debkafile: Israel taken aback by Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad’s insistence that “resistance” is “legitimate” Palestinian right
The pro-US Fatah head of the Ramallah government, Salam Fayyad, stated at an Arab League Council meeting in Cairo Monday, July 30: “We are an occupied nation and resistance is the legitimate right of the Palestinian people.”
debkafile notes: “Resistance” is the Palestinian euphemism for armed terror including suicide bombing. The separate Fatah administration on the West Bank omitted the term “resistance” from its platform – at first. As a result, Mahmoud Abbas and Fayyad were hailed as moderates and partners for peace dialogue, while Fayyad, a former Washington banker, was seen in Washington and Jerusalem as a new species of Palestinian leader, who differed from his predecessors who routinely employed diplomatic language which sat easily on Western ears and reserved their true sentiments for Arab audiences.
Monday, to an Arab League audience, Fayyad showed his true colors.
He was certainly catering to the violent Fatah-Al Aqsa Brigades, Hamas and Jihad Islami, who have vilified him for turning away from armed operations against Israel. The Popular Resistance Committees branded him and his ministers traitors and threatened his life.
But additionally, debkafile‘s Palestinian sources report, Fayyad made a point of reverting to traditional Palestinian “resistance” ideology as a signal to Egypt and the Saudis that his Fatah has enough common ground with Hamas to resume dialogue for a shared government, which would rule from both Ramallah and Gaza.
Until then, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert had proffered a series of supportive gestures, maintaining that the Fatah government had turned a new leaf. None of those gestures was acclaimed by West Bank Palestinians; nor did they change their lives for the better.
In contrast, Hamas’ security forces have brought a degree of law and order to the streets of the Gaza Strip and cleared them of mob rule. West Bankers resent the fact that with all the financial aid and arms provided by Americans and Israeli sources, the suits in Ramallah have not delivered: The Abbas-Fayyad administration’s control does not extend beyond Ramallah and Jericho and it has failed to bring order to West Bank towns.
A senior Israeli officer complained that Olmert’s reprieve of 178 wanted terrorists of the Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades has been a disappointment; none have enlisted for their government’s action against Hamas and Jihad Islami West Bank networks. Not a single Aqsa Brigades squad has disarmed.
Cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli security forces has not resumed.
Most West Bank towns continue to be ruled by local affiliations of Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades, Hamas, Jihad Islami and other terrorist groups. They have been put on the payroll of the Fatah government, which does not stop them pocketing funds from Iran and Hizballah as well.
Mahmoud Abbas continues to stand on shaky ground, according to debkafile‘s military sources, notwithstanding the crutches extended him by the US and Israel. As an Israeli officer put it, if Hamas and Jihad Islami were to rise up on the West Bank, they would give Fatah’s military and security arms another beating, like the one in Gaza. But for the moment, all sides are respecting the status quo for the sake of keeping American-Israeli assistance on tap.