The issues are too important, both for the US and for Israel.
A basic reminder: Hamas came into power because of Abbas. No sooner did he become president of the PA, then he began courting various terrorist factions, letting them know that his government was going to be inclusive, and inviting them to participate in the political process. Abbas.
Hamas is threatening to attack Fatah in Judea and Samaria, using some of the same techniques, such as car bombs, routinely used against Jews.
Hamas is currently underground in Judea and Samaria. Sleeper cells, funded by Iran, may be activated in order to destabilize Fatah in the region.
Israeli analyst Hillel Frisch believes that Iranian money might even be used to buy Fatah security people, who haven’t been paid in months.
According to WorldNet Daily, Abu Abdullah, a senior member of Hamas has said Hamas is encouraged by the funding and arming of Fatah in Judea and Samaria – as Hamas it certain it will inherit those weapons. "Like the American weapons in Gaza we told you would come to Hamas, also the weapons and aid the Americans are giving to Abu Mazen [Abbas] as part of their conspiracy against us in the West Bank will find its way to the Palestinian resistance and Hamas," According to Abu Abdullah, Hamas is currently “swimming” in American weapons seized last week from Fatah facilities, according to Abdullah.
Remember this when you hear more about the Dayton plan or the intentions of Bush and/or Rice to re-arm Fatah.
Meanwhile, contact between the government of Israel and the PA has been re-established. Foreign Minister Livni has phoned Salam Fayyad, PA minister of finance, who has been appointed as PA prime minister by Abbas as part of the emergency government based in Ramallah.
According to a PA report, Olmert and Abbas will be meeting next week, the first time since March.
Olmert, who has returned from the US, has announced that at the Cabinet meeting on Sunday he will raise the issue of releasing tax monies to the PA in Judea and Samaria, and providing other sorts of relief.
He has also promised Bush that he will remove some checkpoints in Judea and Samaria in order to show “good will.” This makes me sick. It is one of the reasons we cannot rest now. Bush has no right to ask such a thing of Olmert, and Olmert is wrong to agree – whatever the pressures being put on him or the pro quid pro that Bush is offering (and I’m mindful that this may indeed be the case).
When checkpoints are removed, Jews die. This seems to be of no consequence as planning is done.
Note that there is no reciprocity by the PA being demanded. No outline of a plan for the PA to stop terrorists in Judea and Samaria. We are simply supposed to cooperate in “strengthening” them.
Mahmoud Zahar, former Hamas foreign minister for the PA, says Hamas is ready to talk about a ceasefire with Israel, if Israel will stop all operations including in Judea and Samaria. This is not the first time that such a deal has been sought. They will not get it.
The Shin Bet has just released details of a foiled plan to kidnap Israelis in Jerusalem last year. The mastermind of the plot, who had been trained in Damascus by Hamas, is the son of a Jordanian man and Israeli Arab woman; he had an Israeli ID and had rented a house in a village near Jerusalem. Capture of this man, Ala Hamad, highlights the imperative of continued IDF and security operations in Judea and Samaria.
There is considerable tension surrounding the issue of passage through the crossing points between Gaza and Israel. Israel has closed these crossings to traffic to block a flood of Palestinians seeking to escape from Gaza, as well as terrorists from Gaza who attempting to get to Judea and Samaria to foment trouble there.
Newly appointed Defense Minister Barak has ordered that persons with urgent medical conditions (including medical emergencies generated by Hamas attacks) be allowed through; Magen David ambulances wait at the Erez crossing for them. What is more, many tons of relief supplies have been allowed in by Israel. Additionally, the IDF is allowing all foreign nationals caught in Gaza to leave via Israel.
Much is being made of Israel’s responsibility to this situation, but it must be kept in mind that Israel is NOT responsible. Hamas is.
Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has made a superb point with regard to this:
“Israel is alone in the world as being the only country responsible for providing food, water, and electricity to a political entity that daily lobs missiles against its citizens. This is madness. Israel should leave Egypt as Gaza’s outlet to the world, with food, water, electricity, and other humanitarian goods flowing over the Gaza-Egypt border.”
MK Otniel Schneller and others have reiterated this position.
It should be noted here, by the way, that there is no flood of relief coming from Arab countries.
According to an intelligence report, Taliban leaders have sent teams of trained suicide bombers to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. A video was obtained by ABC News from a Pakistani journalist, who was allegedly invited to attend the teams’ June 9 "graduation ceremony" and take pictures. It shows 300 recruits before they were sent on their missions.