“Gunmen from the ruling Palestinian movement Fatah traded fire with police and shut election offices.” The impulse to civil war in Gaza comes from those who wish to establish a Sharia state there; Abbas and Fatah represent the last confused (because already diluted beyond recognition) manifestation of the secular Arab nationalist impulse, with Arafat already having transformed himself from a leftist revolutionary into a virtual jihadist in his last years. Civil war update from Gaza, via Reuters, with thanks to JE:
GAZA (Reuters) – Gunmen from the ruling Palestinian movement Fatah traded fire with police and shut election offices in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in a new challenge to President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of next month’s election.
The gunmen demanded changes to the latest proposed list of election candidates, which was due to be submitted by Abbas on Wednesday as a way to patch up a damaging split between Fatah veterans and younger rivals.
The internal Palestinian squabbles, clashes with Israel, and the prospect of Israel’s own elections early next year have stalled any hopes of peacemaking in the near future.
The growing violence has driven some officials to urge Abbas to postpone the election, in which Hamas Islamic militants stand to benefit from the confusion within long-dominant Fatah.