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Monday, February 06, 2006

Democracy, Palestinian Style

This is curious. Hamas won the election, but Abbas is trying to maintain the illusion that he is still in power. I wonder how long Hamas will put up with that and how they will put a stop to it....

PA's Abbas tells Israel: I plan to keep key powers

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Israel recently that he will continue to be responsible for diplomatic contacts with Jerusalem despite Hamas' victory in the PA's parliamentary elections, and requested that Israel continue this dialogue rather than ignoring him as "irrelevant." Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert responded that in that case, Israel will continue talking with Abbas for the time being.

Abbas' message was delivered in several conversations between his emissaries and Israeli officials in recent days. In these conversations, his envoys stressed that the PLO, and not the PA, is the body that has signed all previous agreements with Israel and is officially responsible for conducting diplomatic negotiations. Since Abbas is also chairman of the PLO, he intends to continue negotiating with Israel in this capacity.

Abbas also said that he intends to try to regain control over both the PA's security services and its budget. Both responsibilities were taken away from Abbas' predecessor, Yasser Arafat, and transferred to other Palestinian officials under pressure from Israel and the United States.

I think Abbas is fooling himself.


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