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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rami Hamdallah’

Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Visits Temple Mount

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Jerusalem Nit Barkat visited the Temple Mount Tuesday morning one day after Palestinian Authority prime minster Rami Hamdallah did the same.

Barkat previously has stated, “My opinion is that everyone should be able to pray there.”

Hamdallah’s visit was part of a Palestinian Authority campaign to keep the holy site free of Jews. Barkat said his aim was “to learn the challenges police face,” according to his spokesman.

The challenge is violence by Arab every time a Jew tries to visit the Temple Mount, which the Arab world continues to try to convince itself is a target for Israel to dig tunnels and undermine the foundations of the Al Aqsa mosque so that it will collapse.

The Temple Mount and the entire Old City were destined to become red lines for the Palestinian Authority and Israel in the shaggy dog “diplomatic process” that is followed by violence very time the Palestinian Authority does not gain another concession from Israel.

The question is how to handle violence – fight it or simply run away?

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Barkat chided Tel Aviv on Monday for ordering an eighth-grade class to cancel a Bar Mitzvah trip to the Western Wall, beneath the Temple Mount, because it included a visit to areas where there has been “violence.” The city’s spokesman admitted that the “places” consisted only of Ammunition Hill, the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Six-Day War in 1967.

Arab violence is frequent at the light rail route that is near Ammunition Hill but there is no spillover at the site itself, which is as safe as Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv.

Edelstein criticized Tel Aviv’s decision from the podium of the Knesset at the opening session of this winter political circus.

Barkat told the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, Mayor Barkat said, “Cancelling visits to Jerusalem plays into the hands of those causing the disturbances. I urge everyone to visit Jerusalem, to strengthen the city and help return a sense of calm and peace to Jerusalem.

“We must not surrender to terrorism; we must restore law and order in eastern Jerusalem.”

He called for an increased deployment of police forces over a long period of time and across a wide area; development of technological means to deter potential violators, increased enforcement and implementation stricter penalties for lawbreakers.

Palestinian Authority PM Hamdallah Visits Temple Mount

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, made a rare visit to the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa mosque Monday in a tour coordinated with Israeli officials.

No incidents were reported.

The PA intelligence chief accompanied Hamdallah, who last week charged that the Al-Aqsa mosque and Temple Mount are “subjected to daily attacks and racist practices” and ”thousands of pilgrims are prevented from entering.”

He is correct.  Jerusalem police bar thousands of Jews from ascending the Temple Mount, which the Arabs claim is exclusively theirs.

Abbas Regime Visits Gaza in ‘Unity’ Con Game for $4 Billion in Aid

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Palestinian Authority prime minister Rami Hamdallah, protected by a squad of 40 Fatah bodyguards, rolled into Gaza in his silver Audi Thursday for the first Fatah-Hamas “unity” cabinet meeting to convince the world that it now is safe to throw more money away so Gaza terrorists can shoot more missiles at Israel.

The establishment media bought the meeting hook, line and sinker, with the Associated Press reporting its “marking the end of more than seven years of absolute Hamas control of the coastal territory.”

But AP, like all other media, added that the show of unity’s purpose was to assure donor countries that “absolute Hamas control has ended and that it can lead the rebuilding of the war-battered territory.”

Dig down more than a dozen paragraphs in The New York Times’ rendition of the quickie PR stunt and you will discover that PA foreign minister Riad Malki told Voice of Palestine radio, “This meeting is more symbolic than anything else. It was important that it was convened and the role of the consensus government was cemented in the reconstruction process.”

Unity between Hamas in Gaza and the Ramallah-based regime of Mahmoud Abbas is not the goal.

The real goal is money, and lots of it, and it is no coincidence that the “unity” show took place one day before Hamdallah and several PA ministers will travel to Cairo for a conference to suck up foreign aid from more than 30 countries expected to attend.

Hamas official Salah Bardawil told reporters the visit by Hamdallah “is important for the conference to remove the international and Israeli pretext that there is no unified Palestinian government.”

It is the biggest con game since the peace process.

“Fatah wants the government to impose its control on the whole Gaza Strip and to carry out its missions and duties without any obstacles. Hamas wants the government to act as a government of national consensus and to take into consideration the reality or the de facto situation in Gaza — that Hamas is the authority that has control on the ground,” said Gaza political analyst Talal Okal, quoted by the Times.

He said the meeting “tells the world that the Palestinians are ready and have ways to deal with the reconstruction file.”

That “file” has been dealt with several times. The world helps Hamas rebuild Gaza. Hamas then attacks Israel. Israel fights back and bombs terrorist hideouts, such as school, homes and mosques. Gaza needs more money to re-build.

It is a movie that has had several re-runs.

The show of unity is to prove that this time it will be different, but no one knows if the unity cabinet will have any authority. It is composed of “technocrats” who ostensibly are not Hamas or Fatah politicians, but Hamas’s terrorist organization and goon squads still enforce the peace, so to speak, in Gaza.

Hamas supposedly is not involved in the cabinet, but whom did Hamdallah visit after the meeting? None other than Ismail Haniyeh, who officially is no longer prime minster of Gaza. It was described as a “good will” visit, but Haniyeh does not have authority in Gaza just like Hezbollah does not have anything to do with the Lebanese army.

Hamdallah on Thursday did an excellent PR job. He said at the meeting, which took place at Abbas’ former Gaza City residence, “I cried in Beit Hanoun when I saw how the people live and sleep. The priority is reconstruction.”

Every tear is worth a few million dollars.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that this will be the last time that the international community is going to rebuild Gaza only to see its terrorists attack Israel, followed by another round of bombing to stop the attacks.

Turkey Promises Housing Aid to Gaza

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Turkey has promised to send 3,000 new pre-fabricated houses to Gaza, although it is not clear how or when they will be delivered.

The announcement was made by Palestinian Authority unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who was quoted by Voice of Israel public radio. The houses, which are easy to assemble, are intended to replace those destroyed in air strikes by Israeli fighter jets aiming at concealed rocket launchers and weapons storage sites.

The PA unity government prime minister said an international donor conference may also meet in Oslo on September 5 to discuss the issue of rebuilding Gaza.

Will the West Fund Hamas?

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Less than a week after its inauguration, the Hamas-Fatah unity government is already facing its first crisis as it remains unclear which party will pay salaries to tens of thousands of Hamas employees in the Gaza Strip.

It turns out that Hamas was hoping that the reconciliation deal it signed with Fatah in April, which led to the formation of the unity government, would absolve the Islamist movement of its financial obligations toward its employees.

That plan was, in fact, the main reason Hamas agreed to the reconciliation accord with Fatah. Over the past few years, Hamas has been facing a severe financial crisis, particularly in the wake of Egypt’s decision to destroy smuggling tunnels along its border with the Gaza Strip.

Hamas says that the new unity government is responsible for paying the salaries of its employees, but Fatah and Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas insist that this is not their responsibility.

The dispute between the two parties erupted into violence last week when hundreds of angry Hamas employees attacked a number of banks in the Gaza Strip after discovering that the unity government had failed to pay their salaries.

The Hamas employees also attacked PA civil servants who arrived to collect their salaries, which were transferred to their bank accounts by the unity government.

In response, thousands of PA civil servants, who were unable to withdraw their salaries, staged a protest in the Gaza Strip at which they accused Hamas “militias” of closing the banks and preventing them from receiving their money.

General Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank, strongly condemned the attacks on the banks and civil servants, which he said was carried out by Hamas “thugs.”

Earlier this week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas added fuel to the fire when he declared, during a visit to Cairo, that he does not intend to pay salaries to Hamas employees before the two parties reach an agreement on who is ultimately responsible for paying them.

Abbas said that more than 58% of the PA budget was already going to the Gaza Strip. Most of the funds were being paid as salaries to PA civil servants who lost their jobs after Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, he disclosed.

The dispute over money between Hamas and Fatah shows that each group signed the reconciliation agreement for its own interests.

Hamas was hoping that the unity government would rid it of its financial crisis and lay the burden on Abbas. Hamas is now telling Abbas, “If you want a unity government headed by your prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, then you should also be responsible for paying salaries to our employees, especially in light of our agreement to dissolve the Hamas government.”

Abbas, for his part, was hoping that the reconciliation deal with Hamas would allow him to show the world that he represents not only the West Bank, but also the Gaza Strip.

In other words, Abbas’s deal with Hamas is aimed at showing the world that he is a legitimate president who represents all Palestinians, and not just a powerless leader of parts of the West Bank that are controlled by his Palestinian Authority.

One thing is certain: both Hamas and Fatah hope to use the unity government as a ploy to attract financial aid from the international community, particularly Western donors. The unity government, which is backed by Fatah and Hamas (designated a terrorist organization by the U.S.), actually serves as a front for receiving funds from the international community for both parties .

Abbas, however, has realized that Western donors are not going to fund a government that pays salaries to thousands of Hamas employees, including members of the movement’s armed wing, Ezaddin al-Kassam.

Meanwhile, the PA and Hamas have turned to some Arab countries for help. According to Palestinian sources, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, has promised to pay the salaries of the Hamas employees for a limited time. But it is not clear whether the emir will continue to channel funds to the unity government in the coming months.

Hamdallah, the prime minister of the new unity government, says he is now planning a tour of several Arab countries in a bid to convince their leaders to provide the Palestinians with financial aid.

Even if Hamdallah succeeds in getting a few hundred million dollars from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, the crisis over the salaries of the Hamas employees will continue to hover over his head.

This, of course, does not bode well for the future of the reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah. All that is left for the two parties to do now is to try to persuade the Western donors to increase their financial aid to the unity government in order to solve the crisis over the wages of the Hamas employees.

It remains to be seen whether American and European taxpayers will agree to pay salaries to thousands of Hamas civil servants and militiamen in the Gaza Strip, who have not renounced their intent to commit acts of terrorism or destroy Israel.

Palestinians Accuse Peace Negotiators of Treason

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

At the request of the Palestinian Authority leadership, the first round of peace talks with Israel, which was launched in Jerusalem on August 14, was held away from the media spotlight.

The Palestinian Authority leadership requested that no journalist or photographer be permitted to cover the meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Even the location of the peace talks was kept a secret, again at the request of the Palestinian Authority leadership.

The Palestinian Authority’s request for secrecy in the peace talks does not stem from its desire to secure the success of the negotiations.

It is not as if the Palestinian Authority is saying: We care so much about the peace talks that we prefer to avoid media coverage in order to make sure that the peace process succeeds.

The main reason the Palestinian Authority does not want the media to cover the peace talks is related to its fear of the reactions of Palestinians and the Arab world.

Mahmoud Abbas is already facing widespread opposition among Palestinians to his controversial decision — which was taken under heavy pressure from US Secretary of State John Kerry — to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

When the heads of the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams, Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erekat, met in Washington earlier this month to announce the launching of the peace talks, many Palestinians and Arabs seized the opportunity to ridicule Erekat and accuse the Palestinian Authority leadership of treason.

A photo of Erekat and Livni standing together in Washington has since been exploited by Facebook and Twitter activists to hurl insults and profanity at the chief Palestinian negotiator.

Palestinian sources in Ramallah said that Erekat felt so offended by the insults and obscene language directed against him that he decided that there was no need for “photo op” with Livni or any other Israeli.

Both Abbas and Erekat are fully aware of the growing opposition among Palestinians and Arabs to the resumption of the peace talks with Israel under the terms of the US Administration.

That is why the two men do not want to be seen sitting in a room with any Israeli representative. They know that any photo of Erekat and Livni shaking hands or sitting together would provide their enemies with additional ammunition.

Those who think that the opposition to the peace talks is coming only from Hamas and other radical groups are either ignorant or turning a blind eye to the reality.

When Abbas agreed to resume the peace talks with Israel, he went against the recommendation of the PLO leadership, whose members rejected Kerry’s attempts to force the Palestinian Authority president to abandon two of his pre-conditions — namely, that Israel accept the pre-1967 lines as the basis for negotiations and freeze all construction in settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Last week, the PLO officials once again reminded Abbas of their opposition to the peace talks.

During an August 15 meeting in Ramallah, several PLO leaders told Abbas that they remained opposed “in principle” to the idea of resuming peace talks with Israel under the current circumstances.

The only Palestinian official who has come out in public to voice support for Abbas’s move is the powerless Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah.

Abbas and Erekat know that Hamdallah’s public endorsement of the peace talks does not carry any weight. After all, Hamdallah is an unelected public servant with no grassroots support or political base.

To further complicate matters for Abbas and Erekat, several Palestinian factions are now in the process of forming a “national alliance” the main goal of which is to thwart any deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This rejectionist front will consist of various PLO and other factions and organizations and could create many problems for the Palestinian Authority.

But there is another reason why the Palestinian Authority leadership does not want media coverage of the peace talks. For many years, the Palestinian Authority has been supporting boycott campaigns against Israel, as well as organizations combating “normalization” with Israelis.

If Palestinian children are condemned for playing football with Israelis, why should it be acceptable for Erekat to be talking with Livni?

Palestinian Authority leaders can only blame themselves for the growing opposition to the peace talks with Israel. Palestinian leaders have simply not prepared their people for peace. These leaders have, instead, delegitimized Israel to a point where it has become a “crime” for any Palestinian to be photographed talking to, or negotiating with, any Israeli.

Abbas Surrenders to Reality, Accepts Prime Minister’s Resignation

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

The Palestinian Authority “now you see him, now you don’t” prime minister finally got his way Sunday when PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas  accepted his resignation, two days after Rami Hamdallah reportedly retracted his “I quit” Tweet.

Hamdallah, was president of  the Al-Najah University in Shechem, was not happy being a figurehead, carrying responsibility without authority.

After less than three weeks since accepting the appointment, he saw the handwriting on the wall and quit last Thursday because of an argument with two of his deputies whom he had appointed.

Abbas met with all Hamdallah and the deputies on Saturday, causing reports that the prime minister agreed to stay on the job. Abbas’ failure to settle the rift left him no choice other than to accept the resignation, the second prime minister to resign in three months.

Salam Fayyad was at constant odds with Abbas and resigned in mid-April following the PA finance minister’s resignation, which Fayyad accepted but Abbas did not.

Fayyad was virtually hand-picked several years ago by the United States, where he learned and worked as an economist.

Fayyad added a bit of polish to Abbas’ crude but effective diplomatic war against Israel, which in his mind was so successful that he could thumb his nose at the Obama administration and put the final nail in the coffin of the American government’s international golden calf, otherwise known as the peace process.

Now Abbas has lost a university president as prime minister, on the eve of U.S. Secretary of State John Kelly’s fifth visit to Israel since taking office earlier this year.

So what did the folks at the State Dept. have to say about last week’s resignation?

It trusts the Palestinian Authority’s tremendous democracy, where Abbas has been serving beyond his designated term for five years with no signs of elections.

”We have a longstanding commitment to support Palestinian institution-building. And whatever happens, it’s important that the Palestinian Authority government remain committed to that effort of institution-building,” said State Dept. spokesman Patrick Ventrell.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/abbas-surrenders-to-reality-accepts-prime-ministers-resignation/2013/06/23/

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