/* Am I A Pundit Now?: Abbas On The Hot Seat

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Abbas On The Hot Seat

There was much speculation as to whether Abbas would get tough with the various militant factions among the Palestinians, or simply retire to his headquarters and do nothing. Abbas couldn't enforce discipline on these rival groups, it was said, because he would be doing Israel's bidding. But Abbas has a much better reason to crack down on them than that: self-preservation. Lawlessness, corruption and chaos are spinning out of control, and Abbas cannot just sit by and let event overwhelm him. Hamas is gaining popularity, and even elements of Fatah and the Al-Aqsa martyr's brigade - ostensible subdivisions of Abbas' own PLA, have openly defied Abbas. If he strikes, he may initiate a civil war, but at the rate things are moving, civil war among the Palenstinians may be a foregone conclusion. At least Abbas could seize the initiative and move first. There is a good AP article on this here.

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