Monday, August 08, 2005

Who exactly is in charge here?

Though the title may equally apply to Yousuf, who has yet to learn that crawling up on a table and scavenging for food with his hands if not normal human behaviour, I am referring to the Gaza judicial system, whose members are on strike for the third day in a row.

The strike is in protest over attacks against Gaza's Chief Justice and Attorney General, with judges threatening to suspend their work until the Palestinian Authority addresses the continuing state of lawlessness in Gaza.

Just to put things in perspective-imagine a country (well, or a semi-autonomous government ruling over a still-occupied series of bantustans) whose entire judicial system has been put on hold. The entire system comes to a standstill.

This all started when Zuhair Sourani, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority's Higher Judicial Council, announced his resignation on Saturday, days after a hand grenade was lobbed at his home by a group of masked gunmen. Talk about taking the law into your own hands.

The funny thing is, a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior insists that the PA security apparatus has a "91% success rate" when it comes to resolving cases and apprehending criminals. Kind of reminds me of the 99% approval rating of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak. Where do they come up with these figures?

One's thing's for certain, with withdrawal just days away,opposition groups jockeying for credit and power ahead of January elections, and lawlessness plaguing Gaza, Mahmud Abbas is one man I do not envy.


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