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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 28, 2003

Diverse Palestinian factions form coalition that could eventually eclipse Arafat

This report from KnightRidder newspapers reports on the gathering of killers who may undo Arafat before Israel or the U.S. does. But a number of these groups are pledged not to forming a new state but to destroying Israel. Thus, a few more steps backwards for the Palestinian people. My guess is that they will be fighting internally to get their hands on whatever monies are or become available.
CAIRO, Egypt - (KRT) - A wide range of Palestinian factions - from moderate to militant - agreed in Cairo on Monday for the first time to share power in a coalition and together run the Palestinian Authority, which has legal authority over Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The agreement brings together groups that are traditional rivals, including Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have launched repeated attacks on Israel since the current intifada, or uprising, began in October 2000, and Israel and the United States consider them terrorist organizations.

Facing the prospect of another Israeli government led by Ariel Sharon, allied with conservative religious and nationalist parties, the Palestinians are trying to mend widening cracks in their own ranks. They also seek to curb rising disaffection with Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and to present a more united front to the world.

But in Cairo, the gap between the militants of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, backed by Syria and Iran, and more moderate factions such as Arafat's Fatah, backed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other moderate Arab states, was underscored by the meeting's inability to agree on halting attacks against Israeli civilians