Tag Archives: Abbas

Iran Supports Hamas Over Abbas

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said his nation’s legislature was pushing for an indictment against Israeli leaders on grounds they committed war crimes during the invasion of Gaza. He said there was now emerging a “new Middle East” which is predicated on the need to drive out all foreign powers from the region and the leadership of this movement has to lie in the hands of those elected by the Palestinian people. In light of the Hamas victory in the last election, he called for support of Hamas and urged people not to provide any financial or political support for the Abbas government.

Mottaki emphasized the right of Hamas to acquire weapons and indicated his nation would lend support to that effort. “The Western powers are in no position to say that resistance is not allowed to possess weapons when they had been competing to provide Israel with 300 tons of bombs.” Obama has indicated his willingness to engage in talks with Iran. Perhaps, it might also be necessary to involve a wider range of Middle Eastern and Muslim nations to ensure such a dialogue moves forward rather than getting bogged down in rhetoric.

Is “Victory” In Gaza A “Defeat” For Israel?

Israel’s armed forces move relentlessly through the streets of Gaza blasting and killing anyone or obstacle in their way hoping the operation will ensure their nation has achieved “peace.” In the wake of the IDF lies the bodies of hundreds of innocent men, women, and children whose safety and security was deemed of lesser importance than the security of Israeli soldiers. President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority understands more than any Israeli official the folly of the war in Gaza which, in effect, has done incredible damage to moderate Palestinians by making them come across as ineffectual and “cowards” who take second place to the “brave members of Hamas.” The Israel government in one horrible explosion of hate and anger has given Hamas power and prestige in the entire Arab world.

The Palestinian Authority representative at the UN, Riyad Mansour accused Israel of war crimes and demanded the UN dispatch troops, if necessary, to ensure there is peace in Gaza. “The current situation is untenable and cannot be allowed to continue.” His government is desperately trying to do something to end killing in Gaza before the entire Palestinian nation shifts over to support for Hamas. Mansour accused Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni of pretending to be interested in a diplomatic solution but using time in order to allow the IDF to continue its operations of death and destruction.

There is no question the IDF invasion reduced the possibility of rocket attacks on Israel, but at what price was this “victory” achieved? A major problem of Israeli leadership is seeking short term solutions rather than grasping the need for a permanent solution that ensures peace for their nation. What if there is an election and Hamas wins in both Gaza and the West Bank? What then, Israel? An invasion of the West Bank?

Will Gaza War Doom Two State Solution?

Nabil Maaruf, the Palestinian ambassador to Turkey, believes the Gaza invasion may well have doomed chances to create two nations in Palestine by making Hamas even stronger and more attractive to the Palestinian population. “The war is threatening the peace process launched by the international community to achieve a two-state solution in the Middle East.” Maaruf argued the Gaza invasion was not a war against Hamas, but it was designed to anger the entire Palestinian nation and make impossible any hope for a two-state solution. “The division is affecting the regional hopes and dreams of Palestinians living in Gaza. They are changing the rules of the game. I do not think they will finish Hamas. what Israel aims to do is against the Palestinian cause and dream.”

The end result of the Gaza invasion will be to make Hamas MORE POWERFUL and result in weakening the power of President Abbas who has been cooperating with Israel in pursuit of a two nation solution. Both Israel and Hamas share the ability to shoot themselves in the foot in order to avoid reaching a compromise solution to the current conflict. Unfortunately, Israel lacks a leader with vision for peace.

Peace- Too Little For Too Long Or Too Late For Peace?

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas have been circling around one another for a few years, exchanging words about peace and compromise, but never finalizing anything other than they both have a desire for peace. Now, as Olmert prepares to leave office due to a scandal, he is saying, “in principle, there is nothing to prevent us from reaching an agreement on the core issues in the near future– you don’t need months to make a decision.” Of course, had this been said a year ago, there might now be peace between Israel and Palestine. In 1993, the Oslo accords gave hope of peace, but what was agreed upon somehow got lost in the process of trying to implement the agreement.

Palestinian police have restored law and order to several cities such as Hebron, and IDF forces no longer have to patrol cities such as Nablus and Jenin. The Abbas government has improved in many areas of administration such as in its banking and accounting offices. If Oslo is any example, it proves the importance of following up on agreements by working on implementing details, not grand theories.

Barack Obama has to ensure the United States works with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to ensure the details of peace become a high priority and a reality.

Hamas And Abbas Still Not Talking

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Hamas he would call elections early next year if the rival movement does not open reconciliation with him. At present, Abbas is in control of parts of the West Bank and other areas in Palestine while Hamas is in charge of the Gaza Strip. Hamas rejected his call for talks and compromise since they fear an election might result in their defeat. Hamas never was elected to control the Gaza area since they took power in a coup d’etat. Earlier this month this was an attempt to hold conciliation talks with Egypt serving as a mediator but Hamas canceled their appearance at the sessions.

Hamas currently has a majority in the Palestinian legislature but it is uncertain if that would hold up in a new election. Many Palestinians desire a compromise with Israel but that is hampered by constant rocket attacks from the Gaza strip. Hamas insists Abbas wants to work a deal with Israel and Hamas rejects such a solution. It is completely unclear exactly how Hamas plans to end the stalemate and get a Palestinian state.

Livni Opposes PM Olmert’s Palestinian Peace Plan

Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni made clear she opposes efforts by Prime Minister Olmert to reach a peace agreement with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. She told French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, “I do not believe in far-reaching proposals and an attempt to expedite matters, especially in light of the political situation.” Olmert told the French foreign minister of his frustration because Abbas would not agree to his proposal which indicated a desire to accept the 1967 borders which has been a goal of Palestinian leaders for years. Livni’s argument is that Abbas could not agree to the Olmert offer due to opposition within Palestine, and she added, “the political situation in Israel also does not allow it to be signed.”

The best that Livni can offer is “let us not allow dates or political changes to stand in our way. The point is to understand the required concessions in order to conduct a correct process.” Perhaps, Livni is hoping John McCain will win the election and then support any Israel plan regardless if it has any chance of being accepted by Palestinians.

Israel could use a Nelson Mandela in charge of the government.

Palestinian Authority Acting Authoritarian

The Fatah dominated Palestinian Authority is carrying out a vigorous campaign against members of Hamas and anyone who does not support the government of President Abbas. According to Al Ahram, hundreds of schoolteachers, college students, journalists and other professionals have been arrested and imprisoned on vague charges such as “constituting a threat to state security.” Al Ahram sources insist “in villages and cities throughout the West Bank, PA security agencies raided Islamic-oriented cultural and academic centres, non-governmental organizations, sports clubs as well as schools and charitable organizations, closing them down and arresting members.” A particular target are journalists who are critical of the Abbas government failure to respect human rights.

There is little question Fatah leaders fear a repeat of the successful Hamas takeover of Gaza and intend to thwart that possibility by arresting Hamas leaders and supporters. Although there is scant evidence Hamas is actually a threat in the West Bank, the government is determined to avoid such an outcome in the future. On the political front, Fatah has been able to secure the support of the Egyptian government which carries out the Abbas policy of refusing to allow Hamas to obtain credit for any aid to the Gaza blockace.

In the midst of Palestinian internal conflict, talks with Israel are at a standstill. If nothing happens to end the logjam between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Palestinians may decide to end their goal of a two state solution and become part of Israel. Such an outcome would frighten most Israelis.

Release Prisoners Or No Peace, Says Abbas

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the release by Israel of 198 prisoners but vowed there could be no peace until all those held in Israel jails are sent home. “There will be no peace without the release of all Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. We will not rest until the prisoners are freed and the jails are empty.” He cited the example of
Ahmed Saadat, who helped organize the killing of Israel Tourist Minister Rehavam Ze’evi who he termed “our brother.” Palestinian authorities regard the release of prisoners, regardless of their crimes, as an essential component of any peace agreement. Of course, from the Israel perspective, it is difficult to release individuals who committed murder of innocent civilians.

Israel courts now confront an unusual situation in which an individual was convicted of a crime and is being released due to political factors. Several Israel organizations are petitioning the courts to intervene to halt the release of convicted felons. There is a difference between releasing those imprisoned for political offenses as those who are in jail for murder. Of course, as Palestinian prisoners are being released, Israel prisoners held by terrorist organizations still remain as prisoners.

Palestinians Reject Israel Proposal

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority rejected the latest Israel proposal on grounds it still maintains Israel control of the West Bank and prevents Arabs from having east Jerusalem as its capital. “The Palestinian side will only accept a Palestinian state with territorial continuity. with holy Jerusalem as its capital, without settlements, and on thee June 4, 1967 boundaries.” An essential aspect of the Israel proposal is that the Palestinian Authority should be in control of all areas including Gaza.

The United States has been urging a resolution of the Palestinian-Israel dispute for over two years with no apparent progress. Perhaps, President Bush and Secretary of State Rice might pose the question as to whether their presence as “mediators” is an effective strategy. It might be more appropriate if Turkey served in the role of mediator.

Palestinian President Warns Israel!

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Israel it must cease conducting raids for militants in West Bank cities or he will withdraw his police from all cities and allow the Israelis to inherit one more problem in dealing with Muslim inhabitants. He claimed the constant raids impeded progress toward a resolution of issues on the table of negotiation and emphasized the importance of allowing his police to handle criminal activity. Abbas recently deployed his forced in two of the unruliest towns, Nablus and Jenin, and residents feel safer due to their presence.

Abas has been meeting with Fatah legislators who insist he take action to demonstrate to the population the strength of the Palestinian Authority. In response to these demands, Abbas issued the warning to Israeli officials. Abbas is confronting a series of Israeli actions such as continued building in the West Bank, roadblocks and daily incursion into Palestinian cities by Israeli forces. Either Israel allows Abbas to demonstrate his ability to enforce law and order or the task will be turned back to Israel. Is that what the Israeli government desires?