With the term of Palestinian president Abu Abbas expiring on January 9th and Hamas refusing to further recognize him, one way to think about yesterday’s bombing of the so-called “Presidential building” in Gaza is in terms of the corrosive Palestinian power split.
Nobody wants to consider war and the loss of life in ironic terms, although the fact that Israel felt the need to bomb the former headquarters of its own Palestinian ally has that feeling. The sequence of images goes like this:
Image 1: June 15, 2007 — Hamas members drive armoured vehicle seized from Fatah in front of Gaza offices of Palestinian President Abbas. (Hatem Moussa/A.P. )
Image 2: June 15, 2007. Hamas militants stand at/on Abbas’s desk in takeover of his office and Palestinian control in Gaza. (Hatem Moussa/A.P.)
Image 3: Yesterday, December 27, 2008. Israeli warplanes destroy Hamas-controlled former offices of Abbas. (Adib Katib/Getty.)
If there was one other photo that might have fit here as still a further symbol of futility, it would have been a shot of Abbas at the White House a week-and-a-half ago saying goodbye to Bush (and his so-called “roadmap”). It looks like TIME, accompanying its article on Abbas, picked out a fitting example, though.