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Palestine on the brink of civil war?
by Electronic Intifada (reposted)
Saturday Dec 16th, 2006 4:18 PM
Since the Palestinian elections on 25 January 2006 brought a resounding Hamas victory, Fatah and its US and Israeli allies have been working to destabilize the democratically-elected government.
Hamas truly did deserve a chance at power after a year of unilateral ceasefire in the face of Israeli assassinations of its leaders, massive Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land, and the ongoing daily brutality of Israel's military occupation. And it certainly deserved the opportunity after seven years of Fatah's abject failure during the "peace process", leaving nothing but a legacy of continuously-colonized land while Fatah officials blatantly embraced self-serving corruption and overt pandering to US and Israeli interests.

Following the elections, in the spring, Israel began a process of starving Gaza via blockade to communicate to its one million residents that their vote didn't count. Just so the West Bank was not left out — and Gaza really got the message — Israel encouraged the international community to cease aid to the Palestinian Authority. In the summer and autumn, Israel launched two massive military campaigns in Gaza, resurrecting its mid-Intifada policy of overtly destroying official Palestinian Authority infrastructure -- now under the control of Hamas -- targeting ministry building after ministry building and plunging the wider population into chaos with massive demolitions of civilian infrastructure including bridges, roads, and power plants.

The obvious and ultimate end to this brutish and fundamentally anti-human means is civil war. You can only squeeze an entire population for so long, and employ the combined political might of the United States with Israel's military might — to attempt to shore up a failed, corrupt party against a democratically-elected government — before the fault lines you encouraged start rumbling and the ground starts shaking. And civil war is the obvious direction things are heading towards.

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