Putting aside the declarations of a national emergency, the strikes in places of business, the demonstrations, and the calls for assistance in view of the massacres of the "Disengagement War," the bloody confrontation has revealed some interesting aspects of the people in the territories.
Putting aside the declarations of a national emergency, the strikes in places of business, the demonstrations, and the calls for assistance in view of the massacres of the "Disengagement War," as one of the Palestinian spokesmen termed the Israel Defense Forces operation in the northern Gaza Strip, the bloody confrontation has revealed some interesting aspects of the people in the territories.
The first is that there is greater audacity in the Palestinian operations. Many of the Palestinian spokesmen noted in the past two days the determination in the fighting spirit of the young fighters of Hamas and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades of the Fatah in the Gaza Strip.
The spokesmen highlighted the attempt to carry out an attack against the Erez crossing, which failed; the efforts to cross the fence that encircles the Gaza Strip, and cross into Israel; and the attacks against the military positions.
"There is today more willingness to sacrifice than ever before," a senior Palestinian Authority official said yesterday.
A journalist in East Jerusalem said that the level of hatred and desire for revenge on the Palestinian street has reached an unprecedented peak.
The second point is the silence of the Palestinian opposition and the unified rallying around the leadership of Yasser Arafat. This phenomenon stems from the notion that in the midst of the crisis one does not change his mount, and all internal bickering is stopped.
As such, in recent days there has been no talk of reforms in the leadership or of uprooting corruption. There has also been a stop to the reports on the scandal involving Palestinian contractors selling cement to their Israeli counterparts busy constructing the separation fence.
Even Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader abroad, when asked on television on his criticism of Arafat, said it is not polite to speak about it at this time.
Mohammed Dahlan, a Fatah man who never missed an opportunity in recent months to attack Arafat, visited the injured Palestinians at the Shifa hospital in Gaza on Friday morning and also spoke of the need for unity and that every fighter must carry out his duty.
Calls for unity were also heard from the general secretary of the Popular Front, Ahmed Sa'adat, jailed in Jericho, and a series of grass-roots organizations operating in the West Bank and Gaza.
Instead of the usual attacks against Arafat, the government of Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala) has come under criticism. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades issued a statement in the Palestinian press calling on Arafat to put an end to the "failing government of Abu Ala, born paralyzed and hapless - and appoint in its place a government of national unity that will respond to the emergency needs of the time and bolster the opposition to the occupation."