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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Khaled Mashaal’

Report: Qatar Threatened to Kick Out Hamas

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Israelis may have to blame Qatar for the current round of rocket fire, if a report published in Arab media is true.

The pan-Arab daily newspaper Al Hayat reports that Qatar has threatened to kick out Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal if he agrees to any permanent cease-fire deal with Israel brokered by Egyptian mediators in Cairo.

Qatar heavily supports the Muslim Brotherhood, which founded the Hamas terrorist organization, and which backed Egptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s predecessor, former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, whom he forced out of power.

According to a Ramallah-based Fatah official serving with the Palestinian Authority unity government, Hamas has demanded Qatar be allowed to join the cease-fire talks. Egypt refuses to allow this, as does Israel.

Mashaal has been based in Qatar and essentially has served at the pleasure of the regime since fleeing Damascus at the start of the civil war there that was ignited by the region-wide Arab Spring riots in March 2011.

The question now is whether Qatar’s ire over its alientation in Cairo will extend to the influence of areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority unity government in Judea and Samaria.

Khaled Mashaal, Mahmoud Abbas Set to Meet in Qatar

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who lives in Qatar, is set to meet Thursday in the Qatari capital of Doha with Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, who remains head of the Palestinian Authority.

On the agenda will be the latest cease-fire proposal advanced by Egypt, and everything else that is going on in the region and affecting their two factions.

It is Mashaal, egged on by Qatar and possibly also Iran, who has stopped Hamas in Gaza from settling on an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement with Israel thus far.

Mashal is no friend of Abbas, particularly since Hamas has worked hard to sabotage the recent ‘reconciliation’ deal with which he tried to build a new Palestinian Authority unity government.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) released for publication on Monday that top Hamas leader Salah al-Arouri ordered a strategic campaign of attacks against Israel from the comfort of his home in Turkey, which backs the terrorist organization.

Arouri reportedly intended the budding third intifada to destablize the political and security situation in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and thereby sabotage the new PA unity government.

But in a joint counter terror operation by the IDF and Shin Bet, 93 Hamas terrorists were arrested in Judea and Samaria. A large number of weapons caches were picked up, and a massive amount of money was seized as well.

Brigadier General Tamir Yadi, Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, told journalists, “Over the last few months, the IDF and ISA uncovered a vast Hamas terror infrastructure. Upon receiving the intelligence from the ISA, the brigade’s forces prepared to embark on a number of arrests and counter terrorist operations in Beitunia, Deir Qaddis, Bethlehem and Dir Abu Mash’al. “IDF forces made a significant step against terrorism, demolishing the houses of those responsible for the kidnapping and murder of the three boys, which led to operation “Brothers’ Keeper”.

“The mission sends a severe message to those that wish to take part in terrorism, that such acts will not go unpunished and bare a direct retaliation. We will continue to use all our resources and abilities in order to deter such acts of terrorism. The IDF, in cooperation with the ISA and other security forces, will continue to operate against terror infrastructures in the Judea and Samaria Division,” he added.

Since Hamas seized control over Gaza in 2007, creating in effect a separatist state out of the region and wresting it away from the rest of the Palestinian Authority, the terror group has sabotaged numerous attempts by Abbas to ‘reconcile’ and form a unity government. Each time, the two factions announce an agreement — and then Hamas finds a way to slide out of it at the last minute.

The sticking point is, in reality, the fact that the Ramallah-based government has been made to understand by U.S. and European backers that it will receive no funding if it does not renounce violence, abandon terror, uphold prior legal agreements and formally recognize the existence and legitimacy of the State of Israel.

Hamas is committed to the absolute annihilation of Israel; it is written in the group’s founding charter, which it has never amended and has said it never will.

But Mashaal has been hosted by Qatar since leaving his headquarters in Damascus at the start of the Syrian civil war three years ago, when tensions rose between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the Hamas-led Palestinian Arab enclave there.

Update: Israel Denies It Agreed to Large-Scale Concessions

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Israel denied Tuesday morning that it has agreed to large-scale concession to Hamas and stated that no final agreement has been reached.

Egypt announced shortly before midnight Monday that the five-day cease-fire is being extended for another 24 hours.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Qatar Monday to talk with Hamas’ top dog Khaled Mashaal at almost the same time Israeli security officials announced they busted a Hamas plot to carry out terrorist attacks from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem and then stage a coup to oust Abbas from power in Ramallah.

Palestinian Authority and Egyptian sources managed to convince media Monday night that a final agreement was in the works. Shortly before the five-day cease-fire was to expire, Hamas, as usual, denied that there was an agreement and blamed Israel for the failure to come to terms for a longer-term truce.

The 24-hour extension indicates that all sides are close to agreeing to the main points of a longer-term truce.

One thing that is for sure is that the truce will be dangerous for all sides, including Abbas but except for Hamas.

Abbas wants to exploit the unity government with Hamas to promote his aim of peacefully doing away with Israel piece by piece. His problem is that Hamas wants to get rid of Abbas, not through peace and not piece by piece.

Israel wants peace and quiet for its citizens and has surrendered its previous condition for peace that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists must surrender their weapons before any agreement can be made.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Monday night again threatened to deliver another heavy blow to Hamas if attacks on Israel resume.

They apparently figure that the heavy bombing of terrorist targets in Gaza during the war was enough to keep Gaza terrorists in their place, even if they hold onto their rockets, anti-tank missiles and other advanced weapons that include anti-aircraft missiles that can take down a commercial airline.

Israel reportedly has promised Hamas that the permitted fishing zone will be doubled to six nautical miles and that border crossings on land will be opened. Contrary to the libel of the “siege,” Israel has operated the Kerem Shalom crossing on a daily basis except when Hamas rocket fire endangered security personnel and truck drivers.

Egypt also has agreed to keep open the crossing at the Rafah border.

Israel was said to have  nodded its head in approval to allow Hamas to build and operate a deep-sea port and to resume delivery of “dual-purpose” materials, such as cement, which was used to build tunnels for terror. International supervisors would make sure the dual-purpose materials are earmarked for peaceful purposes, but once Hamas gets its hands on the cement, or fertilizer that can be used for explosives, it is nearly impossible to keep track.

Israel’s denial on Tuesday of the concessions was not official and was attributed to “sources,” leaving open the possibility that negotiators from Jerusalem indeed agreed to concessions but then changed their minds after Hamas balked. Alternatively, Israel simply may have been holding its cards close to the chest to see if Hamas is willing to stop its usual game of agreeing in private and then undermining the agreement by going public with more demands.

Enter Mahmud Abbas, whose security forces are supposed to be deployed in Gaza to maintain peace, if Hamas agrees.

Qatar gave Hamas $100 million for terrorist activities, such as building tunnels, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor told the United Nations Monday.

Hamas is a threat to Abbas as well as it is to Egypt and Israel. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed on Monday that it busted a huge Hamas terrorist network that had been set up in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to stage terrorist attacks on Israelis and de-stabilize the Palestinian Authority to pave the way to oust Abbas and replace him with Hamas leader Mohammed Deif.

Abbas, in a gross understatement Tuesday, said that the plot is “serious.” He is learning, as Israel knows, that playing cards with Hamas is harmful to his life.

Everyone has a lot to lose with the truce agreement that is taking shape. Hamas would lose control of Gaza but regain a new lease on life. Egypt and Israel would lose the opportunity for the time being, to wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. Abbas would face the threat of a rejuvenated Hamas undermining his position of power.

Is the US Furious Over ‘Israeli’ Criticism of Kerry?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The United States is circling the wagons around their secretary of state whose ego was apparently wounded by a torrent of Israeli criticism over the weekend regarding his proposed ceasefire draft plan.

John Kerry’s defenders are helping him look more pathetic by taking such umbrage to a unified Israeli cabinet’s rejection of his ceasefire proposal. And a virtually unified Israeli public, including the leftist and far left Israeli media, who are being accurately represented by the Israeli government’s less than flattering evaluations.

One of the biggest complaints about Israel’s criticism was ascribed to the State Department’s spokesperson Jen Psaki. She said, and was quoted in a myriad of media reports for saying, that Israel’s conduct in disseminating what she claims was false information about the proposed ceasefire draft: “it’s simply not the way partners and allies treat each other.”

There was a textbook example of a journalist baiting a government official to snipe at another government’s leadership despite her best efforts not to seem to be sniping.

At the State Department’s Daily Briefing on Monday, July 28, Matt Lee of the Associated Press was able to put words into Psaki’s mouth, and continue leading her into accepting certain phraseology to suggest — undoubtedly accurately, but surely going further than Psaki intended – that the U.S. administration was furious with Israel for disrespecting Kerry.

The questions asked by Lee included, “how angry are you? How unhelpful do you believe the Israelis, or at least some Israelis have been in this issue? And how angry are you at what you claim to be a serious misrepresentation of what the Secretary was trying to do?”

Lee then followed up with: “so you accuse – you’re accusing at least some in the Israeli Government of waging a misinformation campaign?”

When Psaki informs Lee, and the rest of the press corps, that she doesn’t have any information on the sources who were allegedly providing inaccurate information, the AP reporter followed up by incorporating one of the most quoted phrases of the day. The exchange follows:

QUESTION: When you say that this is not the way friends and allies should treat each other, you’re referring to Israeli treatment of Secretary Kerry and of his – of the Administration’s attempt to get a ceasefire together?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think there are obviously some anonymous sources that are out there that are speaking on behalf of the views of the Israeli Government. Whether or not that is an accurate depiction of their position is not for me to make a judgment of, but –

QUESTION: So how serious is this, in terms of jeopardizing the relationship?

MS. PSAKI: I don’t think – I think Israel remains an incredibly important partner.

But Lee was only succesful at goading Psaki into revealing what her employer and her department are apparently feeling. But was the anger directed at the appropriate party? And was the criticism, in any event, justified?

The claims that Israeli leadership was harsh in its criticism concerning Kerry’s proposals and his behavior overlook several important facts. To wit: that while anonymous sources were likely quoting at least some members of the Israeli government, the harshest public attacks on Kerry’s flat-footed diplomacy came not from government officials, but from center, left and even far left members of Israel’s famously leftist media. For example, Barak Ravid of Haaretz wrote that Kerry’s “conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events.”

The Times of Israel’s editor-in-chief, David Horovitz, lambasted the secretary of state’s plan as something that looked like it might have been drawn up by or for Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

Ceasefire Talks Again

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Once again there are talks of a cease fire being put together for this afternoon.

Qatar has managed to wiggle its way in, because of their special relationship with Hamas.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is waiting to hear back from the Qatari and Turkish Foreign Ministers about Hamas’s Khaled Mashaal’s response to Kerry’s  latest cease fire proposal.

The basics of the proposal have been reported as follows:

1. A one week cease fire, where the IDF will remain in Gaza and continue to destroy the Hamas terror tunnels.

2. Israel and Hamas will begin negotiations (!) over a permanent arrangement. The Palestinian Authority will participate in these talks.

3. The US, the UN and the EU will provide guarantees to both sides for their demands. For Israel – the dismantling of the Hamas rockets and tunnels. For Gaza – the end of the blockade.

If these reports on the conditions are correct, and Israel agrees to them, then Israel has essentially recognized Hamas, granting legitimacy to a terrorist organization as the political authority over Gaza, and it has agreed to negotiate with terrorists, instead of destroying them.

Not to worry, even if it accepts it, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are unlikely to be able to control themselves for an entire week.

The question is, will Israel choose to ignore Hamas breaches during the cease fire – and that answer is probably yes.

If Mashaal responds positively, the Israeli cabinet will vote on it this afternoon.

Hamas Asks Turkey to Stop Israel from Responding to Terror Attacks

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Hamas political bureau terrorist chief Khaled Mashaal spoke on Monday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about Israel’s air strikes on Gaza’s rocket launchers.

The two men exchanged greetings for a blessed Ramadan — the Islamic holiday in which Muslims fast each day for an entire month — and then Mashaal asked Davutoglu to find a way to block Israel from attacking Gaza terrorists.

The request came on the same morning that Gaza terrorists had launched a barrage of 15 rockets at southern Israel.

Two homes were damaged and at least two local residents were treated for shock on site. Others suffered from anxiety and trauma after a 24-hour period of having to run for their shelters and safe rooms on an average of every 90 minutes due to constant rocket attacks.

All this, barely 48 hours after the Israeli city of Sderot had gone up in flames from a missile attack that struck a paint factory. The chemicals in the factory had exploded upon impact from a Qassam rocket fired by Gaza terrorists. Four residents were wounded and the factory was burned to the ground.

Israel has retaliated with surgical air strikes. Over the weekend a dozen terrorist targets were hit, including two Al Qaeda-linked members of the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL). Both terrorists were killed.

The Tragic Farce of Israeli Confidence Building Measures

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

The recent kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers near Hebron, who are now the subject of a massive Israeli military-security search, should give pause. Israel says it has evidence of involvement by Hamas, the U.S. and European Union-listed terrorist group that calls in its Charter for the worldwide murder of Jews. Hamas, recently incorporated into the Fatah/Palestinian Authority (PA) regime, is still receiving U.S taxpayer funding.

Given these circumstances, Israel needs to put an end to its concessionary policy of ‘confidence-building measures’: removing security checkpoints and roadblocks, freeing convicted and jailed Palestinian terrorists as demanded by the PA, and so on — especially if it emerges that the absence of checkpoints enabled the terrorists to carry out the kidnappings.

That some terrorist acts have been facilitated in this way is beyond argument. The January 2010 murder of Israeli, Meir Chai, by Fatah’s own Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, occurred during a Palestinian terrorist attack made possible by the removal of a road closure and checkpoint, part of ‘confidence-building measures’ previously urged upon Israel by the Obama administration.

In April 2010, then-U.S. envoy George Mitchell again urged Israel to “make a number of gestures to Palestinians, including release of prisoners, removal of checkpoints, transfer of authority over West Bank territories.” Israel acceded to President Obama’s wishes — and that August, Palestinians terrorists murdered four Israelis, including a pregnant woman; as it happens, also near Hebron. The attackers escaped the scene via a route opened by the removal of a checkpoint — part of the “number of gestures” Mitchell had urged upon the Israelis.

Western governments, including the Obama Administration, are continually tantalized at the prospect of renewed negotiations, and the PA has adroitly succeeded in recent years in making Israeli concessions a condition of their resumption. International leaders have willingly obliged.

Here, for example, is a news item from February 2012 about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: “The UN chief urged Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make ‘goodwill gestures’ to bring the Palestinians back to direct negotiations, frozen since September 2010.”

Note that, in such cases, Israelis are not being asked to make these “gestures” in return for anything, merely so that PA will deign to speak to them from across a table. In other words, the intended “gestures” are unilateral Israeli concessions. Unfortunately, peace and has never been facilitated by Israeli unilateral concessions. Quite the contrary.

The 2005 unilateral evacuation of Gaza and eviction of its Jewish residents was received by senior PA official Muhammad Dahlan thus: “The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is a victory for the Palestinian people’s will. … The withdrawal should take place without an agreement and with no political gains [for Israel].” Rocket assaults on Israel from Gaza increased exponentially.

In 2009 came what Hillary Clinton described as “unprecedented” Israeli unilateral concession at the behest of President Barack Obama: a 10-month unilateral freeze on the construction of Jewish homes in the West Bank. The result? The PA declined to resume talks until almost the very end of this period, only to almost immediately break them off and demand a permanent freeze — something that had never been a feature of previous Israeli/Palestinian talks.

In October 2011, Israel freed 1,027 Palestinian prisoners – including hundreds of convicted terrorists – in exchange for kidnapped Israeli serviceman Gilad Shalit. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal greeted this, not as a step on the road to peace, but as a great victory over Israel. Note that this was not even a unilateral concession, but a negotiated one, and that it was not welcomed as a laudable effort to bring peace closer, but an act of weakness heralding eventual Israeli defeat.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-tragic-farce-of-israeli-confidence-building-measures/2014/06/26/

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