Daily Israel Report

Abbas´ Government Losing Control

The PA has lost control in Gaza, where England has warned its citizens not to visit. A new Yasser Arafat party has been established to wrest control from the ruling Fatah regime.

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/26/2005, 5:50 AM / Last Update: 12/25/2005, 10:28 AM

A senior aide to Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told United Press International that the PA no longer controls Gaza. On Saturday, Hamas terrorists seriously injured two PA policemen who stopped them at a checkpoint in Gaza City.

Kidnappings of foreign citizens have been rampant, and England told its citizens, "We advise against all travel to the Gaza strip because of the security situation and continuing threat of kidnap of foreign nationals. The most recent incident occurred on 21 December when an Australian and Dutch national were kidnapped. British nationals have also been kidnapped in previous incidents."

Anarchy also has spread to Judea and Samaria, and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists stormed PA offices in Bethlehem for several hours on Thursday before leaving under threat of a clash with PA forces.

IDF commanders have told the Israeli government that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is not trying to stop terrorists from attacking Israel with mortar shells and rockets. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government has little contact with PA ministers.

Abbas has made a pact with the growing popular young guard in an effort to shore up his strength toward the PA legislative elections scheduled for January 25. Ahmed Qureia, the prime minister of the PA, protests the move and is establishing a new party named after former PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Qureia previously was a Fatah candidate, but then said he will not run in the elections following a maneuver by Abbas that lessened his chances of being elected. Qureia blamed his decision not to run on Israel's ban on voting by Jerusalem's Arabs, who are Israeli citizens.

Other threats to the ruling Fatah party come from the increasingly popular Hamas terrorist organization, and a rival party headed by jailed terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who consistently has headed popularity polls. Barghouti is currently serving five consecutive life sentences in Israeli prison for his role in numerous deadly terror attacks.