Saturday, June 23, 2007

A classic case of terrorists versus the forces of moderation

Al-Hayat says the head of Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian resistance organization, is in Cairo trying to promote the idea of re-establishing discussions between Fatah and Hamas. He is critical of both Hamas and Fatah, but he notes "there isn't any option but discussion". He says Arab governments should help foster this. So far, according to Al-Hayat, he has met with the assistant head of the Egyptian Mukhabarat, implying he isn't making much headway.

And in a similar vein,
[A leader of the Hamas contingent in the Palestinian Legislative Assembly] Khalil al-Haya told the Al-Hayat about ongoing discussions with brothers in Fatah including the former national security adviser Jabril al-Rajoub about guaranteeing the safety of Hamas leaders and their institutions in the West Bank. And he also referred to a meeting the day before yesterday between [a senior Fatah person in Gaza and a former Hamas cabinet minister] to discuss the situation in Gaza, pointing out [however] that the whole political situation is frozen.
Khalil al-Haya said the responsibility for what happened in Gaza:
...rests with those who failed to control the exterminating wing of the Fatah movement, the wing supported by Israel and America, and allowed them free rein to carry out their plans...
Khalil al-Haya specifically referred to an attempt to get Fatah leadership to sit down with Hamas people to "bridge the gap" between the factions, but the former Fatah national security adviser Rajoub declined to comment, remarking only that "Blood is still hot".

So there are attempts by Palestinian leaders to try and mend relations between the two factions. But among the "axis of moderates" the momentum is in the opposite direction.

To take one account, according to Al-Akhbar, the axis of moderates is moving in the direction of military confrontation. The paper says on its front page this morning
It appears a decision on a "decisive counterattack" against Hamas in Gaza is being taken on more than one level and in more than one regional, and international meeting. In spite of the measures that are being taken daily by the emergency government and the PLO to tighten the political blockading of Hamas, the military side of the question is still on the table. And that is what Olmert will be putting to [Abbas, Mubarak, and King Abdullah of Jordan] at the Sharm el-Sheikh this coming Monday. American and other Western diplomatic sources in Cairo told Al-Akhbar that draft American-Israeli plan will be under discussion at the summit and this will include a number of security and political measures to prevent Hamas from continuing its control of the Gaza Strip. The sources said Olmert will be pressuring the Arabs to give him the chance for limited military intervention to include hitting the Hamas infrastructure and ending its control, and [the sources add that] Israel has a plan to target Hamas leaders...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In case you wonder why Egypt is not going to do shit to help Hamas, the reason is obious:
Congress to condition Egypt's aid"The 2008 House legislation requires the US Secretary of State to certify that Egypt is addressing arms smuggling into Gaza, as well as some human rights abuses, before $200 million of a total of $1.3 billion in military aid is given to Egypt."

Human rights, yeah, sure ...


7:18 AM  

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