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July 30, 2014 / 3 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 

Posts Tagged ‘Ismail Haniyeh’

Hamas Blames PA For Rocket Fire

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Hamas officials in Gaza have blamed the Palestinian Authority for the ongoing rocket fire from the Strip at Israeli civilians, and said the time may have come to break apart the month-old Palestinian Unity Government. Ahmed Yousef, a senior Hamas official in Gaza, told the Palestinian Ma’an news service that “From a political point of view, (Prime Minister) Rami Hamdallah is responsible and he can give orders to security services to intervene. Hamas is not ruling the Gaza Strip and so it’s not responsible for protecting borders.”

Hamas leaders have justified the rocket fire as an just response to Israeli “collective punishment” while searching for the killers of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Sha’ar and Naftali Fraenkel, but they also recognize that Israelis are losing patience with the status quo, both in the Gaza Belt region and in Judea and Samaria. Some Israeli leaders have called to resume targeted killings of Hamas leaders, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal.

At least some Hamas leaders seem to internalise that point, and have moved in recent weeks to disassociate themselves from both the boys’ abduction/murder as well as the rockets that have accompanied Israelis subsequent manhunt, first for Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, and then for their killers.

Ahmed Yousef said Palestinian security forces had attempted to prevent rocket fire, but had not been very successful because “Israeli ‘aggression’ motivates some response, and we can’t ask these bereaved people to stop,” Yousef said.

So much for unity? 

Since the manhunt for Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Sha’ar and Naftali Fraenkel began on June 13, terror cells have fired hundreds of rockets at civilian targets in Israel. Most have landed in open fields, but several homes and public building. In response to those attacks, Israeli Air Force drones and helicopter gunships have attacked terror cells in Gaza virtually every night.

In response to the ongoing Israeli air strikes, and to the ongoing political crisis between Hamas and Fatah, Ma’an reported that Hamas is considering leaving the unity agreement with Fatah and forming a separatist government in Gaza, to be led by Palestinian factions. Yousef said the lack of clear authority in Gaza has left a serious leadership vacuum.

“There is a political vacuum in the Gaza Strip which creates the atmosphere for security chaos, taking into account that the national consensus government has not taken even a single step toward ending political disagreement.

“In Gaza there are ministries without budgets as well as ministers and employees who don’t receive salaries. From a moral and national point of view everybody should work to end this state,” Ma’an quoted Yousef.

Ultimately, however, both Hamas and Israel may have little choice but to continue the status quo – Hamas will continue to fire missiles indiscriminately at Israel, likely with no real intention to harm people or property, and Israel will continue to hold its fire and will not strike strongly enough at Hamas to bring that organization to its knees.

According to Alex Fishman, a veteran Israeli defense correspondent, who wrote in the Hebrew-language Yedioth Aharonoth that eliminating Hamas at this stage would likely bring about a leadership vacuum in Gaza that would be filled by intentional jihadi groups such as ISIS.

And as for Hamas, an organization that is very much on the proverbial ropes after seven years in power, the rocket fire restores some of the organization’s credibility on the Palestinian street. For Ismail Haniyeh, the name of the political game is simple, and can be summed up in one word: survival.

But if the goal of leaving Hamas in power in Gaza is to a joint Israeli-Hamas interest, there is only one possible response: Such strange bedfellows makest the Middle East.

Where is Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh has reportedly gone underground in Gaza.

If the reports are accurate, he is apparently afraid of a targeted Israeli strike, and has gone into hiding.

Arab sites are reporting that much of the Gaza leadership has gone into hiding.

Operation ‘Brother’s Keeper’ #11: 37 Arrests, 80 Sites Checked, 7 Hamas Closures

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

It’s the 11th day of Operation Brother’s Keeper, since 19 year old Eyal Yifrach, 16 year old Naftali Frenkel and 16 year old Gilad Sha’ar were kidnapped by Arab terrorists.

Thousands of soldiers are out around the clock, searching for the kidnapped boys and putting pressure on the terror organization behind the abduction, Hamas. But they haven’t found them yet. Terrorism experts have assured journalists that the boys are “still alive… That’s the working assumption.”

Sunday night and the wee hours of Monday morning were spent hunting down and arresting 37 Palestinian Authority unity government fugitives in Hevron, El Aroub, Shechem, Tulkarem and Jenin. The process was not an easy one: each came at the cost of violent encounters with rioters as the IDF soldiers came to take the terrorists into custody. Since the operation began, more than 360 terrorists have been taken into custody — most of them members of Hamas.

Seven organizations linked to Hamas in various locations around Hevron and in Jenin were shut down, and eighty separate sites were searched meticulously for some sign of the kidnapped boys.

Hundreds of illegal weapons have been confiscated over the past 10 days, and IDF soldiers found numerous previously unknown tunnels and bunkers dug under Arab homes in Hevron.

Late Sunday night, Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised the terrorists, saying “the youth of the West Bank have restored honor to the intifada, the greatest legacy in history.”

Haniyeh’s Ramallah-based partner in the PA unity government, Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, said at his office in the Samaria PA capital the kidnapping was “unjustified and unacceptable.” He added that Israelis should see Palestinians in the same way, and realize they are “human beings like them.”

The Islamic holiday of Ramadan – in which observant Muslims fast during the daylight hours for the entire month – is due to begin shortly. However, Israeli defense officials say they do not intend to relieve the pressure until the boys are found.

Haniyeh: Unity Deal to Aid ‘Resistance’; Abbas silent

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) hailed today’s national unity government with Hamas as “the end” of a long period of tension between Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah organization.  Palestinian division.

“Today, with the formation of a national consensus government, we announce the end of a Palestinian division that has greatly damaged our national case, Abu Mazen said. “This black page in the history (of the Palestinians) has been turned forever, and we will not allow it to come back.”

However, Abbas was silent on comments made last week by his senior government partner, Hamas’ Gaza Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, that the unity government would serve to further the Palestinian struggle “against the main enemy, the Zionist enemy, and to continue with the option of resistance.”

According to footage posted on the Palestinian Media Watch website, Haniya also told the Arabic-language al-Hayat al-Jadida paper last Wednesday that “Those who liberated Gaza, with the help of Allah, can liberate Jerusalem, the West Bank and the rest of Palestine (i.e., Israel).”

Haniyeh also reiterated to al-Aqsa TV Hamas’ Hamas goal of destroying Israel through violence, and said that the same, determined Palestinian “resistance” that led to Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip would eventually cause Israel to flee “Jerusalem, the West Bank and the rest of Palestine.”

“Since he already said ‘Jerusalem and the West Bank,’ the term ‘rest of Palestine,’ can only mean the rest of Israel,” said Palestinian Media Watch.

The website also cited the Ma’an news service, which quoted Haniyeh’s explanation that the partnership with Fatah was designed to”protect… the resistance project” and “the weapon of resistance.”

‘[Reconciliation] also means real partnership in the institution of leadership, adherence to the national principles, protection of the resistance project, protection of the weapon of resistance, and [joint] action with all our people for the release of the prisoners and Jerusalem.’”Haniyeh said:

The Wedding is On – Hamas and Fatah Unite in Palestinian Authority

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahoud Abbas swore in what he called a new PA “unity government” today (Monday) at 1:00 p.m. local time in a televised ceremony in Ramallah. He apparently wasn’t confident enough to dare to do it in Gaza, and with very good reason.

“Today, after announcing the government of national unity we declare the end of division that caused catastrophic harm to our cause,” Abbas said. “This black page in the history (of the Palestinians) has been turned forever, and we will not allow it to come back.”

Initially, his new “unity” partners from the Hamas terrorist organization had declared they were backing out of the deal. But a few minutes later, Hamas official Salah Al-Bardaweel announced “the dispute between Hamas and Fatah has been resolved.”

Ministers who allegedly are politically unaffiliated took the oath of office at the inauguration, where Abbas vowed commitments and agreements made by previous PLO and PA administrations would be upheld. It is believed that he was referring to interim deals that were made with Israel.

There are a total of 17 new ministers, including five from Gaza. It is not clear how the Gaza-based ministers will join any legislative meetings, since it is unlikely they will be able to travel out of the region — nor are the other 12 likely to travel often to Gaza.

Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesman for Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, immediately disavowed the ceremony as a “unilateral” step and stated the terrorist group would “not recognize this announcement. Within the hour, he reversed himself, telling the AFP news agency, “We hail the national consensus government which represents all the Palestinian people.” He added the new government would enable the PA to “face the Israeli occupation.”

What a surprise.

Welcome to the Palestinian Authority unity government deal, the “Cha-Cha’ of the Middle East.

After a dozen or so leading-up announcements of how the PA unity government was “about to be completed,” Palestine Liberation Organization chief – and Fatah faction leader – Mahmoud Abbas apparently simply finally lost his patience and just set the wedding date.

Abbas heads what remains of the gutted Palestinian Authority from its Judea and Samaria capital in Ramallah, as well as the PA’s leading Fatah faction, and its umbrella organization, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In giving international media the heads-up that he would inaugurate the unity government one way or the other, he told reporters that Israel had already warned him it would shun such a government and that he would go ahead with the plan anyway.

Hamas, meanwhile, was threatening to renege on its commitment to the deal even after the swearing-in ceremony was being carried live on Hamas ‘al-Aqsa’ television.

This time the excuse was the intent by Abbas to dissolve the PA Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, which Hamas called a “stab in the back” to terrorist prisoners. That wrinkle got worked out with the disputed Prisoners’ Ministry being given to Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya had already told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, “We made concessions on all stages … but some sides misunderstood our lenience and flexibility.” Without that ministry, he said, Hamas would definitely not join the unity government.

It would have been the umpteenth time that Hamas has backed out of a reconciliation deal at the ninth hour since it seized control of Gaza in 2007. Nothing new.

Abbas himself had no plans to turn his back on the bloodthirsty murderers who stole Israeli lives, and who he generously supports with monthly salaries from government coffers. Instead he was planning to form a prisoners’ affairs administration under the PLO.

Officially listed as a terrorist organization in the United States as well as in Israel, this new government with Hamas gives America considerable pause: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Abbas in a phone call over the weekend that it is not being taken lightly by the American government.

According to State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, Abbas assured Kerry on Sunday the new “unity government” would be “committed to non-violence and recognize Israel.” Kerry’s reply was that the U.S. would “judge the body by its composition, policies and actions.”

Abbas Snubs Kerry, PA Ends Peace Option with Israel

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas finally took off the mask and formally refused Tuesday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz broke the news to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in an evening speech.

Earlier this week, the State Department confirmed that Kerry and Abbas were set to meet in London. Apparently the Secretary became desperate enough to come back to Israel for another attempt at reviving the dead-on-arrival “framework talks.”

He even offered to travel to the PA capital of Ramallah. But Abbas rejected the offer, leaving Kerry to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

“Abbas rejected Kerry’s framework and refused to meet him .. Kerry flew back the next morning without any meeting,” Steinitz told his audience.

“No one should tell us that we need peace in order to survive, exist and flourish,” he said. “We will survive. Israel will survive as a democratic Jewish state whether our neighbors will finally agree to accept it and make peace with us or not.”

He added that Abbas had always said he would never recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state – just as the Hamas terrorist organization that controls Gaza has as well. Last month Abbas signed a deal with Hamas to create a new Palestinian Authority unity government.

Inasmuch as Hamas is formally committed to Israel’s destruction and is backed and funded by Iran, the move effectively ends any option for peace with the PA at this time.

IDF forces have beefed up their lines along the roads in Judea and Samaria, particularly along Highway 60, where the number of road terror attacks on Israeli motorists has increased dramatically over the past year.

Making A Deal With The Devil

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The announcement that the Palestine Liberation Organization, which essentially is the parent organization of the Palestinian Authority, had entered into a unity agreement with Hamas might have been the last straw.

As the United States was working feverishly to extend the April 29 deadline for the peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas openly thumbed his nose at the U.S. and slammed the door on the peace process, perhaps for the final time.

By agreeing to end their feud and form a unity government with Hamas, which has been deemed a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority sent a decisive and disturbing message that they are not interested in peace.

The United States did not pull any punches in delivering a sharp response to the news.

“The timing was troubling and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement,” said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki. “This could seriously complicate our efforts – not just our efforts, but the efforts between the parties, more importantly, to extend the negotiations.”

She added, “Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties. It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist.”

In response to the PA’s move, Israel announced it was suspending the peace talks.

“Instead of choosing peace, [Abbas] formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu. “[Abbas] has formed an alliance with an organization whose covenant calls for Muslims to fight and kill Jews. Whoever chooses the terrorism of Hamas does not want peace.”

Over the years, individuals on all sides of the issue have debated the merits of the seemingly endless peace process and questioned the feasibility of achieving a lasting and genuine peace agreement. However, the fact is that the present situation, which has continued to deteriorate, is untenable and unsustainable.

Sadly, we have seen the physical and emotional toll that the endless barrage of rockets fired from Gaza has on Israel and the detrimental effect it has on the thousands of men, women, and children who live under a constant threat of attack. We know how damaging and destructive the Hamas terrorists, who are lurking in the shadows waiting to strike, can be.

Peace is critical to the continued survival of Israel. Israelis pray for peace. They yearn for peace. They need peace. Yet peace continues to elude them.

Unfortunately, it is a classic Catch-22 situation. Many have questioned the ability of the PA to enter into a peace agreement with Israel when it is not representative of the entire Palestinian Arab world and is at odds with Hamas, which in effect controls Gaza. At the same time, how can Israel enter into an agreement with the PA when it has chosen to make a pact with Hamas, a terrorist organization that has absolutely no interest in coexisting with Israel? Hamas wants to destroy Israel and all it stands for, or die trying.

By abandoning the negotiating table and turning its back on the peace process, the PA has shown its true colors and validated what its critics have been saying for years – namely, that it cannot and will not make a good faith effort to achieve a peaceful resolution to the longstanding Arab-Israeli conflict.

With his decision to unite with Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas has cast off the mantle of “statesman” he desperately tried to be and shown himself to be an opportunistic obstructionist. He threw away diplomacy and chose terrorism instead.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/making-a-deal-with-the-devil/2014/05/07/

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