debkafile Exclusive: Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal expels prime minister Ismail Haniya and other elected Hamas officials from party in

This step pulls the rug out from under any deals Egypt may succeed in mediating between elected Hamas ministers and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas for halting internecine Palestinian warfare and a lull in attacks on Israel.
Any such accords, Meshaal has ruled, are non-binding on the Hamas military wing Ezz e-Din al Qassam and the rest of the movement.
debkafile reports: This decision creates a deep rift within Hamas, much like the situation in Fatah, where the many armed wings do not recognize the authority of the political ranks. It is further complicated by the Hamas Gaza political wing, the heads of Palestinian government, flouting the authority of the Damascus command, which too is split between Meshaal, who hails from the West Bank village of Silwad, and Musa Abu Marzuk, who backs the Gaza government wing because he is from Rafah.
In another dangerous development, Hamas military wing drew 500 missiles out of storage in the last ten days. One hundred fired at the Israeli town of Sderot. No one knows what will happen to the 400 remaining in the hands of Hamas field teams. debkafile‘s intelligence sources estimates that they will continue to fire some more into Israel, while also possibly handing out a batch to the allied Jihad Islami or Popular Resistance Committees.
The disarray in the leading Palestinian organizations has two implications for Israel – both negative:
1. The Palestinian Authority is undergoing a destructive, divisive process and heading for a crisis that recalls Lebanon’s civil war of twenty years ago. In these circumstances, there is no hope of progress on any rational diplomatic or security track. The feuding Palestinian factions will increasingly turn to terror.
2. Despite his fragile situation, Abu Mazen will put Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert on the spot when they meet later this month. He will demand of Israel a prop – not only for himself, but also for the Hamas Hania wing in their current partnership. The Americans and Europeans will no doubt second that demand – especially if Abbas can swing a lull in the Qassam offensive.
To this end, he, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and intelligence chief Omar Suleiman talked hard in Cairo, June 16, on ways to persuade Jihad Islami to stop firing missiles into Israel. If he can pull this off, Abu Mazen will take credit for taking the heat off Sderot when he meets Olmert later this month and demand a quid pro quo, on top of the guns Israel has allow has allowed his militia.

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