Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave her backing to Mahmoud Abbas, saying he had exercised his “lawful authority.” It appears that the Bush administration will boost aid to Abbas while allowing Gaza to slip into further despair in order to weaken Hamas’ popular standing. Some analysts see the US intervention in the Palestinian affairs and categorization of Palestinian factions into moderates and extremists as partly to blame for the Gaza chaos, the intensifying power struggle between Fatah and Hamas and leaving plans for a unified Palestinian state up in the air.Ha'aretz reports that Israel intends to release the Palestinian tax money it withheld since Hamas came to power, because the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has fired the elected government. Haaretz has also reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is planning to tell President Bush that that there is an urgent need to view the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as separate entities and prevent contact between them. The US isolation of Gaza, home to 1.5 million Palestinians, would have grave security and humanitarian consequences and backfire at the end of the day, American analysts, former and current US administration officials warned Saturday, June 16. "We could see Gaza be the font of a much more militant radicalism than we have seen in the Palestinian community so far," Jon Alterman told Reuters. Arab states have thrown their support behind Abbas and urged a halt to infighting so that the unity of Palestinian lands can be preserved. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held preliminary talks on the idea of sending an international force to Gaza, but Hamas rejected the move, saying it would treat foreign troops as occupation forces. "We are supporting President Abbas and we are supporting the elected legislative assembly," Amr Moussa, Arab League secretary-general, said on Friday.
Democracy Now: What Next for Palestinians? | Denied Legitimacy by Vote, Hamas Wins it by Force | Awaking to a different Gaza | Robert Fisk: Welcome to 'Palestine' | Oslo's baleful legacy | Hamas hints at talks as chaos reigns in divided Palestine | US Meddling Blamed for Gaza Crisis | Ex-Fatahist Blasts Abbas-backed Dahlan | Abbas set to unveil new government | NPR: What's in Store for the Middle East? | Gazans loot Erez crossing into Israel | Israel prisons separate Hamas inmates from Fatah ones | Haniyeh Defiant, Crisis Deepens | Growing fear of West Bank retribution | Palestinian president declares emergency | Hamas declares victory | A setback for the Bush doctrine in Gaza | 36 killed, 250 wounded in 24 hours of Gaza fighting | Hamas uncovers CIA plots in Occupied Palestine