Hamas Runs for Election Vowing Never to Talk to Israel or Disarm

Hamas campaigners, confident of a strong showing in the Jan 25 elections for the Palestinian legislative council, announced in Gaza City Sunday, Jan. 8, that, if elected, they will put an end to any Palestinian talks with Israel. Negotiations with the Zionist entity will only take place through the barrel of a gun, said the man topping the Hamas list, Ismail Haniya.
Hamas Gaza leader Mahmoud al-Zahar dismissed European threats to cut off funds if the terrorist group enters Palestinian government. If they do, he said, “We have our sources in the Arab and Muslim world.” None of the West Bank local councils captured by Hamas is short of funds, he boasted.
According to the last opinion polls, the gap between Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah and the Hamas challenger has further shrunk to 6-8%.This means that the Islamic terrorists who have vowed to destroy Israel have a good chance of winning the election in 17 days’ time. Even from second place, they can form a coalition government, set up an alternative administration to Fatah, or create an opposition bloc in parliament able to immobilize any government in which they are not partners.
Sunday, Jan 8, at the first regular cabinet meeting in Jerusalem led by acting prime minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli defense minister Shaul Mofaz said he was confident the Palestinian poll would be delayed for fear of a Hamas victory. Mahmoud Abbas and fellow Fatah leader, the jailed Marwan Barghouti, have also admitted they would prefer a postponement.
However, according to debkafile‘s political sources, this option is not theirs for the asking. It is solidly blocked by US president George W. Bush, who refuses to hear of any poll rescheduling in the Palestinian areas, just as he did in Iraq. To hold the Palestinians to the date – even at the price of a terrorist win – he sent US military coordinator Maj-Gen Keith Dayton post haste to the region Friday, Jan. 6. Monday, the general will receive reinforcements from Washington in the form of deputy national security adviser Elliot Abrams and undersecretary of state David Welch. In the first week of Ariel Sharon’s absence from the prime minister’s office, the Israeli government was seen pinning its hopes on an illusion.
Over the weekend, when all Israeli eyes were fixed on Hadassah Ain Karem Hospital for the latest medical bulletins on Sharon’s condition, four dangerous developments unfolded in the Palestinian arena practically unnoticed.
1. Mahoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) succumbed to the Fatah-al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades revolt against his administration in Rafah, the border town divided between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. He swallowed the conquest of the entire strategic border strip by this lawless group. Israeli intelligence regards this successful rebellion as the beginning of a revolt against Abbas’s authority that threatens to engulf other Gazan cities as well as the West Bank.
2. In Khan Younes, 7 terrorist factions set up a local vigilante militia to enforce order in the South Gazan region that was formerly the site of Israeli Gush Katif. Calling themselves a police force, they have avowedly displaced the Palestinian Authority, driving another nail into the coffin of Abu Mazen’s rule and security control of the Gaza Strip.
3. An increasing number of independent candidates running for office are turning to Hamas for patronage and campaign funding. A striking example is Dr. Ziad Abu Amar, a prominent Fatah figure who used to be Abu Mazen’s go-between with the Hamas on truce issues. This week, Abu Amar stood on one campaign platform with Mahmoud Al Zahar wearing a baseball cap in the Hamas color green.
4. debkafile‘s counter-terror sources reveal that 10 radical Jihad Islami leaders headed by Abdallah Shami have passed through the Rafah crossing to Egypt on their way to the Saudi hajj city of Mecca. According to those sources, the group is rendezvousing there with Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders of Tehran’s terrorist cells. Disguised as pilgrims, they are to discuss coordinating and funding a fresh terror campaign against Israel.
Despite international guarantees, the Rafah crossing has deteriorated into a mainline transit hub whose main function is to ease terrorist movements between the Palestinian Gaza Strip, Sinai, Damascus and Tehran.
The Israeli government, handicapped by Ariel Sharon’s abrupt disappearance from the scene of government, has still not got around to addressing any of these grave developments.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email