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Not a single Jewish home will be built in the strategic West Bank without the approval of Obama’s administration and the Palestinians, Nimer Hamad, senior political adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, told this column.
In spite of recent reports that Israel will build 50 new homes in a northern West Bank Jewish community, Hamad said U.S. guarantees make him “confident” such housing will not actually be constructed.
“The guarantees we received from the U.S. make us confident all the talks about the 50 houses in Adam are only a piece of meat [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak threw to the settlers,” Hamad said.
“I am not excited about these reports. I am confident no single housing will actually be built outside an agreement between the Palestinians, the Americans and the Israelis,” he said.
PA To Arab Countries: Don’t Accept Deal
The PA has launched a behind-the-scenes diplomatic campaign to lobby Arab countries against accepting normalized ties with Israel in exchange for a freeze on Jewish construction in the strategic West Bank, WorldNetDaily has learned.
The Obama administration has demanded a total halt to all construction of Jewish housing in the West Bank, including natural growth. Barak, meanwhile, has held a series of meetings with U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell in an effort to agree on a compromise formula on settlement construction.
According to Jerusalem diplomatic sources, Barak proposed a limit on Israeli West Bank construction in exchange for Arab states beginning the process of normalizing relations with Israel in line with an Arab Initiative from 2002.
The PA, however, began lobbying key Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, to refuse any such deal, according to a top PA source familiar with the campaign.
The source said the PA doesn’t want any concessions from Arab countries in exchange for limited Israeli construction activity. The source said the PA believes pressure from the Obama administration will be enough to halt Jewish construction efforts in both the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. The source implied normalization of relations should be used to extract something larger from Israel.
First Fatah Congress In 20 Years
To Convene In Bethlehem
Abbas’s Fatah organization has decided to hold its first congress in 20 years in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Well-known terrorists and anti-Israel extremists are slated to descend upon the important Christian city, where, among other items, the Fatah party is set to vote on a clause that would affirm “resistance” against Israel, this column has learned.
The event will mark Fatah’s sixth General Congress. At the meeting, hundreds of voting Fatah members will discuss the future of their party and pass official resolutions outlining Fatah’s major objectives.
Abbas secured special permission from Israel to allow Fatah members to travel to Bethlehem from other West Bank towns and the Gaza Strip as well as from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. According to a list obtained by this column, the Fatah delegates slated to attend the Bethlehem event include several senior leaders of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group; Fatah officials who openly oppose any talks with Israel; and a Fatah leader from Lebanon known for his close contacts with Hizbullah.
The new Congress is also set to vote on a resolution that would affirm the “armed struggle” and “resistance” against Israel as official Fatah doctrine, according to Fatah sources.
The Congress was last held in 1989 in Tunisia at which Fatah officially resolved continuing “to intensify and escalate armed action and all forms of armed struggle to liquidate the Zionist occupation from our occupied Palestinian land.”
Radical Websites Hail
City Council’s Resolution
Over the weekend, Islamist websites associated with terrorist organizations hailed a recent New York City Council resolution recommending the city’s school system shut down to commemorate two of the most important Muslim holidays.
The nonbinding resolution passed last week was the subject of extensive coverage in the pan-Arab media, including on the Al Jazeera and Al-Arabiya satellite networks.
The stories were also discussion themes over the weekend on two Palestinian websites linked to terrorist organizations. The Palestinian Forum for Dialogue is known to be close to Hamas, carrying the group’s official propaganda, while the Islamic Forum is strongly associated with the Islamic Jihad terror group. The topic of the resolution was hailed in hundreds of user postings on both websites.
A typical posting on the Islamic Forum website, translated from the Arabic, reads:
“[The resolution proves] there is a new situation in America where Obama understands that going against Islam and Muslims only brings disaster for us.”
Stated another posting: “The new [U.S.] administration and the American people understand they cannot defeat Islam and they should co-exist with Islam.”
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 “The Late Great State of Israel.” Follow Klein on Twitter under the name “AaronKleinWND.”