Thursday, July 5, 2007

Stonewalling in Ramallah

Even as the Abbas government does Israel's bidding, it is being targeted by its new patron

By Khaled Amayreh from East Jerusalem
Al-Ahram Weekly

"......Nabil Amr, an aide to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted as saying this week that it was likely that the term of the Fayyad government would be extended indefinitely despite "the legal reservations".

Amr suggested that the inability of the Palestinian Legislative Council to convene would eventually force the Fatah-dominated PA leadership to take "extra-judicial" or even "non-lawful" decisions to extend the term of the present government in Ramallah indefinitely......

The Abbas-Fayyad regime, relying on the "legitimacy of the fait accompli ", Western backing and Israeli acceptance, has adopted several measures which it hopes will eventually enable the Abbas-Dahlan camp to "legally" and "lawfully" reverse the outcome of the 2006 legislative elections which Hamas won. Needless to say, the exclusion of Hamas from any Palestinian political authority has been a consistent demand by Israel and the Bush administration.

In addition to the continuing de-legitimisation of the present Hamas- dominated parliament, which could shortly culminate in its dissolution, the Abbas-Fayyad regime is employing every possible political, economical and propaganda strategy to marginalise Hamas. This is in an attempt to bring about new elections they hope to win.....

The unnamed official added that Abbas's security forces intend to continue battling the establishment of a Hamas network in the area. However, this claim seems utterly disingenuous if only because Israel tightly controls every square metre of the occupied territories which would make it difficult for a large-scale Hamas armament let alone a possible takeover by the group.

Interestingly, PA arrests of Hamas activists often occur simultaneously with the Israeli military arresting or targeting the same individuals.

Israel rounds up an average of 15 to 20 Hamas supporters per night, many of whom are held captive, without charge or trial, in the notorious detention camp, known as Kitziot, in the heart of the Negev desert.

Needless to say, this perceived or real collusion between the PA and the Israeli army against Hamas is bound to seriously harm the PA and Fatah's image in the short and long term......"

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