The Al-Akhbar daily, which is known to have close contacts to Palestinian leaders in Lebanon, quoted sources in Ramallah claiming that in a meeting several months ago with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the two heard “the best things they ever heard from an American presidential candidate.”
The report claimed Obama told Abbas and Fayyad he “supports the rights of the Palestinians to east Jerusalem, as well as their right to a stable, sovereign state,” but he petitioned them to keep the remarks confidential.
Asked for comment by this column, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat would neither confirm nor deny knowledge of Obama’s purported remarks.
In a major victory for Hamas’s attempts to end its international isolation, a European Union delegation visited the Gaza Strip this week and invited all elected Palestinian lawmakers, including Hamas members, to visit the EU parliament next spring.
The invitation was tendered by Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, head of the European delegation, during talks with Ahmed Bahar, acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a Hamas member.
The EU officially considers Hamas a terrorist organization. Hamas is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings, rocket attacks and cross border raids; it’s official charter calls for the murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel.
“We don’t care who they are as long as they are members of the Legislative Council,” Triantaphyllides told reporters. “We don’t ask if they are members of Hamas or members of Fatah.”
The invitation confirms statements made to this column last month by Ahmed Yousef, Hamas’s chief political adviser in the Gaza Strip, who claimed Hamas opened channels with the European parliament. He also claimed Hamas was in communication with unspecified elements in the U.S. government, including members of the Bush administration, and with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who serves as the Mideast Quartet’s main envoy. The Quartet is made up of the U.S., EU, UN and Russia.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party was responsible for rockets fired recently from the Gaza Strip at Jewish civilian population centers, informed sources told WorldNetDaily.
Last week, a previously unknown group, calling itself Hizbullah-Palestine, took responsibility for firing rockets at the Israeli city of Sderot. The same group also took credit for rocket attacks on Oct. 21.
Hamas sources in Gaza told WND an investigation found that Hizbullah-Palestine was a front group for the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s declared military wing. The sources said their organization arrested several Al Aksa members who admitted to firing the rockets under the banner of the Hizbullah front group. The sources also said they inquired within the Hizbullah militia in Lebanon, which denied involvement in any rocket attacks or knowledge of the Hizbullah-Palestine group.
A source within the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades admitted to WND that his group was behind the recent rocket-fire in Gaza.
Hamas surmises the rival Fatah organization is looking to disrupt the Gaza truce in a bid to draw Israeli retaliation and a closing of the borders between Israel and the Gaza Strip, which would restrict significantly the flow of goods into Gaza, likely leading to a waning of support in the Palestinian street for Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
Ahead of Peace Conference
As Israel and the Palestinian Authority are set to brief the Mideast Quartet conference next week in Egypt, the PA Monday issued an official pamphlet repeatedly referring to Israel as the “hated entity,” while accusing Jews of plotting to ethnically cleanse the region of Arabs.
“We remember all the conspiracies and plans to chase us, which didn’t stop from 1948 until today,” reads the official PA pamphlet, distributed by PA offices in the West Bank, a copy of which was obtained by WND. “We are aware of the Zionist plans against our people and their efforts to destroy the Palestinians aimed at making an ethnic transfer so that Palestine will be clean of its Arabs and totally a Jewish state.”
The pamphlet continues, “We should make all efforts to expose to the world the policy and real image of this hated entity [Israel].”
The PA published the pamphlet to mourn the 91st anniversary of the Balfour Declaration – a statement from the British government declaring it would view favorably the formation of a national Jewish homeland.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs and is the author of the book “Schmoozing with Terrorists.”