Friday, July 13, 2007

Jordan's role as Palestine's pal is evolving

For a way out of their impasse, some Palestinians now look to Jordan, according to the International Herald Tribune. It's not the kind of two-state solution that once was envisioned.

Inside a drab cellphone shop, in the sprawling Baqaa refugee camp on the outskirts of Amman, Muhammad Khalil and his friends were as gloomy as the fluorescent lights that flickered on the ceiling."Everything has been ruined for us - we've been fighting for 60 years and nothing is left," Khalil said, speaking of the Palestinian cause. Just weeks earlier, he might have been speaking enthusiastically to his friends here, in their usual hangout, about resistance, of fighting for his rights as a Palestinian and of one day returning to a Palestinian state. Last Wednesday, however, he spoke of what he saw as a less satisfying goal for the Palestinians here, and one that raises concerns for many other Jordanians: Palestinian union with Jordan. "It would be better if Jordan ran things in Palestine, if King Abdullah could take control of the West Bank," Khalil said, as his friends nodded. "The issue would be over if Jordan just took control."

That's why some Israelis are troubled that Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is mulling whether to allow Jordanian forces to enter the West Bank.
Mahmoud Abbas is expected to ask Olmert to approve entry of Palestinian Bader Division forces of the Jordanian army to preserve his control over the West Bank. The Palestinian chief will also request Israel’s permission to transfer dozens of armored vehicles from Egypt to Palestinian territories. The two leaders are expected to discuss the matter on Monday during their meeting in Jerusalem.
One of Abbas's concerns is that Hamas keeps torturing and killing Fatah supporters, according to recent a wire report

Adham Mustafa's bullet-riddled and mutilated body, filmed in a morgue two days after he was taken alive by Hamas, belied the Islamic militant group's promises not to harm its Fatah rivals. So did Tarek Asfour's legs, punctured with marks from nails Hamas gunmen banged into him. Hamas declared a general amnesty for members of the vanquished Fatah movement of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas after sweeping to power in the Gaza Strip on June 15, following a week of fighting. But since then, at least nine Fatah loyalists have been killed, according to Mezan, an independent Gaza-based human rights group, which posted the names of the dead on its website.

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