RealNews

Armed With Weapons and a Will, Palestinian Factions Plot Revenge

Over sugary coffee and hot mincemeat sandwiches, the young men gathered here to plot revenge. They were all in their 20’s, an age that might lead such a group to talk about soccer or romance. But as Israeli forces once again scoured the casbah for militants, representatives of the “military wings” of several main Palestinian factions relaxed on overstuffed sofas in a living room elsewhere in the city to talk strategy, politics and death. Each of the seven men had a pistol at his belt and a mobile phone close at hand, in case their lieutenants outside spotted soldiers. One had had to make an escape from here over the rooftops before; the walls of the hallway downstairs were pitted with bullet holes from that unwelcome Israeli visit. “If anything happens,” one of them said, holding up his gun, “we’re not going to be arrested.” Viewed from Israel or abroad, the Palestinian factions can present a crimson continuum of violent means and aims. But although more than two years of conflict and a shared nationalist impulse have blurred the distinctions, divisions of ideology endure — even in Nablus, which Israel calls the center for terrorism in the West Bank. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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