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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fatah's Mohammed Dahlan may not return from his trip abroad

GAZA CITY — The ruling Hamas movement has been targeting the interests of Fatah security chief Mohammed Dahlan in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources said Hamas forces have sought to damage Dahlan's interests and kill his allies to ensure that he does not return to the Gaza Strip. Dahlan has been abroad for more than a month and has been overseeing the training of Palestinian Authority forces in Cairo, Middle East Newsline reported.

"If Hamas has its way, Dahlan will have nothing in Gaza to come back to," a Palestinian source said. "He has already sent for his family, which means he is prepared for a long stay outside of Gaza."

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Over the last two weeks, Hamas, employing automatic weapons, missiles and rocket-propelled grenades, has targeted Dahlan's aides and allies. They have included the heads of the Preventive Security Apparatus, a 3,000-member PA security agency founded by Dahlan and regarded as the most effective Fatah-aligned force.

On Monday, Jamal Abu Jedian was killed by Hamas near his home in Beit Lahiya. Abu Jedian was identified as a senior aide of Dahlan who oversaw the PSA in the absence of its commander, Brig. Gen. Rashid Abu Shback. Abu Jedian's brother was also killed.

In all, at least 19 people were killed on Monday and Tuesday. The Hamas-aligned Executive Force was said to have engaged in the bulk of the fighting.

"We will pursue anybody who attacks the force or incites against the force," Executive Force said.

Abu Shback resigned in late May in wake of a Hamas attack on his home in which seven of his bodyguards were killed. Abu Shback was said to have fled the Gaza Strip and was promised a diplomatic post by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The sources said Abu Jedian, long a target of Hamas, was said to have been responsible for forces loyal to Dahlan. He was the commander of Fatah's military wing, Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, in the northern Gaza Strip.

Another slain Dahlan ally was identified as Hassan Abu Rabie. Abu Rabie, a senior PA security officer, was killed along with his 14-year-old son and three women in their house in a Hamas RPG attack on Tuesday.

Fatah, in what the sources said reflected a sharp decline in combat capability, has offered an unconditional ceasefire. At the same time, Fatah officials have asserted that Iran and Hizbullah were pressing Hamas to continue the fighting.

Our government has similarly acceded to the refusal of the Shiite majority in the Iraqi government to share power and oil revenue with the Sunni population. It is regrettably time to leave. It makes no sense to lose any more American soldiers or spill any more American blood. This is particularly true when, according to The New York Times, not long ago the King of Saudi Arabia referred to our occupation as “an illegal foreign occupation.” The Iraqi government has not passed a resolution denouncing the King’s comment and welcoming the presence of our troops. Even more indicative of a lack of Iraqi support for our troops is the Times report dated May 12, 2007 that “A majority of Iraq’s Parliament members have signed a petition for a timetable governing a withdrawal of American troops, several legislators said Friday.”

The war in Iraq is drawing to an end. Remember the poignancy and impact of the death of the last German soldier — played by Lew Ayres in the film “All Quiet On the Western Front” — shortly before the armistice that ended World War I,

Because the Democrats are forcing an end to the struggle in Iraq, we must now prepare to fight terrorism in our homeland for the next thirty or more years. This is a war of civilizations. The Islamic terrorists worldwide want to destroy the U.S. and every other Western nation, along with moderate Muslim nations, e.g., Egypt, Jordan, etc. Our very survival as a nation is involved. Will we have the courage and will to do all that will be necessary to prevail?

What did "victory" mean in the Cold War? Did it mean invading the USSR? Did it mean bombing Moscow? No, it meant hanging tough, preventing the Soviets from expanding their base of power, until the internal contradictions and flaws in their system brought them down. The fight against terror and Islamic radicalism has the same goal... to prevent the radicals from expanding their base, which would happen if they get control of Iraq, and to maintain a tough defense until their medieval culture adapts to the modern world.

During the Cold War the pols in Washington were mostly united in support of this goal. But now the Democrats are not. There is no safety for the weak and foolish. When you seek to end a war without substantially achieving your essential goals by simply ceasing to fight, it is often a form of surrender. And that's the way the Democrat-imposed outcome in Iraq will be understood around the world, especially by our enemies.

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