Democracy Is So Messy
Violence has flared since Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called for new elections, a move the Hamas-led government branded a “coup” … While Fatah … controls the presidency, Hamas, which won elections in January, runs the government. Fighting between the factions has paralysed Hamas’ administration, which has also been crippled by an international embargo against it. Hamas refuses to renounce violence or recognise Israel – a crucial demand of the international community.
Tony Blair, visiting the West Bank on Monday, declared, “If the international community really means what it says about supporting people who share the vision of a two-state solution, who are moderate, who are prepared to shoulder their responsibilities, then now is the time for the international community to respond.”
Gunmen opened fire on the convoy of the [Hamas] Palestinian foreign minister … in the tense aftermath of President Mahmoud Abbas’s call for early elections. Hours later a mortar attack on the presidential compound in the Gaza Strip wounded five people and a Palestinian civilian was killed in running gun battles.
[Foreign Minister] Zahar, a surgeon by training, is a Hamas hard-liner whom the Israeli government has tried to assassinate … For much of the past week, the armed wings of Fatah and Hamas have engaged in reprisal killings following the fatal shooting of the three young sons of a [Fatah] senior Palestinian intelligence officer … On Thursday evening, gunmen attacked the convoy of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, killing one of his bodyguards and wounding his son, a political adviser and others.