At Gaza, New Management, Same Service

Israel considers its response to the Hamas/Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade attack on Gaza’s main checkpoint into Israel proper that left at least six Israelis dead. Newly elected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has not even formally taken office, and already, he is being dissed. Spokesmen for the terror groups insist that the attack is aimed at Israel, and not at Abbas himself.
For its part, the Israeli government will, almost certianly, not engage in the usual heavy handed response of a military incursion. Why? To give Abbas an opportunity to get things in order, and internally crack down on, or at least stanch somewhat, the terrorists. Abbas has been saying continuation of the armed Intifada against Israel will only be counterproductive to Palestinians’ interests.
Of course, Paestinians who might have finally looked forward to a post-Arafat future with some optimism are duly pissed at the terrorists for f***ing things up for them: Israel will cut off the checkpoint, and hence, isolate Gaza again, which only makes things more miserable there for 1.3 million already miserable people. I daresay, in the post-Arafat Palestine, we’re probably less likely to see the sort of sadistic street celebrations of terrorist violence, as more Palestinians (finally) realize that the terrorists are part of their own criminal networks (now, a bit more dispersed… previously Arafat served as capo di capi), and not patriots, freedom fighters, or other such terms. Note, for example, that of the six Israelis killed, two were Israeli Arabs.
An ominous development is that Hizbollah is now sponsoring terrorist activities in the West Bank and Gaza. Hizbollah, in turn, is sponsored by the Syrian and Iranian governments. They are likely well beyond Abbas’ ability to do anything about, though Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (linked to Abbas’ own Fatah) may not be.
Time will tell. I tend to believe that Abbas (unlike Arafat) wants to lead the Palestinian people out of misery, and wants to crack down on the terrorists. And, for a change, I don’t think (right now, anyway) Israel wants to undermine him in doing this. Which means the issue will become whether he can do this, or whether the terrorist groups are just too powerful, in which case, we will have to say, the ultimate resolution will probably not be possible. Possibly ever.