Terrorists fall from grace...
At least some people in the Palestinian territories are getting tired of the terrorists...
A stolen car, its number plates torn off and replaced by a black plaque bearing the word 'Palestine' and the symbol of a militant group, pushes through a crowded alley in the Balata refugee camp.Israel has made it tougher for them to attack...so they now turn inward. I wish these people would condemn all terrorism..including terrorism against Israel.
As it squeezes among the pedestrians, some seem reluctant to get out of the way while others shoot looks of disdain at the muscle-bound young men in black T-shirts just visible behind the vehicle's tinted windows.
A guide points out that the car is driven by members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a militant group allied to Fatah, the political party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Formed by Abbas's predecessor, Yasser Arafat, al-Aqsa has carried out scores of attacks and suicide bombings against Israel over the past five years, putting it at the forefront of the battle against Israel's 39-year occupation of the West Bank.
But among the residents of Balata, one of the largest and poorest Palestinian refugee camps and traditionally a fertile source of recruits, there is less awe these days for the actions of groups like al-Aqsa, and a growing sense of scorn.
"To be honest, I feel frustrated with the resistance," says Ismail Hashash, the owner of a driving school in Balata, using the general term Palestinians use for those who battle Israel.
"They don't respect the goal, which is fighting the occupation. They've been corrupted. Instead of just fighting Israel, they are involved in disputes and crime, or they just like to show off their weapons."
The very fact that the 32-year-old, who says he knows many militants as acquaintances, is willing to criticise them openly shows how the groups have fallen in his esteem.
He says the movements have lost their way, and are now filled with unemployed young men looking for direction.