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While Gaza Unravels, Israeli and Arab Leaders Ponder Options

Friday, May 18, 2007

A week ago, when almost no media organization was paying close attention to the emerging disaster in the Gaza strip, we wrote about the ominous spiral of violence tearing through the Palestinian-controlled territory, as rival militias, gangs, religious extremists and common criminals turned the area into a free-for-all of terror. Since then, the Palestinian-on-Palestinian fighting has only intensified, creating a crisis that many veteran observers describe as the worst they have ever seen. Gazans, running for their lives from the street battles between armed factions, are now openly saying life was better under the hated Israeli occupation.

Israel withdrew its military and civilian presence in the summer of 2005, amid high hopes among Palestinian supporters in the international community that Gaza would become a showcase proto-state, a forerunner of the future Palestine. As it boils over, Gaza has become the place nobody wants to touch. ...

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