debkafile reports: The Bush administration persuaded Arab rulers not to invite Hamas to their summit opening in Khartoum Tuesday, March 28 – but no

Most Arab leaders are worried by the rise to power of the radical terrorist group, whose PM-designate Ismail Haniya asks the Palestinian legislative council to vote confidence in his 24-member cabinet Monday, March 28. He is assured of majority endorsement after Hamas’s landslide win of the December election. Mahmoud Abbas will head the Palestinian delegation to Khartoum. But foreign ministers preparing the summit resolutions rejected Western demands to cut off aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government.
The Americans, according to debkafile‘s Washington sources, said that while they were not engaged in setting up or overthrowing governments, their aim was to render all terrorist-governed administrations non-functioning.
Hamas’s politburo chief Khaled Meshall rebuffed a Saudi attempt to get the group to accept the 2002 Arab summit resolutions laying down terms for normal relations with Israel – or any other course leading Israel`s recognition.
Hamas leaders are conscious of the band of isolation the West and Arab governments are tightening around their government. While the incoming prime minister Ismail Haniya makes moderate-sounding declarations (“We do not seek a bloodbath”), Hamas’s actions boast adherence to its traditional radicalism and basic tenets.
The extremist Mahmoud a-Zahar is therefore named foreign minister. Arab governments will have to deal with him whether they like it or not, and the incoming interior minister with responsibility for security and law and order, Saeed Seyam, promised immunity from arrest for Palestinians attacking Israeli targets. For the time being, Hamas will stick to its pledge to suspend its direct campaign of suicidal terror. The new Palestinian ministers will wear suits instead of masks and khakis, until they have finished taking over Palestinian security forces and transforming them into a fighting army ready to execute their ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state.

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