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Laila El-Hadded Reports On How Recent Fighting in Gaza Has Paralyzed Civilian Life
by Democracy Now (reposted)
Thursday May 17th, 2007 8:01 AM
We turn now to Gaza where at least twenty Palestinians were killed Wednesday in fierce internal fighting between the two main factions Hamas and Fatah. As many as 45 people have died with more than 100 wounded in four days of violence.
The rival groups agreed to their fourth truce in as many days Wednesday in a bid to stop the fighting. The truce has appeared to take hold as President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah is due to travel to Gaza for talks with Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya.

Meanwhile, Israel carried out airstrikes on Gaza killing at least four Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered a "severe response" after Hamas fired rockets into Israel, injuring four Israelis.

Laila El-Haddad is a Palestinian journalist and mother living in Gaza. She writes for a number of publication including Aljzeera.net and The Guardian of London. She maintains a blog called "Raising Youssef: A Diary of a Mother Under Occupation." She joins us on the line from Gaza.

* Laila El-Haddad, Palestinian journalist and mother living in Gaza. She writes for Aljazeera.net. She maintains her own blog "Raising Youssef: A Diary of a Mother Under Occupation"

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by Electronic Intifada
Thursday May 17th, 2007 12:32 PM
Arab governments appear at a loss how to stop the stunning wave of Palestinian factional fighting, which threatens to wreck the region's already faltering efforts to resume the Arab-Israeli peace process.

Arabs watched television footage of the Gaza fighting in despair. "May God curse you all," Egyptian columnist Ahmed Ragab wrote, referring to the Palestinian factions.

The chaos is a heavy blow to U.S. Arab allies who have tried for months to mediate an end to the disputes between the militant Hamas movement and the mainstream Fatah faction led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Regional power Saudi Arabia has stayed silent about the clashes in Gaza since they began five days ago, a sign of its anger at the two sides and its reluctance to get involved.

The kingdom put its political clout on the line in February when it hosted a summit between Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal aimed at ending a previous bout of factional fighting. The summit in the holy city of Mecca ended with a deal on a Palestinian unity government that Saudi Arabia touted as a major breakthrough and is now in danger of collapse.

"It is hard to see Saudis or anyone else expending political capital and sticking their neck out for the Palestinians while gunmen controlled by Hamas and Fatah turn Gaza into a homegrown killing field," Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper said in an editorial.