From Despondency to Despair

West Bankers watch helplessly as the P.L.O. tears itself apart

"My wife and mother cried when they saw those pictures," said a teacher in Nablus, a Palestinian town of 80,000 on the Israeli-occupied West Bank. "We Palestinians must be the first people to suffer a civil war even before the creation of our state." He was speaking, with grief and horror, of the photographs he had seen of the fighting in Tripoli. Like others throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, he was devastated at the sight of Palestinians killing Palestinians.

The 1.2 million Palestinians of the occupied territories are only peripherally...

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