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Abbas more dangerous than Arafat

Reader comment on item: Business as Usual in the Palestinian Authority [after Arafat's Death]

Submitted by Lloyd Klein (Canada), May 17, 2005 at 12:40

Thanks you for your excellent analysis of the current situation.

There is no question in my mind that the risks of both Abbas as President and the withdrawal from Gaza are great. Like everyone else, I have tried to get into the mind of Sharon on the withdrawal matter. I think that he thinks that with the settlers out of Gaza, Gaza becomes a much more vulnerable military target. Having said that I doubt Israel will have the fortitude to carry through a war with Gaza, even though it could be morally justified.

First off any attack from Gaza can be labelled a "bad faith" move by the Palestinians. After all they were given control over the land in return for peace and did not keep their end of the bargain. Militarily a simple battle of attrition can be fought, by simply turning off the water to Gaza and keeping it off until an unconditional surrender of all combatants is delivered. These combatants should of course be executed, but whether the Knesset will have the guts to implement the law to do this is highly questionable. Quarantining combatants in a prisoner of war camp would be second best. Then they can be used as a bargaining chip for getting Abbas to agreed to providing peace in return for the non-strategic parts of the West bank that Israel is prepared to give up.

While this all looks logical on paper, the oil card and America's intervention could foul it all up, so America must come on board openly, before this strategy has any hope of working.

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