The Sixth Seal Is Past Due (Revelation 6:12)

New York City is Past Due for an Earthquake

by Jessica Dailey, 03/22/11

filed under: News

New York City may appear to be an unlikely place for a major earthquake, but according to history, we’re past due for a serious shake. Seismologists at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory say that about once every 100 years, an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 rocks the Big Apple. The last one was a 5.3 tremor that hit in 1884 — no one was killed, but buildings were damaged.

Any tremor above a 6.0 magnitude can be catastrophic, but it is extremely unlikely that New York would ever experience a quake like the recent 8.9 earthquake in Japan. A study by the Earth Observatory found that a 6.0 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and a 7.0 magnitude hits about every 3,400 years.

There are several fault lines in New York’s metro area, including one along 125th Street, which may have caused two small tremors in 1981 and a 5.2 magnitude quake in 1737. There is also a fault line on Dyckman Street in Inwood, and another in Dobbs Ferry in Westchester County. The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation rates the chance of an earthquake hitting the city as moderate.

John Armbruster, a seismologist at the Earth Observatory, said that if a 5.0 magnitude quake struck New York today, it would result in hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars in damages. The city’s skyscrapers would not collapse, but older brick buildings and chimneys would topple, likely resulting in casualities.

The Earth Observatory is expanding its studies of potential earthquake damage to the city. They currently have six seismometers at different landmarks throughout the five boroughs, and this summer, they plan to place one at the arch in Washington Square Park and another in Bryant Park.

Won-Young Kim, who works alongside Armbuster, says his biggest concern is that we can’t predict when an earthquake might hit. “It can happen anytime soon,” Kim told the Metro. If it happened tomorrow, he added, “I would not be surprised. We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”

Armbuster voiced similar concerns to the Daily News. “Will there be one in my lifetime or your lifetime? I don’t know,” he said. “But this is the longest period we’ve gone without one.”

Via Metro and NY Daily News

The Beast from the Sea Is STILL Lying About Iraq (Revelation 13)

16 Years Later And The Bush Administration Is STILL Lying About Iraq

March 21, 2019

Ari Fleischer, the former press secretary for President George W. Bush, took some time on the 16th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq to remind us that the Bush administration DID NOT lie us into the war, but instead everyone just got their intelligence wrong. This is another lie. We’re 16 years into this quagmire and those responsible for it still can’t admit that they weren’t honest with the American public. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses

*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Yesterday, mark the 16th anniversary from the date that the United States decided to invade Iraq. Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush has a press secretary during the run up to the Iraq war, decided to take the time not to commemorate the 4,500 dead US soldiers or the 300,000 dead Iraqi civilians and combatants, but instead took to Twitter, wrote a multi tweet thread about how nobody in the Bush administration lied us into the Iraq war. He swore up and down that no money lied. Stop saying we lied. Nobody lied. It’s just that all the intelligence was bad. But we were telling the truth based on this intelligence that later turned out to not be true. So there was no intentional or malicious lying taking place by anyone within the Bush administration. So says Ari Fleischer the guy who helps spread the lies that got us into the Iraq war. Now, plenty of people on Twitter, plenty of articles came out.

Everybody already refuted what Ari Fleischer had to say, because just like when he was press secretary, his entire litter, little, uh, Twitter screed was a lie. None of it was true except for the fact that, yeah, the intelligence agencies got it wrong. But what he left out was that not only did they get it wrong in some areas, but they actually had it right in plenty of other areas. It’s just that the Bush administration chose to ignore those parts. Like when the intelligence officials came and said, hey, we can’t find any evidence anywhere of nuclear weapons. And then Dick Cheney goes on TV and says, Oh yeah, there’s no question Saddam has nuclear weapons. Or when Condalisa Rice went on TV and said, well, they’ve got all these aluminum tubes, and they’re using those to build missiles. The probably nuclear missiles. Yeah. The intelligence community before those claims were made, told them these things aren’t happening.

So guess what, Ari, that is a malicious and intentional lie. The list is, is endless of all the lies this administration told to get us into Iraq. They lie to us in there. They didn’t know how to get out of there. Once they got in there, they didn’t even have an actual goal with this war other than George W. Bush. And Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld trying to finish what Bush’s daddy started in the early nineties beyond that, they didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know how to get out, and that’s why we still have American troops over there interact 16 years later. But the worst part of it all is that nobody from that administration is willing to admit that they weren’t honest. Hell, back in, I think it was what, 2006 we got the Downing Street memo, maybe it was even 2005 were British officials, said that the u s is fixing intelligence around a specified goal of Iraq invasion.

Even the British knew that we were fixing our intelligence to support an invasion that happened. That was a thing and nothing happened to George W. Bush or anyone else from his administration. They should have all immediately upon taking office by Barack Obama had been prosecuted for their war crimes, for lying us into the war for torturing enemy combatants. Everything totally prosecutable. Very easy to prove. But Obama came to office and said, let us look forward, not backward. It’s actually what he said, and that’s why these people are walking around today. Hell, George W. Bush has getting praise from some Democrats now. He’s so sweet. He gave Michelle Obama a piece of candy at the funeral. What a, what a good guy. He couldn’t figure out how to get his rain Poncho on during Trump’s inauguration. He’s such a goofball. He’s a goofball who got hundreds of thousands of people across this planet killed, and he hasn’t shown a single bit of remorse for the lies that calls all those deaths. That’s not exactly the kind of guy we should be hoisting up on our shoulders and saying, look at this lovable idiot. Isn’t he cute?

Antichrist Prepares to Evict U.S. Troops

Iraq Prepares to Evict U.S. Troops

Pro-Iran factions are pushing for the move just as the Islamic State is starting to hit back.

Geneive Abdo

March 20, 2019, 4:32 PM

A partial view of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, is reflected in the visor of a U.S. Army helicopter crew member as he looks out of a Chinook helicopter flying from the U.S. Embassy to Baghdad International airport on Jan. 9. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Momentum is building among deputies in the Iraqi parliament to oust U.S. troops entirely from the country—an outcome that would leave Iraq’s political future in the hands of neighboring Iran and leave its citizens more vulnerable to the Islamic State.

Today, the United States fields an estimated 5,200 troops in Iraq. They are there as part of a security agreement with the Iraqi government to advise, assist, and support that country’s troops in the fight against the Islamic State. But the Iraqi parliament is expected to vote soon on draft laws calling for a full withdrawal. For now, things don’t look good for the troops.

For one, there’s a strong union of Iranian and Iranian-backed military and political powers that is actively trying to push the United States out. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Qassem Suleimani, who is close to the Fatah Iraqi political faction, is determined to do so. The party of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who is usually at odds with Suleimani but is in agreement on this issue, has said all foreign troops must go, not just the Americans.

 The purported reason? More sovereignty. Fadhil Jabr Shnein, a deputy in the Iraqi parliament and a member of a leading pro-Iranian parliamentary group—Asaib Ahl al-Haq, the paramilitary arm of which fought in Syria to keep President Bashar al-Assad in power—said in an early March interview with the Arabic publication Al-Etejah Press, “There is a broad consensus among the various political blocs and national forces to eject foreign presence in all forms.” However, Shnein’s reference to “foreign” forces likely does not include Iranian forces, as his coalition is loyal to Iran.

The Shiite commanders of the Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, are likewise pushing for a U.S. withdrawal. Qais al-Khazali, a virulently anti-American Shiite commander who is close to Suleimani, even threatened U.S. troops on his Twitter account. He claimed the U.S. presence was intended to serve Israel and not Iraq, and he vowed to target U.S. troops if they do not leave the country. His threats should be taken seriously. The Popular Mobilization Forces are practically as powerful as the regular military. Although many fighters are on the Iraqi government payroll, they operate outside Bagdad’s control and possess their own weapons.

Beyond the various pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, the Trump administration is also at least partly responsible for putting U.S. troop expulsion at the top of Baghdad’s agenda. In late December 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting with U.S. troops at Al Asad military base provoked outrage among Iraqi politicians and citizens because he did not follow protocol and announce his visit ahead of time—a move that some Iraqis felt was a violation of their sovereignty. Then, in early February, he announced that he wanted U.S. troops to remain in Iraq to watch Iran, setting off a diplomatic firestorm in Baghdad.

All this has compelled even pro-U.S. politicians to denounce the presence of American troops. Iraq’s President Barham Salih, a longtime diplomat in Washington, has publicly supported a more minimal U.S. presence, for example, although Iraqi security and political sources say he is actually against a U.S. withdrawal. In early March, Salih said, “We are surprised by the statements made by the U.S. president on the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. Trump did not ask us to keep U.S. troops to watch Iran.” This was an indication of the high pressure Salih is likely under to question the United States’ presence in his country.

Although popular opinion seems to be turning against the United States, there are still some factions that want it to stay. Baghdad may yet reach a compromise on the troops. Assuming they do in fact support a continued U.S. presence, for example, the Iraqi prime minister and president could still stall for a variety of reasons, although neither have veto power over parliamentary decisions. Moreover, among Iraq’s Shiite population, popular sentiment is turning increasingly against Iran, according to a recent survey conducted by Munqith al-Dagher, who runs a polling agency in Iraq. Favorable Iraqi Shiite attitudes toward Iran fell from 88 percent in 2015 to 47 percent in 2018, according to Dagher’s polling. This shifting sentiment should empower the Iraqi government to create distance with Iran, something Iranian loyalists have so far managed to head off.

Baghdad may yet reach a compromise on the troops.

While there is broad agreement among those calling for the United States to withdraw, there is little clarity about what a troop withdrawal would mean in practical terms. The other members of the coalition fighting the Islamic State might decide to leave if the United States is forced to do so. And if other states withdraw as well, the Iraqi security forces, which need training and technical support, would be unlikely to combat the Islamic State on their own. It is also unclear whether the hypothetical legislation will allow U.S. troops to remain on the Iraqi-Syrian border to try to prevent Islamic State fighters from crossing into Iraq from Syria. If it doesn’t, the Iraqi military would have to take on the fight without U.S. air cover.

And that bodes ill for the country. Over the last year, the Islamic State has made a comeback, firstly with attacks in remote areas of the country and more recently on the outskirts of urban centers, such as Baghdad. As part of the jihadi group’s resurgence, it is extorting the same Sunni Iraqi communities from which it found support in 2014 and 2015. The majority of fighters and supporters are Iraqi—a major challenge for the state going forward, because they are not foreigners who can be sent away.

Stepped-up Iranian domination would be in neither Iraq’s interest nor that of the United States. In early March, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Iraq—the first such visit by an Iranian president in many years, a sign of Iran’s intentions to expand economic cooperation with the country. The Iranians want to use the Iraqi market to compensate for the vast economic downturn that has followed renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran. The much-publicized trip demonstrates that the Iraqi government is stuck in the middle. Iraq relies on Iran for goods and electricity supplies, so cutting ties is not only politically unlikely but also impossible.

The Iranian Alliance with Pakistan (Daniel 8:8)

Saudi-Iran conflict threatens to flare in Pakistan

Sabena Siddiqui March 21, 2019

The decades-old rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran has re-emerged at a difficult time, with Tehran in economic crisis due to US sanctions. The recent friction started with a tussle over oil pricing. Riyadh offered the world cheaper oil to attract consumers facing any disruption in the Iranian oil supply. The second phase of US sanctions have had a devastating impact on Iran’s oil exports, shipping and banks, hitting the core of the Iranian economy.

Iran’s oil exports have dropped nearly 1 million barrels a day, slashing its main source of revenue. More than 100 big international oil companies, major banks and oil exporters have reportedly pulled operations out of Iran.

Meanwhile, Riyadh has boosted its oil production to ensure stable energy supplies and capture a bigger share of the market. Iran, reverting to decade-old prices to retain its foothold in Asian markets and compete with Saudi oil, has tried to maintain trade.

Banking on big-time clients like China and India, Iran could survive the economic crisis, as China can take US pressure and has US waivers allowing it to buy Iranian oil until June. China, which requires one-third of the global supply of hydrocarbons to keep its economic growth on firm footing, could well be the lifeline Iran needs — but Beijing can’t afford any delays in its oil supply. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Saudi Arabia decisively filled any void left by Iran.

Asia is a prized next-generation market for oil and will remain so even as the West finds alternate energy solutions. Countries like China, India and Pakistan are expected to represent the main oil-export markets for the next couple of decades. Furthering a new economic strategy, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman recently paid visits to Islamabad, New Delhi and Beijing. By investing in refineries and related projects there, Riyadh has become an important stakeholder. Saudi Arabia especially benefits from Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar, the focal port of China’s flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Gwadar, which can provide transport to mainland China in just seven days, is poised to become the main base station for Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and Africa.

Though it is a near win-win situation, there is a catch.

As Saudi Arabia is depriving Tehran of a good chunk of the Asian oil market, Iran might not be eager to have its rival in its immediate proximity. Pakistan shares a long desert border with Iran, and Gwadar lies just 175 miles from the Iranian port of Chabahar, which Iran shares with India. To make matters worse, Iran and Saudi Arabia are on opposite sides of the fence in proxy conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

Considering these edgy bilateral ties, Pakistan faces tough times ahead keeping a balance between Riyadh and Tehran. Crafting a foreign policy to suit both has never been easy. In the recent past, having opted to remain neutral on the Yemen issue, Pakistan faced a deterioration of ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Likewise, in 2015, when Saudi Arabia formed the Islamic Military Alliance to fight Terrorism — excluding Iran, Iraq and Syria — and chose retired Pakistani Gen. Raheel Sharif to lead it, Iran wanted an explanation.

Until now, Chabahar was never considered a threat to Gwadar. With the flourishing port of Bandar Abbas on Iran’s southern coast, Chabahar was just one option for Iran. It seemed likely that it would wind up as a sister port of Gwadar if Iran joined CPEC or even the Shanghai Co-operation Organization. But this possibility seems remote now, and Iran is bound to bring up Chabahar as a contender due to the Saudi presence in Gwadar.

Sharing similar fears recently, former Pakistani Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjohas warned, “Gwadar is close to Iran’s Chabahar port and the Reko Diq project close to Zahedan, which is the capital of Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province. Sunni militants [who subscribe to the Saudi Wahhabi ideology] are active in the area. Why would Tehran not be disturbed by Saudi Arabia’s investment in Gwadar?”

There have been problems in the past in the volatile Sistan-Baluchestan province, and Pakistan helped capture Sunni rebel leader Abdol Malek Rigi for Iran in 2010. But if there’s any trouble now, Iran might hold Saudi Arabia responsible and Chabahar could turn into a security challenge for the Gwadar port. To avoid such a situation, Pakistan will have to maintain strict neutrality and seek rapprochement between the countries.

Consequently, resetting Saudi-Iran relations is the best option for all the stakeholders, even though there are hard-liners on both sides. As an important country for both Riyadh and Tehran, Pakistan is influential enough to soothe their misunderstandings. Being a Muslim nuclear power, Pakistan is important for the Saudi security equation. Iran has special interests in Pakistan, and the latter’s large Shiite population is second only to Iran’s.

Recognizing the need for such mediation as soon as he was elected last year, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan stressed, “Our aim will be that whatever we can do for conciliation in the Middle East, we want to play that role.” Wishing for stronger ties with the new government, Iran responded positively. It was one of the first countries to congratulate Khan on assuming office, followed up with a visit from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif.

Last year, Iran even celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day for the very first time. However, the Pakistani prime minister’s first foreign trip was to Saudi Arabia, even though Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had extended an invitation first. Khan requested economic assistance from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Understandably, approaching Iran for the same was out of the question, with Iran in economic crisis due to the US sanctions.

What’s Happening Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

What’s happening in Gaza?


Fatah leaders in Ramallah have been waiting for years for the day Palestinians in the Gaza Strip would take to the streets to demonstrate against Hamas. That’s why the protests against economic hardship that erupted in different parts of the Gaza Strip in the past week seemed like a dream come true for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah officials.

Finally, they believed, the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have decided to launch an uprising against Hamas, 12 years after the Islamist movement humiliated the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority by seizing control over the coastal enclave in a bloody coup.

Organized by youth movements under the banner of “We Want to Live,” the protests at first appeared to be an authentic voice of Palestinians demanding solutions to the high cost of living, taxes and unemployment in the Gaza Strip. That’s the reason why Hamas did not make any effort in the beginning to prevent the demonstrators from taking to the streets to vent out their anger and frustration over the deteriorating economy.

Hamas officials thought that the protesters would direct their anger towards Israel and the Palestinian Authority – the two parties they hold responsible for the continued economic crisis in the Gaza Strip. In the past year, Hamas has organized such protests and encouraged Palestinians to speak out against the restrictions and sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The first day of the protests, however, proved that Hamas had miscalculated the intentions and goals of the protesters. Hamas quickly discovered that the demonstrators were chanting slogans denouncing its financial corruption and mismanagement. The protesters, Hamas discovered, were demanding an end to its rule over the Gaza Strip. Worse, some of the protesters were carrying photos of Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah flags.

That’s when the Hamas leadership decided to instruct its security forces to take immediate measures to stop the protests before they grow into an intifada against the rulers of the Gaza Strip.

According to sources in the Gaza Strip, hundreds of Palestinians were detained by Hamas security forces between Thursday and Sunday for their role in the protests. Among those taken into custody were journalists, human rights activists and Fatah members. Scores of Palestinians were wounded and hospitalized after being beaten by Hamas security officers and militiamen.

By Sunday, it seemed that Hamas had succeeded in crushing the protests. The tough measures that Hamas took against the protesters and those believed to be behind the “We Want to Live” campaign appear, for now, to have achieved their goal. The protesters, however, say they are determined to continue their demonstrations. Earlier this week, they published a statement calling for a two-day general strike in the Gaza Strip. They also called on Palestinians to gather at public squares to protest not only economic hardship, but also Hamas’s repressive measures against the demonstrators and other Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

THE HAMAS effort to suppress the protests has not only been limited to breaking the bones of protesters and arbitrary arrests. To discredit the protests, Hamas also began talking about a Fatah-led conspiracy aimed at staging a coup in the Gaza Strip. Ironically, Hamas’s charge was backed by the rhetoric of senior Fatah officials, who rushed to embrace the protests, describing them as a revolt against Hamas.

Hamas also sent thousands of its supporters to the streets to protest against Abbas and the sanctions he imposed on the Gaza Strip nearly two years ago. This was Hamas’s way of reminding Palestinians that it’s Abbas, and not Hamas, who bears responsibility for the deteriorating economic conditions.

Hamas is now trying to portray the protests as part of a “conspiracy” by Abbas and Fatah to instigate chaos and unrest in the Gaza Strip. “Hamas has thwarted a Palestinian Authority-sponsored scheme to set off unrest in the Gaza Strip,” said a Hamas official. He and several Hamas officials claimed that the West Bank-based Palestinian General Intelligence Service, headed by Majed Faraj, was the main party behind the alleged plot.

According to the Hamas officials, the purported scheme’s goal was not only aimed at toppling the Hamas regime, but also foiling plans to hold mass protests along the Gaza-Israel border at the end of this month to mark the first anniversary of the so-called Great March of Return weekly demonstrations. The anniversary coincides with Land Day, the annual commemoration for Arab Israelis and Palestinians of the events of March 30, 1976 in Israel. Then, six Arab Israelis were killed in clashes with Israeli Police during protests against the Israeli government’s decision to expropriate thousands of dunams of land for state purposes.

“The Palestinian Authority exploited the needs of the people, blackmailed those whose salaries it had suspended and prepared a comprehensive plan to instigate unrest in the Gaza Strip,” the Hamas leadership said in a statement this week. “The Palestinian security forces in Ramallah planned the riots and sought to bring the state of lawlessness back to the Gaza Strip. They even set March 14 as the day for launching their malicious scheme.”

Fatah leaders, meanwhile, continue to deny the Hamas charges. They insist that the events of the past week in the Gaza Strip are an authentic protest against Hamas’s oppressive measures and failed policies. “The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are fed up with Hamas,” said senior Fatah official Hussein al-Sheikh. “The people in the Gaza Strip are revolting against the obscurantists and the repressive tools of Hamas. They are demanding an end to Hamas’s illegal taxes and want to live in dignity.”

In the past week, the Palestinian Authority and Fatah have been doing their utmost to portray the protests in the Gaza Strip as the beginning of an intifada against Hamas. They have also gone out of their way to bring to the Palestinian public’s attention photos and videos of Hamas security officers beating protesters on the streets of the Gaza Strip. Fatah’s official Facebook page is full of photos of wounded Palestinian men, women and children who say they were badly beaten by Hamas policemen and militiamen.

Fatah officials and spokesmen are calling the protests a “revolution of the hungry,” an “intifada against the oppressive regime of Hamas” and the beginning of a Palestinian “spring” – a reference to the anti-government protests and armed revolts that spread across some Arab countries in 2010.

Fatah’s anti-Hamas propaganda, however, suffered a major setback when it turned out that some of the photos shared by senior Fatah officials belonged to Arabs from Iraq and Egypt. The Hamas propaganda machine was quick to take advantage of the doctored photos to back up its claim that the protests are part of a Fatah-engineered scheme of fabrications and lies to smear and implicate Hamas. Several Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip also took to social media to call out Fatah for waging a campaign of misinformation to deceive the Palestinian public. Others called out Fatah for its perceived hypocrisy, noting that the actions of the Palestinian security forces against Palestinian protesters and political opponents in the West Bank are not different than those taken by Hamas.

WHILE IT SEEMS that Hamas has for now managed to quell the disturbances, it has nonetheless suffered a PR disaster.

As Hamas security forces were using live ammunition and force to disperse the protesters, representatives of 12 Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip held an emergency meeting after which they called on Hamas to withdraw its policemen from the streets and release all the detainees. The factions also condemned the use of excessive force against the protesters and called for holding accountable those responsible. Strong condemnations by various Palestinian, Arab and international human rights organizations and journalist groups were also seen as a severe blow to Hamas.

In an unprecedented move, Hamas this week issued a rare apology to Palestinians. “We are sorry for any physical or moral damage caused to anyone form our people,” Hamas said in a lengthy statement. The apology is an indication of the deep crisis Hamas is currently facing as a result of its brutal measures against the protesters.

For the Fatah leaders, the Hamas apology is too little, too late. Fatah wants Hamas to end its rule over the Gaza Strip. It wants to see Hamas humiliated and defeated, and will accept nothing less than that. Abbas and Fatah have yet to come to terms with the two major blows Hamas dealt them; in 2006, when Hamas won the parliamentary election, and a year later, when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip. The International Committee of the Red Cross estimated that at least 118 people were killed and more than 550 wounded during the fighting during the period June 10-15, 2007.

This week, Fatah suffered another humiliation when its top spokesman in the Gaza Strip, Atef Abu Seif, was abducted and badly beaten by unknown assailants. Fatah claims that the assailants belong to Hamas’s military wing, Izaddin al-Qassam. Hamas has denied responsibility. On Tuesday, Abu Seif, who was seriously wounded in the attack, was transferred to a hospital in Ramallah.

Fatah maintains that Abu Seif was the target of an assassination attempt by Hamas. Abbas and several senior Palestinian officials who visited him in hospital have stepped up their attacks on Hamas, accusing it of committing war crimes against Palestinians. One PLO official, Tayseer Khaled, went as far as comparing Hamas to the German Nazi secret policy, Gestapo. Jamal Muheissen, a senior Fatah official, denounced Hamas as a “terrorist organization” and called for its removal from power.

Fatah wants Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to revolt against Hamas. Hamas, on the other hand, wants Palestinians in the West Bank to revolt against Abbas and Fatah because of their “conspiracies” against the Gaza Strip and “collaboration” with Israel.

If and when the protesters return to the streets of the Gaza Strip, the crisis between Hamas and Fatah will intensify, further solidifying the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. What is certain is that Hamas will do its utmost to divert attention from its domestic problems by directing Gazans’ anger towards Israel and Fatah.

Hamas is now hoping that tens of thousands of Palestinians will participate in the mass protests slated to take place near the border with Israel at the end of this month. It is also hoping that more Palestinians will take part in demonstrations condemning Abbas and Fatah for their role in the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip.