Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Qassam leader: "We have strong cards to exert pressure", a Muslim Brotherhood site, publishes excerpts of an interview with a leader of the military wing of Hamas, the Izaddin al-Qassam Brigades, in Gaza. The discussion first of all takes up the question whether what happened in Gaza was a "coup", to which "Abu Hamza" replies that the government in question is controlled by Hamas, and the "coup" in question was by "a corrupt security apparatus" trying to seize power, just like the coups in all countries, and he names Mohammed Dahlan and his group in particular, adding it is clear that given all the crimes commited by this group, it is no wonder Fatah opposed an Arab [League] commission to investigate what happened.

Then there is this:
Q: More than once a leader from Hamas or the government or even from Qassam comes forward and tells us of the existence of important documents critical of Fatah leaders, but still nothing has been published. What is the reason for that? Is this a public relations stunt?

A: We did indeed obtain a lot of documents pertaining to a number of Fatah leaders, and some of them we had obtained even before the decisive military determination (meaning before the capture of the two main Fatah-linked security headquarters buildings), and some of those have been turned over to Egyptian authorities via Dr Musa abu Marzouq. And during the final military determination we obtained many [other] documents confirming the involvement of the coup faction (Dahlan's groups) in illegal activities, and there are recordings and documents of a serious nature that [point to] a threat not only to Palestine, but that threaten Arab national security as a whole!

Q: Is it possible for you to disclose to us any part of those documents?

A: These documents belong to the leadership of the movement and to the government, so it is not up to us (Qassam Brigades) to disclose any of it. I'm sure the leadership of the movement will publish these documents at the appropriate time.
For my part, I think it is only logical to think the issue of these documents is connected to overall Hamas strategy. And perhaps it is possible to read the following exchange partly in that way. The questioner asks "Abu Hamza" what they are going to do about the blockade, and he replies: "The blockade won't last long!..." arguing among other points that Gaza is enough of a military threat to Israel to discourage provocation. And he adds this:
On another point, we are relying a lot on Egypt, which doesn't have any important role in Lebanon, or in Iraq, and whose regional role is limited to Palestine, and if it lost that it would become like any other country, so it wants to retain that role. Moreover, Egypt is determined to retain a [good] relationship with the powerful factions in Gaza, so as to retain security on its border. As for our facing up to the blockade--we will face it with more than people imagine!

Q: Do you have a forward scenario ?

A: The only possibility in front of everyone is a political solution, and Hamas is in possession of strong cards [to exert] pressure, for breaking the blockade, and for arriving at another Gaza in the West Bank.


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