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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gaza now Hamastan, Hizbullahstan

This morning, Palestinian Authority chairman Abu Mazen said that he was ready to resume peace talks with Israel, even if Hamas joins his government.

"We are partners with the Israelis. They don't have the right to choose their partner. But if they are seeking a Palestinian partner, this partner exists."

But words are one thing, actions are something else. And the Palestinian Authority's (in)action in Gaza is likely to make 'negotiations' impossible - at least for the time being.

Former IDF chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon said Monday that Gaza has turned into “Hamastan, Hizbullahstan and al-Qaedastan” following Israel’s withdrawal from the area last summer.

Speaking at the Herzliya Conference on the Balance of Israel’s National Security, Yaalon said Israel easily gave up on principles such as border supervision and demilitarization.

The former IDF head said Israel failed to create effective and reliable deterrence against rocket attacks, saying, "Israel's unilateral withdrawals were perceived as escape from the rocket threat. Israel failed to create reliable deterrence for the future."

The Arabs’ refusal to recognize Israel is the source of all the violence directed against it from the dawn of Zionism to this day,” he added.

“As long as this does not change, Israel will be prone to violence. The 1967 borders do not provide an answer to the threat of rocket and suicide bombing attacks, nor do they provide an answer to the threat of conventional attacks.

“In order to withstand terror we must remain firm in the belief in the justice of our ways; post and anti-Zionist trends have infiltrated public debate and the decision-making process,” he said.

Yaalon went on to slam the Palestinian Authority, saying it has breached every agreement with Israel.

The Palestinians do not recognize our right to live within the 1967 borders. Their decision to wage war in September 2000 was aimed at dodging the need to recognize Israel as a sovereign state,” he said.

“All of these are warning signs ahead of determining the country’s permanent borders – either by way of agreement or unilaterally. As long as there is no acceptance of our right to exist, the Israeli leadership should assume any determined border will be challenged by violent acts, unless there is deterrence. The more vulnerable we appear, the bigger the temptation is to attack us.”


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