By Danny Rubinstein
"In a telephone interview broadcast on BBC's Arabic-language network a few days ago, an Arab journalist asked Yasser Abed Rabbo in Ramallah: "Who, in your eyes, is the enemy: Israel or Hamas?" Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's steering committee, was a minister in previous Palestinian governments and is currently considered one of the people closest to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). His views against Hamas are among the most rabid in the PA.
Even before Abed Rabbo managed to answer, the journalist hastened to explain that he was asking who the enemy is because the PA is conducting a dialogue with the government of Israel, whereas it is refusing to speak to Hamas. Abed Rabbo, who sounded astonished by the question, did not reply; instead, he lambasted the journalist: "You are cheap and insulting." The journalist replied: "I suggest that you watch your tongue." Abed Rabbo repeated, "you are cheap and insulting" and slammed down the phone.......
Now, too, the information that PA officials in the West Bank and Hamas officials in Gaza are disseminating about each other must be examined carefully. Senior PA officials, like Abbas advisor Nabil Amar and Minister of Information Riad Maliki, have declared that shortages and despair prevail under the Hamas regime in Gaza and that it will end "much faster than people think." Two journalists from Gaza with whom I spoke last Saturday said that the opposite is the case: Quiet and order prevail in the Gaza Strip, and there is personal security such as has not been experienced for years. According to them, there are shortages in Gaza, but they are not terrible. Hamas is even interested in exaggerating the talk about distress and shortages so that international organizations will transfer more aid to Gaza......."