Palestinian cities are massively spreading. These warlords cannot legitimize their claim that they are resistance groups. They cannot justify their violent acts against the Authority. There is no justification for intimidating the public. These people are not resisting occupation. Their acts are damaging and dangerous. They are a direct threat to Palestinian national interests and to national security.
"Corruption of the best becomes the worst".
Fatah is the leading source for the proliferation of these warlords. These gangs, using the name of Fatah have turned into gangsters and warlords. They have descended the situation in the Palestinian cities to a gangster's battlefield. The PA must begin dismantling and disarming these so-called Fatah affiliated armed groups. The PA must enforce the law by banning all those who are committing crimes against the Palestinian people and those who challenges the Authority on a daily basis. These warlords they think that they are the Authority or that they are acting on behalf of the Authority. But the truth is that they are causing damage to the legitimate Palestinian cause through their abuses. They are not defending Palestinians by committing crimes of killing, wreaking havoc on the Palestinian people; intimidating, abducting and racketeering, extorting protection money from innocent civilians and acting illicitly as the judge and the executioner.
If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch, "Mathews 15:14".
It is clear that in the unremitting clashes between Hamas and the PA forces Hamas is challenging the Authority and is working towards the creation of an authority over the Palestinian Authority. Their hidden plan is create a parallel body, shadowing the Palestinian Authority, acting as if they are the only authority in Gaza. They are trying to appear as the conquerors of the Israeli occupation in Gaza. They sell the public the notion that their resistance forced Israel out of Gaza. They have no regret that the missiles they fired into Israel ended up causing civilian casualties and losses of lives for innocent people, the same people that they are claiming justification in protecting them.
"Example is better than precept".
There is no reciprocal situation between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas. There is not a situation of a clash between two armed movements. It is a clash between the Authority and opposing individuals who are acting outside of the law. Moreover, as we now know without any doubt, the accusations of Hamas against the Authority and the Minister of Interior blaming them for explosion during their militant parade in Jabalya were false; Hamas itself was guilty of this crime. Denouncing the internal fighting is not enough; there should be an end to the phenomena of armed civilians and militias, especially in Gaza. There are no longer any reasons left for the militias to carry arms, because the occupation forces are no longer present in Gaza. What are the needs for armed militias and for militant parades?
Practice what you preach, "Shakespeare".
The lost of hope and the current feeling of insecurity in the public is worse than at the time of occupation. Palestinian civilians are not secure; they lost their confidence in the Authority and its security forces. They perceive the security forces and their senior commanders as being the leaders of corruption. The public believes that these so-called security commanders are only interested in serving their own narrow interests.
Know thyself, "Thales".
Is the new cabinet the solution, "A transitional government"? Who could run such a cabinet, and what purpose would it serve if elections are ahead of us in three months? Could any new Minister of Interior bring changes for the coming three months before the elections?
Dancing with the wolves.
It seems that the Palestinian President is "dancing with the wolves" by trying to negotiate and mediate between them to end the lawlessness, while the wolves are attacking his flock at night. President Abbas should reconsider this tactic. If the wolves attack and threaten his flock, he should find a way to protect them from the disobeying wolves and not to appease the wolves. Ultimately he has to fight those who oppose law and order. He has to work on putting an immediate end to the lawlessness. He must to be adamant in enforcing law and ending all signs of anarchy and armed militias. Enforcement of the law should not be negotiable. President Abbas has to end this situation immediately; with no more procrastination. If not, the rapid disintegration and chaos will turn his period in government into another Palestinian experience in failed governance from which the Palestinian people will continue to suffer.
* Khaled Duzdar is the Palestinian Co-Director of the Strategic Affairs Unit, Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information - Jerusalem