Fratricide is really painful, heart-rending!

UPDATED: 17:32, June 15, 2007

Scene after scene of increasingly bloody fighting between ruling Hamas Islamists and President Mahmoud Abbas's secular faction have been going on in the Gaza strip of Palestine these days.

Intense gun battles and mortar shelling continued on Wednesday, June 13 and, a day earlier, on Tuesday, or June 12, it was described by international media as the most intense bloody day, the day on which Palestinian Fatah and Mamas militants fought an all-out "unprecedented" battle with the use of all types of military equipment available, such as mortars, rockets and machine guns, leaving 28 people dead and more than 100 others wounded. Approximately 60 Palestinians were killed in these internal clashes in three days of fighting.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas called a meeting of the Fatah Central Committee in Ramallah Tuesday night and announced a decision of Fatach to temporarily suspend the effort to join the Palestinian national unity government till the internal clashes between Hamas and Fatah were over. Prior to the meeting, Mahmoud Abbas accused Hamas of staging a "blood coup" in Gaza, and prompted the armed factions in conflict to immediately lay down their arms and cease the internal clashes and bloodshed.

As far as the appearances go, the escalating open infighting of Palestine is focused on the contention for control of the security right and a greater decisive say in political affairs. And the in-depth reasons behind, however, are attributed to the inevitable clashes of very different outlooks on value, ideas about wielding the power and the mode of action between the two sides in the special conditions. Fatah, a temperate force with a history of decades, aims to build a "democratic, progressive and free nation without racial discrimination and regardless to races; whereas Hamas, a faction with obvious strong religious tints, stands for establishing an Islamic nation with the integration of religions and the state under the guidance of Islamism.

Such a world of difference has mad it difficult for the two factions to live in peace and harmony. In fact, since Hamas came to power through election, they could only sit in the chairs of the joint administration thanks to patient, painstaking persuasion of Saudi Arabia. Many veterans in Fatah, who had fought diligently and unswervingly for decades resent to the supporting role they now assume in governing. In the meantime, Hamas militants now very much value the power they have seized, are particular about it and would brook no interference from outsiders. They regard their contention with Fatah as the life-death struggle to defend their rights and safeguard their dignity. Consequently, it is real hard and inevitable for Fatah and Hamas to avert the open strife and veiled rivalry, frictions and even bloodshed.

The internal faction scheme and plot as well as military strikes from Israel have saddened and disheartened most Palestinians. A latest poll conducted in Palestine show that as high as 90 percent of Palestinians referred to the new Palestinian national unity government as one in a terrible mess, and 70 percent of them deem that the unity government is sure to suffer domestic trouble from within and attacks from without and could be disintegrated in not a distant future.

In a recent commentary, the "Middle East" newspaper based in London cited the internal strife as only a prelude to the still greater turmoil just lying ahead. In view of the current situation, it is still too early to assert the disintegration of the Palestinian national unity government, but it is an irrefutable fact that Fatach and Hamas are strange bedfellows, the commentary noted. If their contradictions and strife are not disposed of prudently, coupled with troubles stirred up by external forces from behind the scene, it will be quite likely for them to part with each other and go their own ways eventually.

By People's Daily Online

People's Daily Online ---