Saturday, June 16, 2007

Abbas plan calls for struggle against Hamas' 'military coup'

".....Opposition comes, ironically, from within Fatah, including, apparently, Marwan Barghouti, whose absence from any announcement denouncing Hamas despite the entreaties of Abbas' representatives is noteworthy.

According to the current plan, Abbas will continue to refuse to negotiate with Hamas or to reach a compromise with the movement's leadership. This weekend he turned down a request to meet with Khaled Meshal. The emergency cabinet of Salam Fayad is sure to obtain broad Arab and international support. Since it contains no Hamas members, the boycott against the PA will be lifted and it will receive financial and diplomatic support from the whole world. This weekend, representatives of Abbas asked a number of non-partisan Gazan figures to join the new cabinet but so far none has agreed.

The blockade of the Gaza Strip will continue, under the plan framed by Abbas. Israel and Egypt will provide a small amount of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents, but the government of Ismail Haniyeh - dissolved by Abbas - will continue to be viewed as illegitimate in the eyes of the international community. Gaza's borders will be nearly hermetically sealed, with only limited emergency supplies and intermittent water and electricity provided by Israel. The intention is to maintain the siege on Gaza for a few weeks - not to defeat Hams or to reoccupy the strip, but to pressure Hamas into agreeing to a compromise according to terms dictated by Abbas.

Abbas sought and received Egypt's blessing for this plan, in contrast to Cairo's firm and public opposition to Abbas' Plan B, which called for introducing an Arab or international force into Gaza. The Egyptians explained that such a move would provoke resistance from Hamas and would turn Gaza into Baghdad.

Associates of Abbas supporting his plan include Fatah old-timers Nabil Amar, Ahmed Abd Al-Rahman and Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, as well as several Gazans who fled to Ramallah: Mohammed Dahlan, Rashid Abu Shabak and Samir Mashharawi. Members of the Fatah young guard, led by Barghouti, have reservations about the plan, but more important is the opposition to it by Ahmed Hilas, a Fatah leader in Gaza and rival to Dahlan who remained in the Gaza Strip together with a few other prominent Fatah members and has been holding talks with the Hamas leadership......."

West Bank men shaving beards to avoid Fatah arrests

"The tensions in Gaza were felt all the way in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya where merchants in the local marketplace decided not only to mark down prices but also shave off their beards.

"Nowadays a beard is no longer a religious decree, it's a clear and present danger," one of the merchants told Ynet. "Fatah harasses anyone with a beard and beats them, so may Allah forgive us if we remove ours to stay safe. As it is the beard is optional and not mandatory," he said.

In Ramallah last weekend three French citizens were badly beaten by Fatah men who suspected them of being affiliated with Hamas due to their facial hair. Hamas meanwhile has accused Fatah of persecuting the religion of Islam and subsequently anyone who looks religious due to his appearance.......

Even the PA troops, whose main concern is usually directing traffic and chatting with shoppers, were tense and on alert; examining ID cards, mostly those belonging to Palestinians. Israelis? That's just fine, come and shop.

Not far from the market is the Qalqiliya city hall, the glass pane of its front door smashed in and other parts of the building have been vandalized. City workers have not yet even bothered to sweep up the broken shards from the pavement outside. Hamas is in complete control of the city and every one of the 15 council members is from the movement. One of the councilmen apologizes that he cannot meet with us: "We've decided to lay low since we might be arrested by the PA or kidnapped and harmed by Fatah. God knows when this situation will end......"

PM to tell Bush: New chance for diplomacy

"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will tell U.S. President George W. Bush at the White House Tuesday that he does not intend to miss the chance for diplomatic progress created by the events in the Gaza Strip.

Olmert and Bush are expected to discuss ways of stabilizing and strengthening the rule of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Olmert is expected to tell Bush that Hamas' rise must be prevented in the West Bank and that "pragmatic" elements in the PA should continue exerting pressure on Hamas in Gaza......"

Hani al Masri: PA could collapse soon

An Important Interview

"Independent Palestinian columnist Hani al Masri has warned that the formation of an emergency government by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in defiance of , and without coordination with, the democratically elected government headed by Ismael Haniya, could eventually lead to the disintegration and ultimate collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

On Saturday, Al-Masri was asked by Salam Fayyadh, the designated premier of the Emergency government, to assume the portfolio of Minister of Information. However, he declined the offer.

Al-Mari spoke with Palestinian journalist and commentator Khalid Amayreh Saturday evening. The following are excerpts of the interview.

Question: How long do you think Fayyadh’s government would last?

Answer: I really don’t know. According to the Palestinian law, the lifespan of an emergency government shouldn’t exceed 30 days after which it would have to win the approval of the Palestinian legislative council?

Q: And if it didn’t, what would happen next?

A: The more important question is whether the Legislative Council could convene under the current circumstances, first because a large number of Hamas lawmakers are actually imprisoned by Israel, and second because it may well be difficult to have a quorum if the council succeeds in holding a session. Hamas lawmakers could simply boycott the session in which case there would be no quorum. Also the present atmosphere of lawlessness and insecurity could prevent the council from convening.

Q: So you think the decision to dismiss the National Unity Government (NUG) was hasty and not well-studied beforehand?

A: From the constitutional view point, the decision was certainly unclear. I think it was taken under the influence of events in Gaza.

Q: Could Abbas simply suspend “the constitution” whatever that means since we don’t have a real state, and rule by presidential decrees?

A: No, he couldn’t, at least from the legal view point, but, yes, he could eventually resort to ruling by presidential decrees de facto. But then one would ask “for how long could he do that?”

Q: Fatah-affiliated bands have been rampaging throughout the West Bank, abducting suspected Hamas members, vandalizing charitable and eucational institutions and setting institutions, buildings and businesses on fire. Do you think the PA police and security agencies are accomplices in these criminal acts?

A: I don’t know for sure, but my impression is that these thugs couldn’t have done what they have done without at least a green light from the PA police forces.

Q: So why didn’t the PA stop these acts of terror against innocent people and their property? What kind of a government is that which allows this chaos and lawlessness to happen, without even criticizing it verbally?

A: I am as frustrated as you are. A few hours ago I asked Fayyadh how he was going to reestablish the rule of law in Nablus and Jenin and Tulkarm in light of what has been happening. He had no answer.

Q: Who exactly are those carrying out these acts of terror and vandalism?

A: They are faceless, masked people who claim to be members of Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. But any thug or criminal, or indeed any Israeli collaborator, could put a mask on his face and then claim to be a member of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Strange things are happening here.

Q: What do you think is the end game of all of this?

A: I think we are probably witnessing the penultimate step before the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. And if that happens, there will widespread turmoil, chaos and lawlessness, which could prompt many people to ask for Jordanian intervention.

Q: Is this a serious possibility?

A: It might be a kind of last-resort eventuality?

Q: And would the Israelis allow this to happen?

A: Israel and Jordan are old friends

The Battle of Gaza

By Mike Whitney

"In less than 24 hours of fierce street-fighting, Bush’s proxy-army in Gaza was routed by armed units of Hamas. It was a stunning defeat for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and for US-Israeli policymakers who have done everything in their power to overturn the "free and fair" election of the Hamas government. For now, Hamas has reestablished its authority in Gaza although Abbas is still working frantically with Bush and Olmert to consolidate his power in the West Bank. So far, Abbas has carried out the demands of his paymasters by replacing Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh with ex-World Bank official, Salam Fayyad---a Palestinian Karzai who will take his orders from Tel Aviv or Washington. Abbas does not have the constitutional authority to replace Prime Minister Haniyeh or to disband the Hamas-dominated government, but this point is typically overlooked in the western media.

The Bush administration has abandoned any pretense of neutrality and is openly supporting the ongoing violation of UN resolution 242. Bush helped to engineer the savage boycott which has withheld food, water, medical aid and financial resources from Palestinian civilians. He has also funneled millions of dollars and weapons to the Palestinian "Preventive Security Force" headed by US-ally Mohammad Dahlan. According to the UK Guardian, "Washington has launched a controversial $60 million program to bolster Mr Abbas's presidential guard and Israel has quietly allowed Arab states to send in arms and ammunition". Dahlan’s militia was organized to challenge Hamas, but the plan failed spectacularly. As soon as the fighting broke out in Gaza, Dahlan’s men panicked and fled across the border to Egypt. Those who remained were disarmed, stripped and taken into custody by Hamas. One prominent Fatah gunman, Samih Madhoun, who had boasted of "executing several Hamas fighters and torching the homes of others", was shot execution style.

The defeat in Gaza is just the latest of Washington’s debacles in the Middle East. US-Israeli failures in the territories are the result of a misguided policy which is backfiring everywhere. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh summed up the present policy like this: "We're in the business of creating ... sectarian violence."

Hersh is right. Bush and Olmert are using the familiar "divide and conquer" strategy to provoke "Arab on Arab" violence. The policy is an extension of Henry Kissinger’s dictum during the Iran-Iraq war: "I hope they all kill each other". The goal is the same today as it was then......

The perception of US invincibility has been shattered. America’s moral authority is in ruins. We are neither feared nor respected; that is the unfortunate legacy of Abu Ghraib and Falluja. But what is bad news for us may be good news for the people in the Middle East. It’s now possible to imagine a New Middle East where fundamental change is possible. As resistance continues to swell from a trickle to a stream---we can envision "regime change" sweeping through the region from Riyadh, to Amman to Cairo---an entirely new world shaking off its colonial past.

The forces that Bush has put in motion will inexorably lead to the decline of "superpower rule" and the dismantling of the US imperium. The transition is already visible. The battle of Gaza is just a microcosm of a much larger phenomenon which now extends from Mogadishu to Kabul.

Change is coming, but it might not be to Bush’s liking. That’s the real lesson of what happened in Gaza. "

Fatah members transferred to West Bank

"Israel allowed senior Fatah officials and their families to move to the West Bank, via Erez crossing. Security sources confirmed Saturday that some 200 Palestinians had come through Erez crossing in recent days, and about 60 had not returned to Gaza.

Among those not returning were Fatah members who were detained by Hamas operatives in recent days and released after the Islamist organization granted a general pardon to senior members of its rival faction.

The group also included Fatah spokesmen Tawfiq Abu Hussa and Maher Miqdad, National Security Organization Commander Jamal el-Qaid and Fatah secretary in the Gaza strip Majed Abu Shamala.

Hamas forces recently attacked and broke into Miqdad's home, after killing a large number of Fatah gunmen who were protecting the building. The Fatah leader had managed to escape the area prior incident and, according to associates, is now in Cairo.

Most of the other senior Fatah members have chosen to go to Ramallah, where they can join Fatah's former leader in Gaza, Mohammed Dahlan.

Other Palestinians who were able to make it through Erez in recent days were those with VIP IDs – representatives of international organizations, merchants, or individuals in possession of foreign passports. Among them were 137 merchants with entry permits into Israel who have since returned to Gaza.

The IDF had prevented the passage of civilians since Saturday afternoon, Palestinian sources said.

Saturday morning, a number of families were able to pass through, but hundreds of Palestinians who arrived at the crossing Saturday afternoon were not authorized to cross over.

Dozens of Palestinians stormed Erez crossing Saturday afternoon, demanding they be allowed to cross over into Israel. Palestinian sources reported IDF troops fired into the air to try and control the crowds. Hundreds of Palestinian later broke into the Palestinian side of the crossing and began looting it......"

In Aftermath of Gaza Battle, Grim Realities

Contributed by Datta

"......It was, for many Palestinians, a confusing and unaccustomed sight: black-hooded and normally disciplined Hamas fighters, seemingly driven by devotion to God, stripping away chandeliers, carpets, a bathtub — earthly goods but also symbols of what many see as Fatah’s corruption and excess. After the fighters left, poor people with donkey carts arrived, sweeping up stray bits of wood and metal and even uprooting the dapper Mr. Dahlan’s garden plants.

“I will explain it to you,” said one looter, Mazen Qasas, a vendor. “I am 34. I am married. I have six children. I am looking for a lamp, anything I can sell or use for my poor house. We are very poor. This is public property. These are corrupt people,” he said, referring to Fatah leaders. “They took everything.”

Abu Muhammad Ashor, a 33-year-old policeman who until recently supported Fatah, looked with amazement and anger at the fine beige tiles that lined Mr. Dahlan’s living room. “Look at these tiles,” he said. “With these tiles, we all could have bread every day.”

Looters also descended on the presidential compound of Mahmoud Abbas and an upscale beach compound used by leading members of Fatah. Hamas, which built its support partly on a reputation for being above corruption, condemned the looting, on television and from the pulpits on the Muslim day of prayer, as “illegitimate and against religion,” demanding that the looters return all they took......"

(Abbas, Maliki, Siniora and their master)

The Plan for the West Bank

A Comment by Tony Sayegh

Events in occupied Palestine have been moving very rapidly and it is easy to get caught up in the details and miss the big picture; for that we need to step back a little to gain perspective.

Not everything that is taking place now is a reaction to what Usrael and its many cheerleaders call the “Hamas takeover” in Gaza. To use this narrative leads Robert Fisk to ask, “How do we deal with a coup d'état by an elected government?” Indeed! The main attribute of an elected government (assuming that the PA is a government) is the monopoly of the use of force to establish order and to defend itself. Hamas has the majority in parliament and in the “government” and it was facing an open rebellion by outside-supported Contras. It (Hamas) had to act and it did. Therefore, Hamas was reacting and not acting; the question is reacting to what?

The U.S. and Israel are in full agreement, in spite of the empty rhetoric, that Israel will not withdraw from the West Bank. To support this view, notice that Olmert has stopped talking about a unilateral “disengagement” in the West Bank, similar to what took place in Gaza. There is also a clear realization that Oslo has reached the end of the road; the question is what comes after it.

The extraordinary degree of coordination between Abbas and the puppet king of Jordan has been noticed for sometime; it seems that Abbas spends almost as much time in Amman as he does in the Green Zone in Ramallah. In fact before his announcement “dissolving” the Haniyyah government, Abbas consulted the little king. If we add to this picture the so-called Arab “peace initiative,” which the Arab regimes intend to use as a fig leaf to normalize relations with Israel in order to solidify the axis of “moderates” against the “real” enemy, Iran, we begin to see the outlines of the post-Oslo plan. It will involve separating (politically) the West Bank from Gaza (as Olmert will be urging Bush in their meeting next week) and dealing with it next.

By assuming dictatorial powers, Abbas can now rule by decree; he does not need to worry about “parliament” or Hamas. Not having any opposition in the West Bank and having the full backing of Usrael and all their Arab puppets, he is likely to tie what is left of the West Bank to Jordan. This will serve him both on the political level and in security matters.

After the dismal performance of Abbas’ “security” services in Gaza, with all of the arms and training by the U.S., Egypt and Jordan, there is probably a realization of the need for a Jordanian role to secure Abbas in the West Bank and to suppress any opposition. Already, large sweeps are taking place there to imprison all Hamas supporters. It will not stop with Hamas: As the contours of the planned sellout by Abbas become more obvious, the opposition to him will increase. He will not be able to rely on his own “security” services and he will need Jordanian forces.

At the political level, this Abbas-Abdullah sellout will be hailed as the greatest achievement for the causes of peace and “Arab unity.” A peace treaty with Israel will be concluded with the full blessing of the League of the Eunuchs. The Bantustans on the West Bank will be declared “liberated” and will be part of the new Jordan-Palestine Federation. Full Israeli colonization will proceed, of course, and those Bantustan residents who do not like it, can move to other parts of the Federation, east of the River. It is “transfer” made easy.

In the meantime, the Gaza Strip will be squeezed some more, with an “international” military force along all the borders, at the invitation (of course) of Abbas and the Arab regimes including Egypt. The plan is that Hamas will not be able to survive very long under such conditions and a large number of Palestinians will be forced to leave Gaza.

Gaza will be isolated and contained while the focus shifts to the West Bank, the Arab “peace initiative,” normalizing with Israel and the Palestinian-Jordanian “Federation.” Celebrate!

Egyptian police take deserting Fatah fighters into custody

"Bethlehem – Ma'an - Egyptian police have announced that some 100 Palestinians, mostly from the Fatah-affiliated security services and militant brigades, have escaped from Hamas fighters and arrived by sea at the Al A'rish Egyptian port in a small boat.

On board were members from the preventive security service, the civilian police and the Al Aqsa Brigades. The Egyptian police authorities confirmed that 13 had been injured during the infighting.

This group arrived at Al A'rish, 50km southwest of Gaza, at dawn, allegedly carrying 57 machine guns and 20 grenade launchers. The Egyptian police have now handed the group over to the Egyptian military, who have taken them to a nearby military base.

Two days ago, 20 Palestinians entered Egypt through the Rafah crossing, closed by the government during this week, because of the situation in Gaza."

Friday, June 15, 2007

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Hamas – and its Syrian and Iranian sponsors - capture priceless Palestinian Authority intelligence archives in Gaza putsch

I don't trust DEBKA, but even if only a fraction of this is true....

"The Fatah-led general intelligence and security services caved in too fast to shred, wipe or burn documents, computer disks and archives. The entire collection fell into Hamas’ hands when they seized Palestinian Preventive Intelligence HQ at Tel Awa (henceforth Tel al-Islam) and the Palestinian General Intelligence center near Gaza port.

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources say: Never before has a bonanza of Western intelligence secrets on this scale ever reached an implacably hostile Islamist terrorist gang. The US, British and Israeli intelligence services may have suffered their greatest debacle in the war on Islamist terror. It will take them many years to recover.

Hamas has taken possession of hundreds of thousands of documents cataloguing the clandestine operations of Western intelligence services in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates. It is now the owner of complete archives of Palestinian undercover links with foreign intelligence services going back decades, with names of spies, political collaborators and double agents. The documentation covers the secret ties Palestinian intelligence maintained from the 1970s, when Yasser Arafat was based in Lebanon, with the Americans, the British, the French, the Israelis and many others.

Most intelligence experts say Israel should have bombed the two buildings and destroyed their contents rather than letting them fall into the hands of an organization and country dedicated to its eclipse.

For Hamas, this booty is priceless – and not only as the repository of bombs for planting under Mahmoud Abbas and his cohorts. The Palestinian group’s Syrian and Iranian sponsors will pay a king’s ransom for this unique collection of explosive secrets hidden by many a Western intelligence agency and government. Damascus and Tehran will be hugely empowered with the means to stay a jump ahead of American moves in the region and tools to sabotage US policies at any time. They will have a store of national secrets and compromising information to hold over the heads of Western leaders and officials, lists of undercover agents, and records of covert operations carried out by the Israeli Mossad, Shin Bet and Military Intelligence, CIA, British MI6 and other Western agencies. Iran, Syria and Hamas will know the names of politicians, including Israelis, who worked secretly with Palestinians and their shady deals.

One intelligence expert said that the Gaza hoard left in enemy hands by Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan are the crown jewels compared with the Saddam Hussein’s intelligence archives.

In the Palestinian security service building, Hamas found computer hard disks covering years of undercover activity and a complete set of sophisticated wiretapping and surveillance equipment and sensors which the CIA and MI6 gave Mahmoud Abbas and his forces. It was all in perfect condition ready to switch on.

After the Nazi regime was defeated at the end of World War II and Eastern Germany fell in the 1990s, there were officials willing to make a desperate effort to destroy or hide their intelligence treasure. Palestinian intelligence officers did not burn a single page."

Welcome to 'Palestine'

How do we deal with a coup d'état by an elected government?

By Robert Fisk

"How troublesome the Muslims of the Middle East are. First, we demand that the Palestinians embrace democracy and then they elect the wrong party - Hamas - and then Hamas wins a mini-civil war and presides over the Gaza Strip. And we Westerners still want to negotiate with the discredited President, Mahmoud Abbas. Today "Palestine" - and let's keep those quotation marks in place - has two prime ministers. Welcome to the Middle East.......

And so today, we are supposed to talk to our faithful policeman, Mr Abbas, the "moderate" (as the BBC, CNN and Fox News refer to him) Palestinian leader, a man who wrote a 600-page book about Oslo without once mentioning the word "occupation", who always referred to Israeli "redeployment" rather than "withdrawal", a "leader" we can trust because he wears a tie and goes to the White House and says all the right things. The Palestinians didn't vote for Hamas because they wanted an Islamic republic - which is how Hamas's bloody victory will be represented - but because they were tired of the corruption of Mr Abbas's Fatah and the rotten nature of the "Palestinian Authority".......

Palestinians wanted an end to corruption - the cancer of the Arab world - and so they voted for Hamas and thus we, the all-wise, all-good West, decided to sanction them and starve them and bully them for exercising their free vote. Maybe we should offer "Palestine" EU membership if it would be gracious enough to vote for the right people?......

Yes, and we love King Abdullah's unconstitutional monarchy in Jordan, and all the princes and emirs of the Gulf, especially those who are paid such vast bribes by our arms companies that even Scotland Yard has to close down its investigations on the orders of our prime minister - and yes, I can indeed see why he doesn't like The Independent's coverage of what he quaintly calls "the Middle East". If only the Arabs - and the Iranians - would support our kings and shahs and princes whose sons and daughters are educated at Oxford and Harvard, how much easier the "Middle East" would be to control......

So what will we do? Support the reoccupation of Gaza perhaps? Certainly we will not criticise Israel. And we shall go on giving our affection to the kings and princes and unlovely presidents of the Middle East until the whole place blows up in our faces and then we shall say - as we are already saying of the Iraqis - that they don't deserve our sacrifice and our love."

Salam Fayad: Everyone's favorite Palestinian

A Repost Recommended by Fatima
Original Post: March 27, 2007

""The old-new Palestinian finance minister, Salam Fayyad, took advantage of last weekend, before the new Palestinian unity government was sworn in, to say "farewell" to his Israeli colleagues. In effect, already at the end of February, when Fayyad held talks with senior Israeli officials at the Finance and Foreign Ministries, he was aware that by joining a government which includes Hamas, he - the Palestinian politician most esteemed in the West - would be added to the growing list of Palestinians Israel is boycotting. "I very much enjoyed working with you," Fayyad told one senior Israeli official during that weekend. "It is a shame that we will not be able to continue talking. I can only hope that this will change in the future."

Fayyad was not the only one who regretted the end of contacts. Many Israelis, both senior and less so, were sorry to see him leave. Everyone who met him in the past few years was enchanted by him. In Jerusalem, Washington, Paris, London and many other capitals, Fayyad became the ultimate Palestinian "icon," the ideal partner. Tzipi Livni, Ephraim Sneh and other Israeli politicians enjoyed sitting and talking with him in the captivating garden of the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem, or on the terrace of the King David Hotel, in the city's west. Fayyad is the only Palestinian in whose hands they were prepared to place hundreds of millions of dollars in the belief that these monies would indeed be used to pay salaries.

Fayyad's close relationship with the Israeli establishment can be gauged from the following story. About two years ago, the daughter of Dov Weisglass, who was then the head of the Prime Minister's Bureau, got married. Fayyad was also invited and until today he enjoys a warm relationship with Weisglass. When the seating arrangement was set, Fayyad was placed next to then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. The two had a long conversation between the end of the "chuppah" and the start of the refreshments.

But the best evidence of his status in Israel was the invitation he received to deliver an address at the Herzliya Conference last January. Fayyad was thus granted entry to the meeting place of Israel's economic and political elite via the front door. "I know that it was at this conference that they announced the disengagement plan, a move which perhaps had the greatest influence on the Palestinians' lives in the past few years," he said in his opening remarks. "I was invited to speak about economics but I actually prefer to speak to you about politics." During the next half hour, Fayyad outlined his political philosophy. The audience, which was composed of senior figures in the economy, listened to him attentively......

He was on his way to a brilliant business career when the person considered to be his greatest patron intervened - then national security adviser and today U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. When the Israel Defense Forces' Operation Defensive Shield was over, pressure mounted on Yasser Arafat to implement reforms. As a result, the new job of PA finance minister was set up.....

Fayyad also left Likud MK Silvan Shalom with a relatively positive impression. "We found him easy to deal with and Ariel Sharon believed that if money is being transferred to the Palestinians then at least it should go directly to him," he says.....

Israeli diplomats say that since it became clear that Fayyad will return to the finance portfolio, their European counterparts have been beside themselves. "They are all just waiting for the moment when they can meet him," one senior foreign ministry official said. "All we hear from them is 'Fayyad, Fayyad, Fayyad.'" Israel's former ambassador to Washington, Danny Ayalon, who spent quite a bit of time with Fayyad, tries to explain the phenomenon: "He is the Palestinian figure with the most prestige in the West; they consider him to be someone who can speak their language. The unlimited credit he has earned from the Americans is what gives him his power."

Why do Israelis feel so comfortable with him? Senior political officials, Knesset members and cabinet ministers who have met him, explain that Fayyad simply does not resemble any other Palestinian political figure. "He is the classic example of a Palestinian who has spent a great deal of time in the West and has acquired Western behavior and values," a senior Israeli official says. "He is a very straight person. His directness is surprising. There are no games or pretenses with him. Quite a few Palestinians immediately begin with a speech about the occupation just so they can feel good about themselves. With him, it's not like that. Obviously he is not satisfied with the occupation but one doesn't hear the standard slogans from him. You sit down and talk with him to the point."....."

Well, the conspiracy is unfolding before your eyes now

As'ad AbuKhalil's take on this week in Gaza

Contributed by Datta

"It is unfolding in Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Afghanistan. Do you really need more evidence of a US-Saudi-Israeli conspiracy in the Middle East region? You look at Palestine and you see a reference to a Palestinian "civil war" as it is being called. People used to say that in Palestine it is very unlikely to have a Palestine civil war because the Palestinians have harbored a strong aversion to internecine battles and strife. But that is not true: collaborationist Palestinians have been killing other Palestinians, and dragging other factions into civil war, since at least the 1936-39 Palestinian revolt. The collaborationists were then represented by the Nashashibis and the Hashemites of Jordan......

We have never had in the history of Palestinian struggle a more open collaborationist regime in Palestine. And it is openly aligned with Israel and the US: this is unprecedented.....

And you see press reports to Salam Fayyad as "independent". Independent? Who brought this World Bank official to Palestine? Who forced him on Yasir Arafat? The Palestinian people? His own popularity or popular base? He is as much an independent as much as Mr. Bush is a "uniter not a divider.".....

And to have this same man yesterday speak on "constitutional matters" was laughable. But less laughable than Condoleezza Rice offering opinions on the proper constitutional procedures in Palestine.....

There are lessons of what happened in Gaza for Lebanon and Iraq and elsewhere: in terms of the arming of Sunni tribes and Shi`ite gangs in Iraq, and the arming of the Hariri forces in Lebanon. These will not fight, and would crumble at the first clash. The Bush Doctrine is deep trouble, make no mistake about it......"

Meeting of the Eunuchs
AKA The Castrati Choir

That's MY Boy!

Report: Jews behind campaign to boycott Israel

"Many of the key players in the escalating British campaign to boycott Israel are Jewish or Israeli, the Jewish Chronicle revealed in an investigation published Thursday.

According to the investigation, the Jewish academics justify their stance as part of the struggle for Palestinian rights and ending Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

The report stated that a high proportion of the academics were deeply involved in UCU, the University and College Union, which last month sparked an international outcry by voting to facilitate a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Anti-boycott figures suggest that the campaign has been fuelled by a well-organized mix of far-left activists and Islamic organizations, the JC reported. In reality, the main proponents are a loosely knit collection of academics and trade unionists linked to groups such as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Jews for the Boycotting of Israeli Goods, and Bricup, the British Committee for Universities of Palestine....."

Meshal: Hamas does not want to seize power in PA

"Damascus-based Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal said Friday his group does not want to seize power in the Palestinian Authority, adding that Hamas recognizes Abbas as the Palestinian Authority chairman.

Addressing media in the Syrian capital, Meshal said that Hamas had not wanted to take over the Gaza Strip. "Hamas does not want to seize power ... We are faithful to the Palestinian people," Meshal said, promising to help rebuild Palestinian homes damaged in the months of bloody infighting. "What happened in Gaza was a necessary step. The people were suffering from chaos and lack of security and this treatment was needed," Meshal continued. "The lack of security drove the crisis toward explosion."

"Abbas has legitimacy," Meshal said, "There's no one who would question or doubt that, he is an elected president, and we will cooperate with him for the sake of national interest."

But he also warned Fatah followers not to move this conflict to the West Bank where the moderate movement is dominant.

Meshal called for the Arab League foreign ministers, who are holding an emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss the situation in Gaza, to help mediate talks between Hamas and Abbas.

"I hope [that] ... the Arab ministerial meeting in Cairo presents a strong responsible Arab stance, as an umbrella to hold the national Palestinian dialogue to approach a Palestinian accord," Meshal said.

Meshal said Abbas' dissolution of the unity government "will not remedy the situation ... and will not solve the problem. There will be no two governments and no division of the homeland."

Meshal added that a national unity government is the only solution, and urged Hamas in Gaza not to raise Hamas' banners and overtake security compounds any more....."

As Hamas Seizes Full Control of Gaza and US Prepares Further Isolation, What Next for Palestinians?

Democracy Now!
With Amy Goodman

".......AMY GOODMAN: Laila el-Haddad is a Palestinian journalist. She writes for and is making a film on Gaza's underground economy. She maintains a blog “Raising Youssef: A Diary of a Mother Under Occupation.” Laila lives in Gaza and the United States. She returned from Gaza last week, joins us in our firehouse studio. Ali Abunima is cofounder of the publication The Electronic Intifida, author of the book "one country: a bold proposal to end the Israeli-Palestinian impasse." he joins us from Chicago. And on the line from Gaza is Fares Akram, a freelance journalist in Gaza city.......

AMY GOODMAN: Ali Abunimah, you've written a book, One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Now there's discussion of three countries, not even a two-state solution. Gaza, West Bank, Israel. Your response?

ALI ABUNIMAH: I wouldn't put too much stock in that because the Israeli policy of cutting Gaza off from the West Bank is longstanding. It's been for more than a decade, that Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank can't travel from one place to the other. What I think we are seeing is the collapse of the two-state solution. Alvaro de Soto acknowledged that in his leaked confidential report. And today in the The Washington Post Edward Abington, the former US Counsel general in Jerusalem and now a lobbyist for the Palestinian authority was quoted saying that these events signal the death of the two-state solution. I think we have to recognize that the Israeli policy of trying to create Palestinian ghettos [inaudible] is failing before our very eyes. Palestinians are the majority population in Israeli-ruled territory between Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. And it's only a matter of time before the world wakes up to this reality......."

Click Here to Watch, Listen or Read Transcript

Audio: Ali Abunimah and Laila El-Haddad the situation in Gaza

Audio, Democracy Now!, 15 June 2007

"EI's Ali Abunimah appeared on Democracy Now!, interviewed by host Amy Goodman, on Friday, 15 June 2007. He was joined by journalist and mother living in Gaza, Laila El-Haddad. Abunimah and El-Haddad discuss the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as Hamas takes control over the Gaza Strip. The two discuss US and Israel's involvement in the recent fighting between Fatah and Hamas which has been commonly referred to as a civil war."

Click Here to Listen

By Mike Luckovich

PM Olmert speaks with Mubarak, promises steps to boost Abbas

Livni: Gaza multinational force must be willing to fight Hamas

"Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Friday pledged to take steps to bolster Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Prime Minister's Office said.

Olmert made the promise during a phone conversation with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, according to a PMO statement.

"Israel will do all it can to help moderates in the Palestinian Authority after the radical Hamas took Gaza by force," the statement said......

President-elect Shimon Peres told United States President George Bush in a phone conversation: "We have to view in the current situation not only difficulties but opportunities as well.".....

Livni: Gaza multinational force must be willing to fight Hamas

A proposed multinational force deployed along the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt must be willing to fight the Islamic militant group Hamas to stop weapons smuggling in the area, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Friday.

At a news conference during an official visit to Portugal, Livni said Israel was not interested in any proposal involving a monitoring force for the Philadelphi corridor where Hamas uses tunnels to bring in weapons. Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip on Thursday after days of heavy fighting with Fatah forces.

"Those who are talking in terms of international forces have to understand that the meaning is not monitoring forces but forces that are willing to fight, to confront Hamas on the ground," Livni said.

"The question is the effectiveness of these (multinational) forces. We don't need monitors to come in to tell us about the (smuggling), we need someone to stop it," she said......"

Surprise, Surprise! The Clown King of Jordan Supports Abbas

EU, Quartet, Jordan express full support for PA Chairman Abbas

"......Jordan on Friday also threw its support behind Abbas, saying he is the legitimate leader of the Palestinians.

Arab foreign ministers met in Cairo on Friday in an emergency session on how to deal with the split in the Palestinian territories and the militant Hamas' takeover of Gaza.

"The government rejects any dissent or defiance to the legitimate authority and stressed the necessity to protect the Palestinian National Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas," spokesman Nasser Judeh said in a statement carried by the official Petra news agency.

Jordan's King Abdullah called Abbas to express sadness for what was described as the deteriorating situation in Gaza and called for an immediate end to the bloody infighting among Palestinians, the official Petra news agency reported."

US and Israel Stir Up Palestinian Crisis

by Ira Chernus

"......But if you know how to read between the lines, even our mainstream media tell a much more complicated story, one that implicates Israel and the U.S. government too. All the quotes that follow are from reporting on the crisis in the mainstream’s flagship newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post......

The U.S. and Israel have led the world in forcing Fatah to resist Hamas’ democractically-won power. In a just-released document, “the United Nations’ former top Middle East envoy has sharply criticized U.S. and Israeli efforts to isolate the Hamas-led Palestinian government, saying the policy has further radicalized Palestinian opinion and undercut long-term efforts to establish a viable Palestinian state. The broadside by Alvaro de Soto was contained in a confidential 52-page report he filed before resigning from the United Nations last month. Starting in May 2005, de Soto directed U.N. efforts to ease the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” “With all the focus on the failings of Hamas,” De Soto observed, “the Israeli settlement enterprise and barrier construction has continued unabated.”

But Hamas’ complaint is more specific. “Hamas wants a restored unity government where the security forces would all report to the interior minister.” Why is that so important? The security forces have been controlled by Fatah and its security chief Mohammed Dahlan. “During 12 years in power, Fatah had repeatedly cracked down on the [Hamas] Islamists, including in 1996 when the Preventive Security Service, then led by Dahlan, arrested Hamas leaders.” “Many of those who were imprisoned remember the treatment they received as cruel and humiliating.”

Now “Hamas spokesmen said the movement had no political goal except to defend itself from a group within Fatah collaborating with Israel and the United States. They said they wanted to bring the security forces under the control of the unity government.” “A Hamas spokesman said the movement was defending itself, not reaching for unalloyed power. He said Hamas ‘is doing the work that Fatah failed to do, to control these [security] groups,’ whom he accused of crimes, chaos and collaboration with Israel and the United States.”

Indeed, Israel “has made no bones about backing Fatah and attacking only Hamas targets.” And the U.S. has funded and supported the Israeli efforts. “Since the election victory of Hamas in January 2006, the United States and Israel have worked to isolate and damage Hamas and build up Fatah with recognition and weaponry.” The weapons go to Fatah’s security forces, led by Dahlan. CIA operatives have long worked closely with Dahlan’s security apparatus.

According to De Soto, “U.S. officials ‘clearly pushed for a confrontation’ between Hamas and Fatah. … A U.S. [diplomatic] representative, he recalled, said: ‘I like this violence . . . it means that other Palestinians are resisting Hamas.’”

In the midst of the current crisis, the Bush administration continues to take sides and stir up the conflict. “Administration officials were pushing Mr. Abbas to dissolve the power-sharing agreement between Fatah and Hamas [and] dismiss the entire government.” When Abbas did just that, “Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed support for Mr. Abbas’s decrees.”......

But now Israel seems to have a new reason for fanning the Fatah-Hamas feud into a civil war. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert “is expected to tell Mr. Bush that Israel favored sealing off the West Bank from the turmoil in Gaza, continuing to prevent contact between the two territories.” “Some Israeli security officials say Israel wants to see the West Bank isolated from Gaza.”......"

Gaza: Not Just a Prison, a Laboratory

By Naomi Klein

"Gaza in the hands of Hamas, with masked militants sitting in the president’s chair; the West Bank on the edge; Israeli army camps hastily assembled in the Golan Heights; a spy satellite over Iran and Syria; war with Hezbollah a hair trigger away; a scandal-plagued political class facing a total loss of public faith.

At a glance, things aren’t going well for Israel. But here’s a puzzle: why, in the midst of such chaos and carnage, is the Israeli economy booming like it’s 1999, with a roaring stock market and growth rates nearing China’s?.......

Here’s another theory: Israel’s economy isn’t booming despite the political chaos that devours the headlines, but because of it. This phase of development dates back to the mid-nineties, when Israel was in the vanguard of the information revolution - the most tech-dependent economy in the world. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Israel’s economy was devastated, facing its worst year since 1953. Then came 9/11, and suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners......

Since Israel began its policy of sealing off the occupied territories with checkpoints and walls, human rights activists have often compared Gaza and the West Bank to open-air prisons. But in researching the explosion of Israel’s homeland security sector, a topic I explore in greater detail in a forthcoming book (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism), it strikes me that they are something else too: laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested. Palestinians - whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling “Hamasistan” — are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs.

So in a way Friedman is right: Israel has struck oil. But the oil isn’t the imagination of its techie entrepreneurs. The oil is the war on terror, the state of constant fear that creates a bottomless global demand for devices that watch, listen, contain and target “suspects.” And fear, it turns out, is the ultimate renewable resource."

Ridiculing Fatah's Slogan, "Revolution Until Victory??"

US occupiers complicit in Sammara blast

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution has said the bombing of the holy Shia shrines in Samarra is aimed at provoking sectarian violence.

"In a message on the recent bombing of the shrines of the two revered Shia Imams in the Iraqi town of Samarra, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei blamed the intelligence services of the Zionist regime and the occupation forces in Iraq for the bombing, saying such terrorist acts are meant to intensify sectarian violence in the Muslim world.

The Leader urged the Muslims particularly the Iraqi people to remain vigilant in the face of the plots hatched to create sectarian strife between Shias and Sunnis.

He noted the holy shrines of the two revered Shia Imams in the Sunni town of Samarra, had been respected throughout history, whereas the recent event marks the second desecration of these holy sites since the invasion of Iraq by foreign troops.

He emphasized that the occupying forces are instigating insecurity in Iraq and leaving enough space for terrorist movements in order to justify the ongoing illegitimate occupation of the country and to debilitate the government of Iraq.

Calling for Sunni scholars to condemn the sacrilege of the holy sites and Shias to remain calm, Ayatollah Khamenei said our Shia and Sunni brothers in Iraq should beware of the conspiracy against the Muslim unity."

U.S. Mideast Envoy On Palestinian Civil War: "I Like This Violence"

".....Now, here's David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs and US Envoy to the Middle East, speaking in private several weeks before Rice. This appears on p.21 of the leaked report (pdf) by Alvaro de Soto, former UN coordinator for the Middle East:

...the US clearly pushed for a confrontation between Fateh and Hamas -- so much so that, a week before Mecca, the US envoy declared twice in an envoys meeting in Washington how much "I like this violence", referring to the near-civil war that was erupting in Gaza in which civilians were being regularly killed and injured, because "it means that other Palestinians are resisting Hamas"......"

After the Rout in Gaza, I Would be Depressed Too

Blowback Across Lebanon

The Failed Sunni Army Solution


Tripoli, Lebanon.

"Whoever killed anti-Syrian Lebanese MP Walid Eido Wednesday knew Syria would be blamed and that the country would move closer to civil war. Pro-government factions turned out in force along Beirut's Roauche sea front chanting anti-Syrian and anti-Hezbollah slogans but no serious fighting has been ignited yet.

Another consequence may be to breathe new life into chances for a US backed Northern Sunni Army to confront Hezbollah and the Palestinians. The Northern Sunni Army, seemed doable-at least a couple of years ago-during Plan "B"-then Plan "C"—which became Plan "D" sessions of the Welch Club to decide who was going to control Lebanon.
For the Club, comprised of David Welch, Samir Geagea, (Lebanese Forces) Walid Jumblatt (Druze PSP militia) and chaired by Saad Hariri, (Future Movement) plus some allies, like current Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, the choices were black and white simple: Lebanon's future will be controlled by Israel and the US or Lebanon will be controlled by Syria and Iran......

North Lebanon appeared to be the perfect recruiting ground for Lebanon's newest army because the area is overwhelmingly Sunni, pro-Hariri, has high unemployment with many able young men willing to be recruited and the community feels left out of economic advances to their south.

In addition, North Lebanon has a well situated airport at Keilaat, which, according to this scenario, could be converted to US base which would include a training facility for the new force......

When the Welch Club decided to move Fatah al-Islam from the Southern Sidon base at Ein el Helweh, to the North Lebanon Nahr al-Bared camp, Ms. Bahia Hariri admits that she paid for the transplantation, according to Arab Monitor of 6/6/07......

On May 22, 2006 the Welch club got orders from the White House to pull the plug on the North Lebanon Sunni army project following the horrific slaughter of May 20 when it became obvious that the Salafists were out of control, more interested in fighting Israel than Hezbollah or the Palestinians, and too many questions were being asked about who they were, how they got into Lebanon and who arranged and eased their entry and for details about one of the strangest " bank robberies" ever to occur. On June 11, 2007, Michel Aoun, leader of the largest group of Christians in Lebanon demanded a thorough investigation of the whole Nahr al-Bared conflict and the involvement of the Siniora government......

Many in Lebanon believe that the Lebanese army is being designed by Washington and Tel Aviv to be an internal Welch Club police force with the capability to fight the Palestinians or Hezbollah if need be, but definitely not to be given arms necessary to protect Lebanon from Israel.

The past three weeks have seen numerous arrests of Palestinians by the Lebanese army outside of Nahr al Bared and between Tripoli and Beiut with reports of torture. Human Rights Watch condemned these practices yesterday......

Further fallout from the failed "Sunni army" project includes increasing evidence that the Bush administration is playing the same role in Lebanon as it is in Iraq. The Iraqi Shia leader Moktada Sadr claims the US is behind the sectarian violence in Iraq and the schism between Iraqi ethnic groups and the country's economic hardships......"

Current Al-Jazeera (Arabic) Online Poll

The question is:

Do you support the measures which Mahmoud Abbas took to deal with the crisis in occupied Palestine?

With about 2,500 responding so far 85% said no.

The blunder bus barrels on

He's restarted the cold war, given Blair the kiss of death and he's only popular in Albania. Can the world cope with another 18 months of Bush?

By Sidney Blumenthal
The Guardian

"......As she shuttles endlessly and meaninglessly, neoconservatives within the White House undermine her foredoomed initiatives. Elliott Abrams, the deputy national security advisor for policy, in briefing a meeting of Jewish Republicans, said that Rice's "talks are sometimes not more than 'process for the sake of process,'" the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on May 14. According to Haaretz, "Those attending the meeting of Jewish Republicans understood Abrams' comments as an assurance that the peace initiative promoted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice doesn't have the full backing of President George W Bush." As she engages in an academic exercise to rebrand empty rhetoric with new empty rhetoric, the neocons continue to create a parallel foreign policy.

Rice contradicts herself but forgets that she has. Bush continues to prattle about "freedom" but cannot remember his benchmarks. Only Dick Cheney remains consistent. The new mission statement is the old mission statement. The new scenarios are the old delusions. Time marches on."

The threat to al-Jazeera

It would be a disaster for the Middle East if the US neutered the region's most independent TV station

George Galloway
Friday June 15, 2007
The Guardian

"Since its launch just over a decade ago, the al-Jazeera satellite TV station has transformed the politics of the Middle East. For the first time, people in the region had access to a genuinely free and independent source of news and comment that was neither under the control of dictatorial regimes nor western states or corporations. Under its slogan of "The opinion ... and the other opinion", al-Jazeera gave an Arab world hungry for information and debate the means to talk to itself and shape its future. It spawned imitators across the region and has launched an English language station that is beginning to challenge the western monopoly of international news as a "voice of the global south".....

But now that achievement is being put at risk. The evidence is clear that the US government is using its influence in Qatar to try to neuter the station's independence, bring it to heel and shift its coverage in a pro-western direction. If it succeeds, it would be a disaster for the Arab world and its chance to shape an independent and democratic future.....

Now the US, which maintains a large military base in Qatar, has adopted a more subtle approach to breaking the Arabs' voice of independence and diversity. And the signs are that some elements in the Qatari government have yielded to the relentless US pressure. As one source close to al-Jazeera has put it: "You don't need to bomb a TV station to change its direction." A recent reshuffle has brought outspokenly pro-US directors on to the board, including a former Qatari ambassador to Washington. Another has boasted publicly that the tone and content of al-Jazeera's coverage is going to be changed. But these moves have already backfired and caused huge controversy not only in Qatar but throughout the Middle East, and there is every chance that what is in effect an attempted coup at the station will be reversed. It would be a huge loss for independence and freedom in the Arab world if it succeeded."

Oslo's baleful legacy

The Palestinian Authority is only a means to an end. Instead of fighting, the factions must focus on unified strategies to drive the colonisers out.

By Nimer Sultany
(a Palestinian citizen of Israel and currently a doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School)
The Guardian

"The Oslo endless-fruitless-negotiations peace process has created an ambiguous situation: the Palestinians are caught somewhere between state-building and liberation struggle without being or having either. As a result they bear the responsibilities of freedom without actually enjoying freedom. The world looks at them as if they were in a postcolonial stage while the colonialists are still around.

Additionally, the Oslo process has transformed the Palestinian revolutionary project into a corrupted comprador class that enjoys some benefits from the occupier. The victory of Hamas in the elections has caught this comprador class by surprise. Since then, the Fatah movement has refused to acknowledge its defeat, refused initially to join Hamas in a unity government, and waited eagerly to prove that Hamas has failed without initially giving it a chance to succeed......

Today, Ha'aretz reports that Israel intends to release the Palestinian taxes money it withheld since Hamas came to power, because the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has just decided to fire the government. This seems like another immediate reward and encouragement of one faction over the other to inflame the civil war. The media has reported on several occasions in the last two years about money, training, and weapons from the US and Israel to Fatah. All of it is intended to overthrow a legitimately elected government......"

Gaza Map Showing Sequence of Events

Elliott Abrams and Condoleezza Rice's Plans Going Up in Smoke in Gaza
(Reuters photo)

صحيفة ألمانية: إدارة بوش خططت للاقتتال الفلسطيني

"اتهمت صحيفة يونغازلت الألمانية إدارة الرئيس الأميركي جورج بوش بالتخطيط منذ فترة طويلة لتفجير الأوضاع الداخلية الفلسطينية وتحريض تيار موال لها داخل حركة فتح علي القيام بتصفيات جسدية لقادة الفصائل العسكرية لحركة حماس.

وقال المعلق السياسي للصحيفة فولف راينهاردت إن هذا الاتهام مبني على أقوال لا تحتمل اللبس أدلى بها مسؤول الاتصال العسكري الأميركي المقيم في إسرائيل الجنرال كيث دايتون أواخر مايو/أيار الماضي أمام جلسة استماع في لجنة الشرق الأوسط بالكونغرس الأميركي.

وأوضح راينهاردت -في تقرير نشرته الصحيفة أمس الخميس- أن دايتون اعترف أمام اللجنة بوجود تأثير قوي للولايات المتحدة على كافة تيارات حركة فتح، وذكر لأعضاء اللجنة أن الأوضاع ستنفجر قريبا وبلا رحمة في قطاع غزة.

ولفتت صحيفة يونجا فيلت إلى تأكيد الجنرال دايتون لرئيس لجنة الشرق الأوسط بالكونغرس السيناتور غاري أكرمان على إلقاء وزارة الدفاع الأميركية (البنتاغون) ووكالة الاستخبارات المركزية (سي . آي . أي) بكامل ثقلهم خلف حلفاء الولايات المتحدة وإسرائيل داخل حركة فتح.

ونقلت الصحيفة عن دايتون قوله إن تعبئة الأجهزة الأمنية والعسكرية التابعة لرئيس السلطة الفلسطينية محمود عباس ضد حماس مثل ويمثل خيارا إستراتيجيا للإدارة الأميركية الحالية.

وأشارت إلى نجاح الجنرال دايتون في الحصول من الكونغرس على مبلغ 59 مليون يورو لتدريب حرس عباس الرئاسي في مصر والأردن منذ عام 1996 وإعداده لخوض مواجهة عسكرية ضد حركة حماس.

ونوهت الصحيفة إلى أن التيار الأميركي الإسرائيلي داخل فتح لم ينجح رغم كل الدعم السخي المقدم له في كسر شوكة حماس جيدة التنظيم والتسليح عبر القتال المباشر.

وقالت إن هذا الفشل دفع وكالة (سي. آي. أي) لاستدعاء خبرتها السابقة في جمهورية السلفادور وتوجيهها الدمى الفتحاوية التي تحركها لتشكيل فرق موت لاغتيال قادة وكوادر حماس.

وتحدثت يونغا فيلت عن وجود خيوط كثيرة تربط بين فرق الموت والحرس الرئاسي الفلسطيني الذي يشرف عليه النائب في فتح محمد دحلان.

ونسبت إلى خبيرة التخطيط السياسي بالجامعات الإسرائيلية د. هيجا باومجارتن قولها إن دحلان مكلف من وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية وأجهزة أميركية أخري بتنفيذ مهمة محددة هي تصفية أي قوى مقاومة لإسرائيل داخل وخارج حماس.

وخلصت الصحيفة الألمانية إلى أن استمرار المواجهات الحالية يفرض على فتح الاختيار بين النأي بنفسها عن مخططات مجموعة دحلان أو المضي قدما في المخطط الأميركي لإشعال الحرب الأهلية الفلسطينية."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A setback for the Bush doctrine in Gaza

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 14 June 2007

"The dramatic rout of the US and Israeli-backed Palestinian militias in Gaza by forces loyal to Hamas represents a major setback to the Bush doctrine in Palestine.....

This support has included funneling weapons and tens of millions of dollars to unaccountable militias, particularly the "Preventive Security Force" headed by Gaza warlord Mohammad Dahlan, a close ally of Israel and the United States and the Abbas-affiliated "Presidential Guard." US Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams -- who helped divert money to the Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s and who was convicted of lying to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal -- has spearheaded the effort to set up these Palestinian Contras......

De Soto details that Abbas advisers actively aided and abetted the Israeli-US-European Union aid cutoff and siege of the Palestinians under occupation, which led to massively increased poverty for millions of people. These advisors engaged with the United States in a "plot" to "bring about the untimely demise of the [Palestinian Authority] government led by Hamas," de Soto wrote.......

The core of US strategy in the Southwest and Central Asia, particularly Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon is to establish puppet regimes that will fight America's enemies on its behalf. This strategy seems to be failing everywhere.....

Israel's policy is a local version of the US strategy -- and it has also been tried and failed. For over two decades Israel relied on a proxy militia, the South Lebanon Army, to help it enforce the occupation of southern Lebanon. In 2000, as Israeli forces hastily withdrew, this militia collapsed just as quickly as Dahlan's forces and many of its members fled to Israel. Hamas is now referring to the rout of Dahlan's forces as a "second liberation of Gaza.".....

Once some exiled PLO leaders, most notably Yasser Arafat, became willing subcontractors of the occupation (an arrangement formalized by the Oslo Accords), a new resistance force emerged in the form of Hamas. Israeli efforts to back Dahlan and Abbas, Arafat's successor, as quisling alternatives have now backfired spectacularly......

The contrast between Abbas' action and the Hamas response is striking. Abbas, perhaps pushed by the same coterie of advisors, seems to be escalating the confrontation and doing so when there is no reason to believe he can prevail. Hamas, while standing firm and from a position of strength, spoke in a language of conciliation, emphasizing time and again that Hamas has a problem with only a small group within Fatah, not its rank and file. Abbas, Dahlan and their backers must be surveying a sobering scene -- they may be tempted to try to take on Hamas in the West Bank, but the scale of their defeat in Gaza would have to give them pause.......

Abbas, backed by Israel and the US, has called for a multinational force in Gaza. Hamas has rejected this, saying it would be viewed as an "occupying force."......The multinational force, Hamas fears, would not be there to protect Palestinians from their Israeli occupiers, but to perform the proxy role of protecting Israel's interests that Dahlan's forces are longer able to carry out and to counter the resistance -- just as the multinational force was supposed to do in Lebanon after the July 2006 war.....

Wise leaders in Israel and the United States would recognize that Hamas is not a passing phenomenon, and that they can never create puppet leaders who will be able to compete against a popular resistance movement. But there are no signs of wisdom....."

الجامعة العربية تدعو لوقف الاقتتال الفلسطيني وواشنطن قلقة

وقال الأمين العام للجامعة عمرو موسى للصحفيين عقب الاجتماع إن الوضع في قطاع غزة أغضب الجميع وأزعجهم، معتبرا أن استمرار الحال على هذا الوضع أمر غير مقبول وخطير للغاية.

وأوضح أن الدول العربية كلها أيدت الجهود التي يبذلها وفد أمني مصري في قطاع غزة لإنهاء الاقتتال، وأشار إلى أنه أجرى اتصالات مع الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون للتعامل مع هذا الوضع.

في السياق قال وزير الخارجية المصري أحمد أبو الغيط إن وزراء الخارجية العرب سيبحثون في اجتماعهم الطارئ مساء غد كيفية دعم "الشرعية الفلسطينية، والسلطة الفلسطينية المنبثقة عن منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية الممثل الشرعي والوحيد للشعب الفلسطيني ورئيسها محمود عباس

ودعا الفصائل الفلسطينية إلى التعاون مع الوساطة المصرية لوضع حد للتدهور الحالي على الساحة الفلسطينية من خلال الاتفاق على خطة للعمل الوطني الفلسطيني.

قلق عربي

وقد أعرب الملك الأردني عبدالله الثاني عن قلقه حيال استمرار المواجهات بين فتح وحماس في قطاع غزة، داعيا الأطراف إلى وقف إطلاق النار. ونقل هذه الدعوة رئيس الوزراء الأردني معروف البخيت أثناء استقباله في عمان نائب رئيس الوزراء الفلسطيني عزام الأحمد.

من جانبه كشف المتحدث باسم الخارجية الأميركية شون ماكورماك اتصالات أجرتها وزيرة الخارجية كوندوليزا رايس مع دول في المنطقة بينها مصر والأردن بشأن كيفية "تقديم الدعم للقوى المعتدلة في النظام السياسي الفلسطيني بما في ذلك الرئيس عباس".

وفي السياق أعرب وزير الخارجية الإيطالي ماسيمو داليما عن أسفه لما وصفه بالدعم المحدود الذي تقدمه الأسرة الدولية للرئيس الفلسطيني محمود عباس. وقال إن دعم الأسرة الدولية لمحمود عباس "كان شفهيا أكثر مما كان فعليا".

وكانت بريطانيا دعت عباس أمس إلى أن يفعل ما بوسعه لوقف دوامة العنف في غزة. وقالت وزيرة الخارجية البريطانية مارغريت بيكيت إنها أجرت اتصالات مع عباس ودعت إلى الحور لحل الأزمة. وأشارت إلى أن لندن تجري اتصالات مع دول المنطقة بما فيها مصر والسعودية لبحث تسوية الأزمة الحالية.


I am sorry to post this article in Arabic; I couldn't find an English version. It is very important because it sheds light on the likely course that the Arab foreign ministers will take in their meeting tomorrow.

Three key elements:

1) The Secretary General of the so-called Arab League indicated that he has been in touch with Ban Ki-Moon to see what the UN can do about the situation in Gaza???

2) The Egyptian foreign minister said that the Arab ministers, in their emergency meeting, will explore ways to support, "Palestinian legitimacy and the Palestinian Authority which derives from the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and its head Abbas."

3) Condoleezza Rice has been in touch with countries in the region, including Egypt and Jordan, regarding how to provide support to the "moderate" Palestinian forces including president Abbas. In this regard, the Italian foreign minister bemoaned what he considered the limited support the "world community" has given to Abbas, which he considered it to be mostly moral support.

So, the stage is being set for outside military intervention, on behalf of the puppet Abbas, under the cover of the Arab League/UN. Condoleezza is giving the orders and distributing the responsibilities to her puppets in the region. Egypt and Jordan will be the key subordinates.

Top Hamas official: We won't declare Islamic rule in Gaza

Fatah-run national security HQ in Gaza falls under Hamas control

"A senior Hamas official in Syria said Thursday there would be no change in Gaza's status and no Islamic rule declared in the territory after a near takeover of the seaside strip by the militant group.

Abu Marzouk spoke shortly after Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced his decision to fire Hamas prime minister Isamil Haniyeh and dissolve the four-month-old Palestinian unity government.

Asked about the future of Gaza, the Damascus-based deputy head of Hamas' political bureau Moussa Abu Marzouk said there will be no change. "Gaza will remain Gaza and there will be no changes in its future and will continue to be linked to the West Bank whether he (Abbas) removed the government or not."........

Earlier in the day, Abu Marzouk warned Fatah against carrying the fighting with Hamas from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank......This is very dangerous for our people, Abu Marzouk said by telephone in Damascus, "all wise people, especially in Fatah, should be aware of this danger and should prevent the men of (Fatah) ... from endangering the West Bank's security as they had done in Gaza Strip."

"Hamas has no intention whatsoever to shed the blood of any Palestinian. What Hamas is doing is just self-defense, he said. The battle of the Palestinians is only with the Israeli enemy."

Meanwhile, ninety-nine Palestinian policemen loyal to the Fatah movement fled to Egypt on Thursday, an Egyptian security official said.......

Meanwhile, a prominent Fatah gunman who had once bragged about executing Hamas fighters and torching homes of rivals was killed in the ongoing fighting between rival factions Fatah and Hamas. The gunman, Samih Madhoun, was one of the leaders of a 1,500-strong force that had been set up several months ago as a counterweight to Hamas. Madhoun recently said in an interview on a pro-Fatah radio station that he had executed several Hamas fighters and torched the homes of others......

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Islamic group was forced to wrest control from Fatah because its security services were corrupt and generated chaos. Nothing is going to be changed in the social and cultural life of our people following the Islamic group's takeover of Gaza, Abu Zuhri insisted.

Hamas political leaders in the group's headquarters in Syria refused to comment on the group's intentions now that it has consolidated its control in the coastal strip. Abu Zuhri said Fatah fighters who surrendered their weapons would not be harmed......"

The Ass dissolves government and formally declares state of emergency

"Bethlehem - Ma'an – Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas has issued a decree to dissolve the government and declare a state of emergency.

Media spokesman for President Abbas, Tayieb Abdur Rahim, read the decree and announced that Ismail Haniyeh had been dismissed accordingly.

In a statement televised on the Palestinian Satellite Channel, Rahim said that events in the Gaza Strip constituted "a military coup against Palestinian legitimacy, and is a clear violation of international law."

Reacting to the news, the Hamas movement stated that "the announcement is self-contradictory, as such a decree needs a mechanism in order for it to be implemented ".

In a telephone call with Ma'an, the spokesperson for the Hamas bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Salah Bardawil, said that "it is the right of the president to declaring this for one month, and in this case the government will form an emergency government. After this, he must go back to the PLC, in order to renew the state of emergency or to seek a new government."

Bardawil also stated that the Gaza Strip has now become more quiet and secure than ever before. "The obstacles which were made by a trend within the Fatah movement have been removed… Hamas has ended the battle with that current in Fatah, as neither Abbas nor other Fatah leaders were able to control that current. Someone should put an end to that. We have achieved this in a battle which lasted for two days only. Fatah and Abbas were not able and were not interested in controlling these influences within Fatah, which is why we fought this battle.""

After Receiving the Orders From Rice, Abbas Declares Emergency

"GAZA (Reuters) - Hamas fighters hunted down key loyalists of the Western-backed Palestinian president in the Gaza Strip on Thursday after the Islamists seized most of the final strongholds of the secular Fatah movement in the enclave.

In the West Bank, Abbas, seen as a pragmatist committed to negotiation, signed decrees dismissing a three-month-old unity government formed with Hamas and declaring a state of emergency......

Abbas signed three decrees, aides said. One dissolves the Hamas-led "unity government" that Fatah joined in March under a Saudi-brokered deal aimed at ending internal violence and easing Western sanctions for Hamas's refusal to recognize Israel.

A second decree establishes a state of emergency and a third establishes an "emergency" government, officials said.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said an international force along Gaza's border with Egypt should be considered. But despite some international murmurs of assent, putting such a force together against Hamas's wishes seems unlikely for now

Abbas dissolves unity government

"Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced Wednesday evening that he was dissolving the Palestinian unity government and that he planned to declare a state of emergency in the Gaza Strip, in light of the ongoing violence between Hamas and Fatah..

Abbas had informed the representatives of the Quartet, the US and Jordan of his plans prior to making the official statement. The president intends to call for the deployment of a multinational force in Gaza, in a bid to overpower Hamas......"


What a loser and a traitor!

A Smart Move

Fatah movement in Gaza Strip splits; Khalid Abu Halal proclaims himself new head of Fatah in the Gaza Strip

"Gaza - Ma'an –A spokesperson for the Palestinian ministry of interior, Khalid Abu Hilal, said on Thursday night that "Hamas will not harm the good people of Fatah; the punishment will be directed against the collaborators."

In a press conference held in Gaza, Abu Hilal stated that he is now the head of the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip. He described Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, and many other Fatah leaders as "collaborators".

He declared "the good and honorable people of the Fatah movement have rejected the collaborator trend in Fatah."

He confirmed that he has reached an agreement with leaders of the Hamas-affiliated Al Qassam Brigades, that the "good" people of Fatah will not be harmed. He stated that an emergency committee has been formed "in order to protect the good Fatah people… this committee will be temporary, in order to rearrange the affairs of the Fatah movement"."

A Hamas fighter takes up position inside the Preventive Security headquarters after it was captured in the southern Gaza Strip June 14, 2007. (Stringer/Reuters)

A Palestinian man embraces militants from Hamas as they celebrate the capture of the preventive security headquarters from Fatah loyalist security forces in Gaza City, Thursday, June 14, 2007. Hamas fighters overran one of the rival Fatah movement's most important security installations in the Gaza Strip on Thursday. The capture of the Preventive Security headquarters was a major step forward in Hamas' attempts to complete its takeover of all of Gaza.(AP)

A Hamas fighter places his faction's flag on top of the intelligence headquarters belonging to Fatah, after they captured it, in Gaza June 14, 2007. Hamas fighters on Thursday captured the Preventive Security headquarters in Gaza City, one of the last bastions of forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamists declared the "liberation" of the Gaza Strip. Hamas also captured the intelligence base and continued to pound Abbas' presidential compound in Gaza City and another Fatah stronghold with mortars, though both remained under Fatah control. REUTERS

A Palestinian steps on a picture of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as a sign of disrespect, at the Palestinian Intelligence headquarters in Gaza City, after Hamas fighters took them over from Fatah-loyal security services,Thursday June 14, 2007. Hamas fighters overran one of the rival Fatah movement's most important security installations in the Gaza Strip on Thursday. The capture of the Preventive Security headquarters was a major step forward in Hamas' attempts to complete its takeover of all of Gaza. (AP)

Palestinians run in the direction of the Preventive Security headquarters after it was blown up by Hamas fighters in the southern Gaza Strip June 14, 2007. Hamas fighters on Thursday captured one of the last bastions of forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Islamists declared the "liberation" of the Gaza Strip. REUTERS

Hamas seizes PA intelligence materials, says Israeli tactics exposed

After storming PA security headquarters in Gaza, Hamas officials say they've uncovered thousands of documents, including classified correspondence with Israeli forces. Hamas: 'These will help us battle Israel's surveillance tactics'

An Important Article
Contributed by Ahmad and Amina

"After overtaking the Palestinian Authority's Preventive Security headquarters in Gaza City on Thursday afternoon, Hamas fighters report they have seized tens of thousands of highly valuable intelligence documents, including correspondence between the PA and others, including the CIA, regarding security issues.

A Hamas member told Ynet that he and his men removed thousands of documents, video tapes and other equipment from the compound.....

"If we release these documents, the entire world will be shocked, not just the Palestinians. The dozens of armored vehicles, RPG launchers and rockets, the hundreds of thousands of bullets we have – they are all nothing compared to the documents and data discs we uncovered. "There are video tapes of surveillance against our fighters and their homes, wiretaps on our calls, the PA's entire method of operation has been exposed," he said. The Hamas man said that the documents also implicate several Arab nations of involvement in the internal Palestinian power-struggle in an attempt to impair Hamas. According to the Hamas source the papers also document the PA's cooperation with the American CIA against Palestinian organizations, especially Hamas......

The WorldNetDaily news website reported Muhammed Abdel-El, the spokesperson for the Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees group, as saying: "The CIA files we seized, which include documents, CDs, taped conversations, and videos, are more important that all the American weapons we obtained the last two days as we took over the traitor Fatah's positions."

Another Hamas official, quoted by WND, said the CIA documents they browsed so far contain "information about the collaboration between Fatah and the Israeli and American security organizations; CIA methods on how to prevent attacks, chase and follow after cells of Hamas and the Committees; plans about Fatah assassinations of members of Hamas and other organizations; and American studies on the security situation in Gaza."

The official claimed the documents also detailed CIA networks in other Arab countries, and "how to help beat Islamic allies of Hamas in other Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan. "We will use these documents and make portions public to prove the collaboration between America and traitor Arab countries," he told WND."

The League of the Eunuchs to the Rescue of the Abbas Puppet

Arab League chief calls for immediate truce in Gaza Strip

"The head of the Arab league on Thursday warned of a disastrous outcome if the bloody infighting between the rival Palestinian Hamas and Fatah sides continues and urged and immediate cease fire.

"I call for a cease fire immediately," Amr Moussa said in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

Moussa spoke after an urgent meeting with Jibril al-Rajoub, the Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' senior security adviser....."

عبد الستار قاسم: سيطرة "حماس" على غزة هزيمة كبيرة للكيان الصهيوني وأمريكا

"أكد الدكتور عبد الستار قاسم، أستاذ العلوم السياسية في جامعة النجاح الوطنية، أن نجاح حركة المقاومة الإسلامية "حماس" في السيطرة على مواقع الأجهزة الأمنية في قطاع غزة تعتبر "هزيمة كبيرة للكيان الصهيوني وأمريكا".

وقال قاسم في تصريح أدلى به لـ "لمركز الفلسطيني للإعلام" إن الكيان الصهيوني والإدارة الأمريكية "سيندمان على الأسلحة الكبيرة التي قدموها لعباس وقواته، وهي بالمناسبة أسلحة قوية وخطيرة باتت الآن في أيدي حماس"، مشيراً إلى أن جزء من هذه الأسلحة أسلحة ثقيلة ومداها كبير وتشكل خطراً كبيراً على الكيان الصهيوني بعد وقوعها في أيدي حركة حماس".

وشدد على أن الإدارة الأمريكية والصهاينة والغرب بعد ما جرى في غزة "لن تدعم مرة أخرى قوات عباس بعدما تبين أن من استلم السلاح كان ضعيفاً"، مشيراً إلى أن هذا الدرس الذي جاء بعد أيام من زعم المنسق الأمريكي دايتون أنه يضمن أين يتجه السلاح وأن التدريب الذي يجري لقوات عباس مجدي "لن يتكرر خطأ مثله في الضفة"، متوقعاً ألا تقدم هذه الأطراف في دعم قوات عباس بأية أسلحة خشية وقوعها أيضاً في أيدي حركة حماس.

وتوقع الدكتور قاسم أن تلجأ حركة حماس إلى إتباع الأسلوب الديمقراطي في حكم قطاع غزة بعد إحكام السيطرة عليه، بما في ذلك أن تعمل على سحب المسلحين من الشوارع ونشر القوة التنفيذية كقوة حكومية رسمية لتوفير الأمن للمواطنين.

وحول مستقبل حركة "حماس" في الضفة الغربية في ظل الاعتداءات التي تتعرض لها؛ قال: "إن الكل يتطلع لبقاء الضفة هادئة رغم محاولات البعض نقل الصراع إليها".

لكنه أوضح في الوقت ذاته أن: "من يظن أن حركة حماس ضعيفة في الضفة هو واهم"، معبراً عن قناعته الكاملة أن حركة حماس في الضفة قوية وهي تسعى لاتقاء الشر، إما إذا اضطرت لخوض مواجهة فإنها ستكسب المعركة أيضاً".

ولفت قاسم الانتباه إلى أن "مقاتلي فتح ليسوا مدربين أو محترفين، إنهم عبارة عن عصابات لا يوجد لديهم انضباط أو التزام تنظيمي كحركة حماس".

وأشار إلى أنه "لا يعرف بعد كيف ستتمكن حماس من مواجهة الصعوبات المستقبلية مثل تأمين التزامات الناس والرواتب والخدمات وغيرها"، وشدد على أن أي قرار يتخذه عباس سيعقد الأمور "فحل الحكومة أو تشكيل إدارة أو الدعوة لانتخابات جديدة لا قيمة له، لأن حماس يبدو أنها ستسيطر فعلاً على غزة". "