'Secret' UN report blames ... guess who for 'Palestinian' civil warAl-Guardian reports this morning on a 'secret' UN report that blames the US and Israel for the 'Palestinian' civil war in Gaza.
The highest ranking UN official in Israel has warned that American pressure has "pummelled into submission" the UN's role as an impartial Middle East negotiator in a damning confidential report.For those who want to read de Soto's original report, you can find it here.
The 53-page "End of Mission Report" by Alvaro de Soto, the UN's Middle East envoy, obtained by the Guardian, presents a devastating account of failed diplomacy and condemns the sweeping boycott of the Palestinian government. It is dated May 5 this year, just before Mr de Soto stepped down.
Mr de Soto condemns Israel for setting unachievable preconditions for talks and the Palestinians for their violence. Western-led peace negotiations have become largely irrelevant, he says.
Mr de Soto is a Peruvian diplomat who worked for the UN for 25 years in El Salvador, Cyprus and Western Sahara. He says:
· The international boycott of the Palestinians, introduced after Hamas won elections last year, was "at best extremely short-sighted" and had "devastating consequences" for the Palestinian people
· Israel has adopted an "essentially rejectionist" stance towards the Palestinians
· The Quartet of Middle East negotiators - the US, the EU, Russia and the UN - has become a "side-show"
·The Palestinian record of stopping violence against Israel is "patchy at best, reprehensible at worst"
Mr de Soto acknowledges in the report that he is its sole author. It was meant only for senior UN officials, and its wording is far more critical than the public pronouncements of UN diplomats. Last night, Mr de Soto, who is in New York, told the Guardian: "It is a confidential document and not intended for publication."
I was curious to see which preconditions for talks Mr. de Soto condemns as "unachievable." So I skimmed the report (or at least part of the report). First, de Soto says that you cannot expect the 'Palestinians' to dismantle the terror groups because 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President
In respect of the recognition of Israel, we knew that there was no chance that Hamas could agree to go further than to accept by implication what the PLO had agreed to explicitly in 1993 in the Oslo framework. To try to get them to go beyond this would have been a waste of diplomatic capital and of doubtful usefulness. So we concentrated on addressing the need to end violence. In a nutshell, what we urged them to do was to declare that the NUG's [national unity government. CiJ] priority was to maintain and expand the ceasfire, and that to that end they would marshal the various and sundry security bodies to work together not only to establish law and order but also to enforce the ceasefire.But Hamas never renounced violence and the 'cease fire' was a sham that Hamas used to continue to smuggle in arms punctuated by rocket fire against the Negev. Given that Hamas used every cent it received for an arms race and that it explicitly said that it would never recognize Israel, I wonder what meaningful conditions de Soto could possibly suggest that Hamas would have been willing to fulfill. Given that there were no conditions Hamas would have been willing to fulfill, why should Israel (once again) go down a dangerous road of unilateral concessions in order to deal with them?
In the meantime, the Arabs are not so stupid and they know that the US and Israel are not at fault. In an interview this morning with al-Hayat that was reported on Israel Radio, senior Fatah official Samir Mashharawi claimed explicitly that both Syria and Iran are behind what Fatah calls Hamas' 'attempted coup'. In the interview, Mashharawi claimed that the two countries have transferred millions of dollars to Hamas (which puts the lie to de Soto's claim that the international boycott is the reason why 'Palestinians' are living under miserable conditions), and that Hamas was using the money against the 'Palestinian people' in trying to establish Hamastan in the Gaza Strip.
Second, the Saudis know that the money that they gave Hamas for entering into the Mecca Agreement is being used to fund terror in the Gaza Strip and that Hamas betrayed the Saudi royal family. Have a look at this cartoon from yesterday's al-Watan and it is clear that the Saudis believe they have been betrayed.
And the Egyptians also know who is responsible for the terror. Egyptian foreign minister Omar Suleiman is all over Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal to put a stop to the violence. Israel Radio reported this morning that Suleiman called Meshaal to insist that Hamas not attack Abu Mazen's 'presidential compound.'
In the meantime, the violence continues. Eight more 'Palestinians' have been killed by 'Palestinians' this morning and Hamas is now threatening to blow up a building atop which Fatah supporters have taken refuge. But the UN refuses to let such realities deter its hatred for Israel and for US President George Bush.