Saturday, May 17, 2008

He Can Run; But Can He Hide?

Report: Israeli intelligence chief says Abbas might flee if peace fails

Contributed by Lucia in Spain

"JERUSALEM: Israel's chief of military intelligence said in comments published Friday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may flee the area if peace efforts fail.

Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin told the Haaretz daily that he is not optimistic about Israeli-Palestinian attempts to reach a final peace deal by the end of the year.

Yadlin predicted that such a failure of the U.S.-backed efforts would severely weaken Abbas and force him to leave the West Bank.

"If there is a sharp confrontation, with accusations hurled, I think the Palestinian Authority leadership will be very much weakened, so much so that very senior officials will leave," Yadlin told the newspaper.

When asked if that means Abbas could flee the Palestinian areas, Yadlin replied "I do not rule out that possibility."......

"The Palestinian camp that supports a settlement will be weakened and the present leadership is liable to disappear," Yadlin said. "Processes of disintegration are liable to develop in the Palestinian alignment — chaos and a takeover by Hamas."

If an agreement is reached, Abbas could probably get it ratified in a referendum, the intelligence chief said. But the weakness of the Palestinian security forces on the ground would make it difficult to implement a deal [meaning to crush Palestinian popular resistance to any sellout by Abbas], Yadlin said......."

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