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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Zahar's Hamastan

Hamastan's Prime Minister, Mahmoud al-Zahar, once twice smuggled more than $20 million in cash into Gaza in suitcases. He was interviewed today by Germany's Der Spiegel and talked about his 'vision' for Hamastan's future. Israel, he's counting on us - to continue to treat Gaza's ill people in our hospitals. But he says there's 'no political horizon' with Israel. What's missing? He doesn't mention that Hamas will never recognize Israel's right to exist. Who does he think will operate those hospitals if Israel goes away? Oh yes, and he also thinks we will have to keep supplying him with electricity and water and that Fatah will have to share its newfound riches with him.... And watch out for Hamas suicide bombers against Fatah in Judea and Samaria!
SPIEGEL ONLINE: What will Hamas' future relationship to Israel be?

Zahar: We are ready to speak with everyone about everything. Of course we have to speak with the Israelis, de facto, for example over trade. We also have to speak with them about cross-border issues, like the movement of severely ill patients and protection from bird flu and how we can avoid environmental catastrophes. We won't discuss politics, because the Israelis have no political agenda with us. The political agenda of Condoleezza Rice and Ehud Olmert with President Mahmoud Abbas consists of trading kisses every two weeks -- but with empty hands. We will only talk about essential things.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: At the moment there are no attacks on Israel by Hamas' military wing. Is this a new doctrine?

Zahar: Yes, at the moment we have to deal with two enemies at the same time. Also, the Israelis have halted their aggression. That's a direct result of our attacks on Sderot (in Israel) -- the Israelis have suffered too much. Thousands of citizens had to leave (Sderot), and the Israeli government had to pay for their hotels. Factories and offices in Sderot also had to close.


SPIEGEL ONLINE: There has been talk in Israel about turning off electricity, water, and gas in Gaza. Could the people in Gaza starve?

Zahar: In that case Israel would have to open its borders. People wouldn't starve to death before violently storming the borders. Israel also loses $2 million in business income for every day the border stays closed.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The international community plans to release all the aid money it has withheld from Palestinians for over a year to the Fatah government in the West Bank. Will the West Bank become a kind of luxury-Palestine, while the Gaza Strip starves?

Zahar: Fatah in the West Bank will receive money, and they will have to pass it on to Gaza. If it doesn't, it will lose Gaza forever. We would also have to search for alternatives. We have a very good image among people throughout the Arab world. If we want, we can get $5 million per month in donations from Egypt. We have also received money from foreign countries in the past -- $82 million from Kuwait, $50 million from Libya. I personally once brought $20 million from Iran to the Gaza Strip in a suitcase. No, actually twice -- the second time it was $22 million.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What will improve for people in Gaza now that Hamas is in control?

Zahar: The good thing is that we can now collect information about our enemies and informants from foreign powers. We will look for Israel's spies.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Last week there were street battles in the West Bank between Fatah and Hamas militias. Fatah maintained the upper hand. How will Hamas loyalists defend themselves in the event of any new fighting?

Zahar: Let me ask you: How have we defended ourselves so far against the Israeli occupation?

SPIEGEL ONLINE: With bombs and attacks?

Zahar: Exactly. But you said that, not me.

P.S. Thank you America for all those weapons:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The militant wings of Fatah and Hamas have been fully armed over the last few months. Are these weapons still in circulation?

Zahar: There are naturally very many weapons around now. Two years ago, one bullet in Gaza cost around €3.50 -- now it would cost 35 cents. The American aid money has been translated into weapons. Thank you, America!

P.P.S. No one will ever take this guy seriously unless he gets rid of that wart on his nose :-)


At 10:03 AM, Blogger Michael said...

No one will ever take this guy seriously unless he gets rid of that wart on his nose

I wonder if the IDF has a sniper who can shoot it off?


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