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Peace, Trust and Mahmoud Abbas


Mahmoud Abbas, acting leader of the Palestinian Authority

Mahmoud Abbas, acting leader of the Palestinian Authority
Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/FLASH90

Demonstrating the utility of utterly flexible principles, the man at the top of the Palestinian Arab power structure, Mahmoud Abbas, is quoted in an Associated Press report tonight calling for the Obama administration “to intervene to save the peace talks“.

Alert readers may recall yesterday’s somewhat different message from Abbas, one in which he “rejected most of the proposals made by Obama during their meeting at the White House“… and presented himself to the Palestinian ‘street’ as the political figure with “the guts to say no to Obama…

This Saturday variation on the Friday man is connected to what happened in Jenin today. The AP version comes from Mohammed Ballas:

“Israeli troops killed three Palestinians in an early morning raid that was followed by a clash with angry protesters in a West Bank town on Saturday, the military and Palestinian security officials said, in the deadliest incident in months… [It] started with an Israeli raid, which the military said aimed to arrest Hamza Abu el-Heija, a 22-year-old Hamas operative wanted for involvement in shooting and bombing attacks against Israelis. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner described el-Heija as a “ticking bomb” and said he was wanted for months and was allegedly in the final stages of planning a major shooting attack against Israelis. Palestinians officials said the military ringed the house in the Jenin refugee camp overnight and ordered el-Heija outside. When he refused to come out, the soldiers stormed the building and a shootout ensued. Lerner said everyone but el-Heija had left the building before the shootout. The military says el-Heija first shot an attack dog that was sent inside and then opened fire on the troops outside, wounding two soldiers. When he attempted to escape while still shooting at the Israelis, the troops returned fire and killed him, Lerner said. [AP]

So just where was Abbas and his PA forces in all this? Avi Issacharoff, writing in the Times of Israel today, explains that there’s a “new reality in the refugee camps of the West Bank“, and here’s how it looks:

Palestinian Authority security forces generally stay out of the camps, and especially those in Jenin and Nablus. PA forces did try to arrest Abu al-Hija a few months ago, an incident that prompted intense Palestinian public criticism of the PA. Lesson learned, PA security personnel have since stayed away. Israel, as Saturday’s events showed, however, has not. Hamza Abu al-Hija is from his family’s second generation of wanted Hamas operatives, the son of one of the icons of the Islamist group in the West Bank, Jamal Abu al-Hija, who’s been in prison in Israel since 2002. The father, who lost an eye and a hand in an explosion at the beginning of the Second Intifada, is serving nine life terms for involvement in at least six bombings, including the Meron Junction attack that killed nine Israelis in 2002 and the Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria bombing that killed 15 in 2001. Israel had tried in December to arrest Abu al-Hija the younger, but he escaped, and fierce clashes ensued between IDF troops and hundreds of Palestinians at the time. [Times of Israel]

And in another report tonight, Israel’s Channel 2 News expanded on the comprehensive rejection put forward by Abbas in Washington earlier in the week:

Abbas rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that he recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He also refused to abandon the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinians and their descendants — a demand that, if implemented, would drastically alter Israel’s demographic balance and which no conceivable Israeli government would accept. And finally, he refused to commit to an “end of conflict,” under which a peace deal would represent the termination of any further Palestinian demands of Israel.

For the record, President Barack Obama – plainly ignoring the photos we published here ["20-Mar-14: Questions to visiting politicians about what lies at the heart of a peace process"] on Friday – summed up Abbas in the White House this week by calling him:

a leader who “has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side in peace and security — a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.” [TIME Magazine]

Even relatively well-informed observers of the Arab -v- Israel conflict might admit to some surprise at elements of today’s events:

• Abbas, who is already unable to visit his own home in the Gaza Strip, has been unwilling and/or unable to send his forces into key parts of the areas he purports to control.In parts of the PA-controlled West Bank – Nablus, Jenin, Hebron at least – Hamas demonstrably has free rein. Only the IDF is willing to do anything about this and then only when they have to. Abbas and his forces no longer even pretend. • Both criticizing and embracing the Obama administration’s strategy within a single 24-hour period is no problem at all for a man like Abbas. So long as there are reporters out there who have little factual background, no clue about context and little or (more usually) no familiarity with the Arabic language, he will say and do whatever advances his immediate short-term interests. • Even if he signs on to peace in some form, it’s not a resolution of the dispute/s. He makes it clear this would be just another stop en route. How anyone can seriously urge Israel to place its trust in this man’s good faith and ability to deliver on a peace that requires painful compromise on both sides is simply beyond our comprehension.

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28 Responses to “Peace, Trust and Mahmoud Abbas”

  1. Terrorist War in Israel against innocent peoples!

  2. Peace and trust do NOT belong in the same sentence as abbas

  3. Lee Mann says:

    This scum dont want peace at any cost.

  4. Dean Petree says:

    He doesn’t want peace, he wants to kill and take someone elses land.

  5. He is an animal and an arab. maybe the same thing.

  6. Dean Petree says:

    Palestine has never had a state or country, so why should Israel allow them to kill and rob their people.

  7. Dean Petree says:

    Let them go to Iran and pull the same thing,,,, Oh hold it,,,,Iran is behind it all, imagine that.

  8. Abbas is double tongued rattler

  9. GOD BLESS ISRAEL AND THE JEWS

  10. Tarek Saba says:

    Zionist are trespassing land thieves from Europe.

  11. Mark Brown says:

    Israel is there to stay and holy city part of israel .

  12. palestinians live and act like animals…let them move to any arab country. They are ignorant, dirty people…terrorists!!!

  13. Bart Jackson says:

    Terrorism takes on many shades of grey… This is dark grey by Abbas and Obama….Obama said in a book some years ago that if he had to choose between Judaism, Christianity and Islam… he would swing towards Islam… Shudder the blunder of his thinking…

  14. Jim Little says:

    Excuse me folks,don’t even call Abbas a man, he is far from being a man,maybe even being human is questionable.Pray for the peace of Israel.The creator of the universe is in control,not some old prick proclaiming Palestine, and certainly not some uncle tom in Washington dc.To Israel,ShalomShalom

  15. Jim Little says:

    Excuse me folks,don’t even call Abbas a man, he is far from being a man,maybe even being human is questionable.Pray for the peace of Israel.The creator of the universe is in control,not some old prick proclaiming Palestine, and certainly not some uncle tom in Washington dc.To Israel,ShalomShalom

  16. Jim Little says:

    Excuse me folks,don’t even call Abbas a man, he is far from being a man,maybe even being human is questionable.Pray for the peace of Israel.The creator of the universe is in control,not some old prick proclaiming Palestine, and certainly not some uncle tom in Washington dc.To Israel,ShalomShalom

  17. Jim Little says:

    Tarek Saba You are a lieing idiot the land belongs to the Jews through covenant promise not theft ,you need a knot jerked in your ads you little prick

  18. Jim Little says:

    Tarek Saba You are a lieing idiot the land belongs to the Jews through covenant promise not theft ,you need a knot jerked in your ads you little prick

  19. Jim Little says:

    Tarek Saba You are a lieing idiot the land belongs to the Jews through covenant promise not theft ,you need a knot jerked in your ads you little prick

  20. Incompetent kleptocrat unreliable pervert

  21. Feraco Ed says:

    The man is a buffoon

  22. JoAnn Morris says:

    Abbas and Kerry are the same….changing their minds daily.

  23. Joyce G says:

    Excellent article

  24. Evil man. Jerusalem will never change ownership.

  25. The need for prayer for God's guardian for peace among the two nations,with respect to one another,may God Almighty bring this to be during our generation,Amen,respect to the good people of the countries,regards,Oyekunle Ajayi.

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