Wednesday, June 20, 2007

  • Wednesday, June 20, 2007
  • Elder of Ziyon
I just found Charles Levinson's blog, Conflict Blotter. It looks like a truly excellent resource.

Levinson was in Gaza and interviewed Fatah fighters, where he discovered that they were never instructed to fight back:
We left Gaza yesterday with a Red Cross aid convoy, but I want to post some thoughts on Fatah’s collapse. We spoke with nearly a dozen Fatah fighters and soldiers from the various branches of the security services, all of whom were around in the president’s compound, the intelligence headquarters, the Preventative Security headquarters and even in Khan Younis until the final hours of the battle. We came with a pretty damning indictment of the political and military leadership.

Fatah never fought. Gaza was essentially handed over to Hamas. Soldier after soldier said they felt betrayed and abandoned by their leadership. There was a seemingly willful lack of decision making by the senior most political leadership. Up and down the Gaza Strip from the first moments of fighting, the military leadership disintegrated while the political leadership remained eerily silent.

Ousted Fatah loyalists in Gaza widely suspect a political decision was made early on in Ramallah to surrender the Gaza Strip to Hamas in order to extricate Abbas, Israel and the US from the seeming intractable pickle they were facing as infighting spiraled, living conditions worsened, and the peace process seemed hopelessly stuck. With the Palestinian territories now split, the US, Israel and Abbas suddenly have way forward, without compromising to Hamas.

I don’t mean to sound conspiratorial, and I think the likeliest scenario is that all the parties involved simply accepted what was essentially a fait accompli some time in the course of the fighting and set about finding whatever silver lining could be salvaged.

There are of course a dozen reasons why Fatah was so ineffective. Fatah was unpopular and the vast majority of the security forces were not really Fatah loyalists. They were merely after a steady salary, not some messianic belief in Fatah or the rightness of the Palestinian Authority. They were doing it because it was their job and they hadn’t been paid more than a fraction of their salaries in 18 months. Fatah was also divided into disparate bickering factions.

All that being said, the total surrender of the security forces is striking. Keep reading.

Fatah fighters’ accounts

Abu Qusay is a 23 year old police officer from the Nuseirat camp. He’s a die hard Fatah loyalist and says he was inside Abbas’ presidential compound until late Thursday evening.

We handed Gaza over to Hamas. We don’t understand why our leaders betrayed us like this. We fought back against orders because if we had followed orders, we would have given ourselves up… [Our leaders] received orders from Abbas to give up bases but some military commanders couldn’t accept this.

Abu al Majd, 23, fought along side Abu Qusay the entire time and corroborated many of the details of Abu Qusay’s account.

It was a story of surrender. The bases were given up. I feel psychologically destroyed. It really hurt. I understood that there was an order to evacuate the bases. We were betrayed.

A.R. was a major in the Presidential Guard and has served in the elite highly selective force since the days of Arafat. He is educated, bilingual and comes across as a well disciplined career soldier. In the midst of interviewing him in the garden of the Marna Hotel, Gaza City’s oldest, Al Arabiya began broadcasting a live interview with Dahlan and we all gathered around to watch. After the interview we continued.

“Funny,” A.R. said. “Despite all that has happened in Gaza, Dahlan’s spirits seem pretty high.”

“What do you think that means?” I asked.

“He knew. Dahlan knew this was coming and he was planning for this scenario,” A.R. said.

A.R. continued, describing the total lack of resistance by the Fatah security services. The only order they ever received was to surrender bases if Hamas wanted them badly enough, he said.

The only order we ever heard coming from Abbas in Ramallah was that he didn’t want a blood bath and if Hamas wanted the security bases, let them take it. We understood that there was not supposed to be any resistance.

The presidential guard were the most highly trained and professional soldiers in the security services’ ranks and they were dismayed when rudimentary and repeatedly drilled steps to respond to the Hamas onslaught were never taken.

No state of emergency was ever declared, curfews were never imposed, contingency counter attack plans were ever drawn up, heavy weapons were never mounted on the roofs of the security bases, and extra ammo stocks were never dragged out of storage.

Abu Mohammad, a 26-year-old barrel chested soldier in Force 17, spoke to me at Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital:

This was a total betrayal by the political leadership. We were only told ‘don’t fire back,’ and a lot of people didn’t like this… When the clahses first started, when a soldier was being attacked the officers would give him two or three clips max. When they were finished and he asked for more they’d say no more… they only brought out the heavier weapons and ammo on Thursday when it was too late. By then most of the soldiers had run away.

The battle for the Preventative Security Services headquarters in Gaza City was the decisive turning point, when it became clear that nothing could save Fatah’s remnants in Gaza. But even that climactic battle was little more than a symbolic stand by only around 30 remaining soldiers, fighters said. Everyone else had long since jumped ship. They put on civilian clothes, dropped their weapons and scampered home. Some soldiers were dragged away from the trenches by frantic mothers who had heard Hamas’ threats to kill any fighters who didn’t surrender.

Hatem Iki, 22, a presidential guardsman with a gruesome story all his own:

The forces saw their leaders had all fled and so everyone else just ran away too.

Hatem’s brother, Mohammad Iki, 29, a sargent in the presidential guard:

When your leaders disappear and run away of course you will be defeated. Until the moment I left the presidential compound, there was never any orders or commands at all. Who would have expected the Muntada could fall without a single bullet being fired. It’s a total betrayal by our leadership.

We spoke with Abu Shaban, 37, a general intelligence officer as he waited at Erez to flee to the West Bank. This is what he had to say:

They decided to deliver Gaza to Hamas to put them in trouble and isolate them from the world. The way the fighting went leaves no doubt that they really gave it up to Hamas.

Abu Abdallah, 31, also a general intelligence officer, was in Khan Younis for the fight:

The decision came from high levels to withdraw from our compound because they didn’t want a blood bath. We were totally surprised.



h/t greenmamba commenter at discarded lies

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO NIF Noah Phillips norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive