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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Abu Mazen - Haniyeh sulha watch - 2

For those who have forgotten, part 1 in this series is here.

The Jerusalem Post is reporting tonight that the 'Palestinian Authority's 'efforts' to thwart Hamas in Judea and Samaria have largely failed and that the Izaddin al-Kassam brigades - Hamas' 'armed wing' - have become very active in some areas. I'm sure you're all as shocked about that as I am.

What's more interesting is what Jibril Rajoub has been up to:
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports said one of Abbas's close confidants, former PA security chief Jibril Rajoub, recently held secret talks in Damascus with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in a bid to resolve the Hamas-Fatah crisis.

Rajoub, who is being mentioned as a possible successor to Abbas, also held talks in Cairo with top Egyptian political and security officials on ways of ending the crisis. Fatah officials have strongly denied that they were engaged in any form of talks with Hamas.
This isn't the first time we've heard these stories. Where there's smoke, there's usually fire.

And even if Abu Mazen weren't trying to get back together with Hamas, his 'armed wing' (the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades) apparently already has:
The official revealed that the Hamas gunmen were working in coordination with other armed Palestinian groups, including ones belonging to Fatah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Islamic Jihad.

"We are very worried about what's happening in the West Bank, especially in Nablus, where Izaddin al-Kassam appears to have resumed its activities after a long lull," the official said. "In recent weeks the group has been launching almost daily attacks on Israeli military patrols … particularly in the northern West Bank."
And for those of you who are waiting for Abu Mazen to fight terror, I suggest that you not hold your breaths:
PA security forces have rounded up nearly 200 Hamas activists in the West Bank since Hamas's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip. But the majority of the detainees are not linked to Hamas's armed wing.

"We are going after the wrong guys," the official noted. "We are detaining journalists, university students and low-level political operatives. Meanwhile, Izaddin al-Kassam is establishing secret cells and acquiring more weapons."

The PA security forces have also failed to gather sufficient intelligence about Hamas's attempts to recruit West Bank Palestinians to its paramilitary Executive Force. PA officials are convinced that Hamas is secretly trying to establish an Executive Force in the West Bank as a first step toward overthrowing Abbas's regime.

PA security officials claimed earlier this month that they had uncovered a Hamas cell in the Bethlehem area whose members had received instructions from the Hamas leadership in Syria to establish an Executive Force. The 13-member cell was headed by Hamas activist Nader Muhammed Jubran.

But after three weeks of questioning, Jubran and his cohorts were released from prison. A PA security commander in Bethlehem told the Post that the men were released because of lack of evidence. He pointed out that the PA security forces would continue to follow the movements of the cell members to make sure that they did not pursue their plans to establish a security force.

"The cell was operating on direct instructions from the top Hamas leadership in Damascus," the security commander said. "Some of the Hamas men have been receiving assistance from Fatah gunmen, and this is very worrying."
Yeah. Some of them are even receiving assistance from Fatah itself and not just from Fatah 'gunmen.'
He revealed that a cell belonging to Izaddin al-Kassam was behind the assassination attempt on Col. Idris Ja'bari, the commander of the PA security forces in Halhoul, near Hebron, earlier this month. Ja'bari was critically wounded when gunmen opened fire at him outside his home. He had been responsible for the detention of scores of Hamas activists in his area over the past two months.
That ought to be enough to put a stop to any operations against Hamas. We wouldn't want anyone to get hurt now, would we?

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