Powered by WebAds

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hamas to take over Judea and Samaria?

Writing on the Hudson New York web site, 'Palestinian' journalist Khaled Abu Toameh argues convincingly that were Israel to allow an independent 'Palestinian state' to be established in Judea and Samaria, the result would be a Hamas takeover.
If Israel wants to pull back from any territory, it needs to make sure who is going to be in control of that area. The last time Israel withdrew from a territory was in the summer of 2005, when it handed the Gaza Strip over to forces loyal to Abbas.

Two years later, Hamas managed to toss Abbas’s people out of the Gaza Strip in less than a week.

If Israel repeats the same mistake and hands over the West Bank to Abbas and Fayyad when they are still weak and do not enjoy much credibility among their own people, there is no doubt that Hamas will end up sitting on hilltops overlooking Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv, and the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.


Abbas and Fayyad are in power in the West Bank largely thanks to the presence of the Israeli security forces in these territories. Abbas and Fayyad know very well that had it not been for the presence of the Israeli army in the West Bank, it is highly likely that Hamas would have been able to achieve its goal a long time ago.

Many Palestinians are convinced that if a free and democratic election were to be held in the West Bank these days, Hamas would win again for two reasons: first, because the US-led sanctions against Hamas have earned the movement greater sympathy among Palestinians and, second, because of Fatah’s failure to implement major reforms and get rid of icons of financial corruption among its top brass.

Despite ongoing efforts to reconstruct the Fatah-dominated security forces, they are still far from being able to assume full responsibilities in the West Bank.


While Israel has been struggling to eliminate hard-core terror cells in the West Bank, the security forces controlled by Abbas and Fayyad have been focusing their efforts mainly on Hamas’s political activists and supporters.
Yet the same result is likely from another initiative that is being pushed by both the Saudis and the Egyptians. JPost reports on Sunday that the Saudis have ordered 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen to go to Syria to meet with Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal.
Saudi Arabia was putting its weight behind intra-Palestinian reconciliation, and is working to bring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to meet with Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal in Syria, Channel 2 reported Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, Mashaal on Saturday met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and the two agreed about the "tragic" situation of the Palestinians, as well as the urgent need to reconcile Hamas with the Palestinian Authority, dominated by Fatah.
The Egyptian refusal this past week to allow 'international activists' into Gaza is largely seen as an effort to pressure Hamas to reach the same goal, reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. The 'quartet' and the West in general have been silent on Hamas - Fatah reconciliation. The Europeans, who have been looking for an excuse to talk to Hamas, would likely favor such a reconciliation. The US, which has been looking for any 'success' in the 'peace process,' would not be likely to object, particularly since 'our friends' the Saudis and the Egyptians both favor 'reconciliation.' The UN certainly would not object, and the Russians are unlikely to be opposed either.

But what would happen if Fatah and Hamas reconcile? Elections would likely result in a Hamas victory, as Abu Toameh points out above. Whether or not that means that Hamas takes over Judea and Samaria civilly, it would certainly do so militarily at the first opportunity. It would likely mean a civil war between Hamas and Fatah (as happened the last time they 'reconciled') with the IDF - assuming it were still to be stationed in Judea and Samaria at the time - stuck in the middle.

One thing a Fatah - Hamas 'reconciliation' will not do is bring 'peace' closer. Israel will not negotiate with Hamas and will resist negotiating (note - I don't say "will not" because I have my doubts about Netanyahu's backbone) with any 'government' that includes Hamas. And if Israel does negotiate, can anyone see Israel handing over territory on the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to a 'government' that includes Hamas or that is dominated by it (although the pressure to do so would be enormous)?

Another result of a Fatah - Hamas reconciliation and subsequent Hamas takeover would be to turn Judea and Samaria (or at least the parts of it that are controlled by Hamas) into an Islamic Caliphate run as a police state. In other words, one thing it would do is to hurt ordinary 'Palestinians.'

So why are the West and the 'moderate' Arab states pushing for Hamas and Fatah to reconcile? The West is doing so out of naivete. The 'moderate' Arab states are doing so because they believe it will put an end to the prospect of a 'Palestinian state' for some time to come.

As any of you who have read this blog for even a short while know, I believe that Hamas and Fatah have the same goal - destroying the Jewish state - but only differ on the methods. To the extent that Hamas has been set up by Israeli governments for the last 16 years as the bogeyman that must be avoided, the prospect of a Hamas takeover ought to matter to the West. Apparently, it does not. That says something about how ineffective Israel's hasbara (public relations) with the West have been.

What could go wrong?


At 7:12 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The prospects of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation are distant. Even Fatah refuses to negotiate with Israel. And no Israeli government is going to effectively turn Yesha over to Iran. There will be no Palestinian state happening in the next two years. The Palestinians would have a lot of work to do to get ready for statehood and they are nowhere near to getting started on that objective.


Post a Comment

<< Home