Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sowing Wind, Reaping Whirlwind

Blood-Lusters in Gaza refused to recognize reality. Their brazen invasion of Israel has not furthered their cause. Their murder and abduction of IDF soldiers has not endeared them to the West. They have declared--once again--that they will not live in peace with Israel, even within their own state.

Israel has now responded to The PA's de facto act of war:
"Israeli military aircraft bombed bridges in the Gaza Strip late Tuesday night and early Thursday after a day of preparations for an operation aimed at freeing a captured soldier whose fate has transfixed much of the country.

Military jets screeched overhead throughout the evening, and minutes before midnight bombarded a key bridge linking north and central Gaza and a second one a half-hour later. Military officials said the air strikes were designed to prevent Palestinian gunmen who abducted Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19, during a Sunday attack on an army post at the strip's southeastern edge from moving him around Gaza or into Egypt.

The signs of imminent conflict mounted gradually throughout the day Tuesday. More than 3,000 Israeli soldiers, along with tanks and armored personnel carriers, waited along Gaza's perimeter for orders to move into the strip, which the military abandoned last September after evacuating Israel's settlements here. At the same time, Palestinian gunmen built berms near the borders and assembled sand-bag bunkers along routes into urban areas.

The violence overshadowed an agreement earlier in the day by leaders of Hamas to a unified political agenda advocated by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to ease the economic sanctions against the government.

According to Palestinian negotiators here, Hamas agreed to establish a national-unity government as part of an accord signed by the largest Palestinian political factions. If formally signed Wednesday as scheduled, the agreement would signal a major shift by Hamas's political leaders, who for the first time would effectively endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It came as Hamas is confronting internal divisions, international economic sanctions and the threat of a broad Israeli ground assault in Gaza to force Shalit's release. It would also be a significant political victory for Abbas, who had threatened to place the deal before Palestinian voters next month unless Hamas accepted its key conditions.

'In our view, this is an important step toward a lasting peace,' said Walid Awad, a spokesman for Abbas. 'The Hamas government has recognized the state of Israel.'"
The PA could have demonstrated its serious interest in a two-state solution before. Abbas could have authorized Fatah and PA security forces to shut down the operatives in Gaza. Instead, he played chicken with Hamas. Now he may have a unity government. Bully for him.

When the Palestinians truly desire a state of their own, they'll demand that their leaders stop provoking Israel. Otherwise, they chase shadows and dust. And in the end, that's exactly what they'll get.