Is Elliot Abrams Promoting Palestinian Civil War?
<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Is Elliot Abrams Promoting Palestinian Civil War?</h1><p>May 17 (EIRNA)--Clashes continue between Hamas and Fatah factions in Gaza, which have left 41 dead. Hamas, on Wednesday evening, May 16, declared a unilateral ceasefire with the hope that fighting would end. At the same time, Israel has launched counter strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the firing of Qassam rockets into Israel.</p><p>As EIR has reported over the past weeks, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliot Abrams, Dick Cheney's closest ally left in the Administration, has covertly promoted a policy of provoking armed confrontation between Hamas and Fatah. According to well-placed Washington and Egyptian sources, Abrams is running a covert fund under the guise of "democracy promotion," that is providing arms to Palestinian factions, to provoke the Hamas-Fatah fighting.</p><p>The sources added that the same pattern of Abrams-directed outside interference had been uncovered in January 2007, when a near-civil war erupted in the Gaza Strip. At that time, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah intervened by sponsoring unity government talks in Mecca, that led to the formation of a Palestinian Authority coalition government, made up of Hamas, Fatah and independent ministers. Under the so-called "Abrams Plan," armed confrontation between the rival Palestinian factions is to be promoted, leading to the collapse of the unity government, and early elections, in which, Abrams and his neocon allies hope, Fatah would win and the "Hamas factor" would be diminished.</p><p>- Renewed Violence -</p><p>Shortly before the announcement of the ceasefire by Hamas, gun fire had hit the home of Palestinian Prime Minister and Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, in Gaza. No one was hurt. Despite the truce, two further Hamas members were killed in clashes.</p><p>During the fighting, which has lasted almost a week, Fatah suffered the most casualties. Fatah leader in Gaza Mohammed Dahlan, who has been leading the campaign against Hamas, has been out of Gaza for the past week, undergoing surgery in a Cairo hospital.</p><p>Meanwhile Qassam rockets continue to be fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz has called for a temporary evacuation of Sderot, which has been the prime target of these attacks. Prime Minister Olmert has ordered a "harsh response" that would include a renewal of targeted assassinations.</p><p>Likud Party Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu called on the government to cut off the water and power supply to Gaza in retaliation until the rocket fire ends. Speaking at an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Likud Party first coming into power in 1977, Netanyahu said the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "must leave this world."</p></div></body>