Friday, December 30, 2005

State of

A Palestinian youth is seen through an Islamic green flag that reads: ' No God but God and Mohammed is the Prophet of Allah.'

Policemen storm border? Huh? Well, they did. And, for once, no one is even attempting to blame this one on the Jews. At least, not so far. Read all about it:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Palestinian policemen angry over the killing of a fellow officer stormed the Gaza-Egypt border crossing Friday, firing in the air and forcing European monitors to flee and close the crossing for several hours, officials said.

About 100 policemen stormed the Rafah compound and took up positions alongside border patrol officers at the customs section of the crossing, Palestinian security officials and witnesses said.

Hours after the European observers — responsible for monitoring the crossing and ensuring the terms of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement are upheld — fled, Julio De La Guardia, spokesman for the monitors, said the situation had been brought under control and the border would be reopened later Friday.

It was not immediately clear how the incident was resolved.

The policemen who stormed the border crossing were friends and family of an officer killed Thursday in a family feud in Gaza, Palestinian security officials said. They said no Palestinian officials would be allowed to leave Gaza until the gunman responsible was executed, according to officials.

The policemen shut the border's main gate and fired in the air when a car carrying an unidentified Palestinian official tried to enter the compound. The chief Palestinian security officer at the crossing asked the policemen to leave, but they refused.

The border had been closed because according to the Israeli-Palestinian agreement the crossing cannot operate if the European contingent is not present, said De La Guardia.

Palestinians are frustrated over the increasing lawlessness in Gaza and the West Bank, which could force Abbas to confront militias behind much of the violence, especially as he heads toward a January parliamentary election. The Hamas militant group poses a serious challenge to Abbas' ruling Fatah movement in the vote.

Of course, Abbas was supposed to have "confronted" the militias behind the violence long ago, as part of his obligations under the Road Map for Peace. But, if it takes lawlessness within his own society to accomplish a good thing, then fine.

Do something, Mahmoud. Jeez.