Saturday, May 19, 2007
An Important Piece
"DEBKAfile’s military sources report Israel is already giving Fatah arms, has been for the last six months and has sent ammo this week to keep Mahmoud Abbas’ met supplied for the escalating Palestinian factional violence. The hardware goes to the Fatah-Al Aqsa Brigades which are fighting the Hamas Executive Force, but Israel is also aware that the Brigades are firing missiles against Israeli villages, though not Sderot.
A member of the Israeli cabinet said: “Time is of the essence… when it comes to Hamas influence in the Gaza Strip – to sit and do nothing… is something we cannot afford.”
According to our military sources, Israeli military aid to Mahmoud Abbas does not end there. Even more important are Israeli Air Force raids against Hamas troops massed to attack Abu Mazen’s men. The objective of one such strike Thursday, May 17, was to thwart a Hamas assault on the Palestinian Presidential Guard base at the Karni goods crossing into Israel; another, Friday night, May 18, bombed a girls’ school in Gaza City occupied by Hamas troops. DEBKAfile’s sources report that, to escape Israeli attacks, Hamas has emptied its bases across the Gaza Strip and moved fighting contingents into mosques and schools shut down by the ubiquitous violence.
Gaza streets are deserted because, in the last day or two, Hamas and Fatah have moved their war to the rooftops. They are fighting for control of Gaza’s highest rooftops for command of the surrounding districts. The Israeli military has not been directed to strike these vulnerable Hamas units. Israel’s military aid to Abu Mazen is measured at this point.
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas called the UN Secretary, Condoleezza Rice and the German foreign minister Friday. Palestinian sources report he asked them to stop Israeli air raids over Gaza. DEBKAfile discloses that, on the contrary, he asked for the Israeli attacks on Hamas to be redoubled."