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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Hamas Sees Abbas’s Statehood Bid as Step to Islamist Rule

They did not celebrate out of support for the two-state solution peace with Israel.

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Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90



Why did some Hamas leaders come out in public in support of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s request to the UN General Assembly to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to “Non-Member Observer State”?

Because the Hamas leaders know that sooner or later the Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem will fall into their hands.

Hamas has not abandoned its dream of replacing Israel with an Islamic state, “from the river to the sea.”

This is what several Hamas leaders reiterated over the past week when asked why they had backed Abbas’s effort to establish a Palestinian state on “only” 22% of Mandatory Palestine.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives even participated in Fatah celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip marking the “victory” at the UN General Assembly last Thursday.

These representatives did not take part in the celebrations because they accept the two-state solution and are willing to live in peace alongside Israel.

Nor did they take to the streets to express their joy over the upgrading of the status of the Palestinians at the UN.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad celebrated because they think that the UN has paved the way for the establishment of an Islamist state within the pre-1967 lines. Like many Palestinians, the two Islamist groups are confident that the countdown has begun for the creation of an Iranian-backed entity in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Islamists’s message to the Palestinians is: “Let Mahmoud Abbas take now whatever he can because we know that in the future these lands will be under our control.”

Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials and spokesmen have even gone on record stating that their support for Abbas’s statehood bid does not mean that they have relinquished their dream of destroying Israel and “liberating the rest of Palestine.”

The Islamists are hoping to achieve their goal with the support of three parties: Iran, Qatar and Egypt.

Iran will continue to supply Hamas and Islamic Jihad with various types of rockets, while the Qataris will prove the funds. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President, Mohamed Morsi, will provide the political cover and support.

Following Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip, some Hamas leaders, including Khaled Mashaal, revealed that many of the rockets that were fired at Israel came from Iran.

Recently, Qatar pledged to support Hamas with more than $400 million, in order to boost the Islamist movement and assist it in tightening its grip on the Gaza Strip.

Morsi, for his part, has been actively seeking to legitimize Hamas and turn it into a major player in the Palestinian, regional and international arenas.

Ironically, if anyone is about to facilitate the process of establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state it is Abbas himself.

Abbas has already declared his intention to seek unity between his Fatah faction and Hamas in the aftermath of the UN vote.

Abbas has even indicated his readiness to travel to the Gaza Strip — for the first time since he was expelled from there in 2007 — to advance the “reconciliation” process with Hamas.

When and if Abbas manages to solve his dispute with Hamas, the Palestinians will be called to participate in new presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a move that will undoubtedly result in another victory for the Islamist movement.

The UN vote last week has paved the way for the creation of a radical Islamist state that will be used by the Iranians and Muslim Brotherhood to advance their goal of wiping Israel off the map. That is why Hamas and Islamic Jihad have good reason to be celebrating in the streets.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Khaled Abu Toameh

About the Author: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.


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