Sunday, December 17, 2006

slowly spiraling out of control

After a weekend away I arrived at the Erez border to return to Gaza. At the checkpoint I ran into a Frenchman, with a worried look on his face. I realized later he was escorting injured journalist Didier Francois out of Gaza. Francois was shot in the leg earlier in the day while coming into the line of fire of Hamas and Fateh clashes.

Throughout the day tensions were high as fighting between Hamas and Fateh broke out all across the Gaza Strip. The restraint on both sides that depicted the past many days was broken down today as Fateh aligned forces took over two ministries and the Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud A-Zahar’s vehicle was fired on. The president’s office was attacked numerous times throughout the day.

Jamal, having had his car returned on Thursday, took me through back roads and alleys avoiding likely clash points. For Jamal thirteen days of fear and anticipation had come to a close Thursday night. For those thirteen days Hamas’s security forces together with the Palestinian police had negotiated with a local mafia to return the car. When Jamal reported the incident at the police station he learned that at least five cases of car theft were being registered daily just at this station in the Northern Gaza Strip. With no one power really in control the lawlessness is naturally spiraling out of control.

Tonight ambulance sirens and gunfire make up the evening landscape.

1 comment:

lilly said...

i love Jamal's smile