As gunmen spilt it and warring politicians hailed its sanctity, ordinary Palestinians showed their disgust for feuding Hamas and Fatah gunmen by refusing to donate blood.They always were. However unlikely it may be that it will come about, Palestinians need a culture of peace, not a culture dominated by terrorist groups. The apparatus of terror directed at Jews was always a warm-up for a future totalitarian state in which the apparatus of terror would be directed at Palestinians. The quasi-state of the PA is now demonstrating that clearly. The notion that that some sort of territorial settlement with Israel will even begin to solve their problems is pure fantasy. (Hat Tip: Captain's Quarters)
Doctors at Gaza City’s main hospital are used to a plentiful supply of volunteers queuing up to donate blood for victims of Israeli attacks. But faced with the selfinflicted wounds of the nascent Palestinian civil war, that supply has all but dried up. “We are all frustrated and depressed,” said Dr Jumaa al-Saqqa, director of publicity at the Shifa hospital.
He said that his staff were used to treating countless victims from battles with Israeli forces. But on a day in which his hospital became a battlefield, staff were dispirited at having to treat the victims of violence between Palestinians.
“We have a shortage of blood in the bank now. During Israeli incursions hundreds of people come to donate blood but now nobody. Why give your blood? For whom? For one to kill the other? I want to just take my white coat off and go home.”
Outside, Ismail Haniya, the Islamist Prime Minister, protested that the “smallest drop of Palestinian blood is dear to us”. Yet even as he spoke, his Hamas fighters were kidnapping, killing and wounding security personnel loyal to President Abbas.
And a day after Tony Blair backed the “moderate” Mr Abbas, fighters loyal to his Fatah faction sparked the day’s violence by using an ambulance to attack a Hamas unit at Shifa Hospital, killing one Islamist policeman with a rocketpropelled grenade and injuring ten in the gunfight that ensued. This set off a wave of revenge shootings and kidnappings across northern and central Gaza. Hamas reportedly captured the Fatah gunman suspected of firing the grenade, and shot him dead, dumping his body on the street. Six gunmen were killed and dozens wounded.
At least 11 people have died in Gaza since Mr Abbas called new elections on Saturday. A ceasefire declared in the wake of the first clashes broke down within 24 hours. Last night Hamas and Fatah agreed on another ceasefire, due to come into force this morning.
In Jabalya, Fatah intelligence officers who captured a Hamas official were surrounded yesterday by scores of bearded Hamas fighters, crouching in the doorways of homes, shops and a girls’ preparatory school as they threatened to attack the building with rockets unless their colleague was released.
Rival fighters took up position on street corners. Hamas police used radio scanners to issue orders to kill, while Fatah police broadcast warnings to all officers that Hamas was planning to use rocket grenades against marked security cars. Shifa hospital filled up with injured fighters from both factions, doctors working hard to keep the two sides apart. Dr Saqqa deplored the Hamas-led Government’s insistence on stationing its police at the hospital for the past four months. The hospital had become a “point of friction”, he said.
Masked and armed Hamas police took up positions on the hospital roof after withdrawing from their vulnerable ground positions attacked that morning. “We have redeployed to avoid direct clashes,” admitted one member of Hamas’s Executive Forces. “We were taken by surprise this morning. They came in an ambulance, which we didn’t expect. We lost heavily. We’re more prepared now for the tricks they might use.”
Four floors below, Shaaban Awad, a 23-year-old Fatah policeman, cursed the Islamist group as he was carried through the corridors with gunshot wounds to the leg.
“Hamas,” he spat, when asked who shot him. “It’s going to be worse than a civil war. Everyone is going to avenge the people who have already been killed and injured.”
In one ward, Dr Ahmed, another medic, was asked if blood donors were being put off.
“For sure, because we are fighting for nonsense.”
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
This is a pretty amazing spectacle, even for those of us who have been insisting for years that terrorists are thugs, not freedom fighters: