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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Shocka: Abu Mazen opposes lifting Gaza blockade

I suppose that there are some people out there who are surprised that 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen is opposed to lifting the blockade on Gaza. I'm not (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is opposed to lifting the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip because this would bolster Hamas, according to what he told United States President Barack Obama during their meeting at the White House Wednesday. Egypt also supports this position.


The issue of the Gaza flotilla and lifting the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip was the main topic of discussion between Obama and Abbas last Wednesday night.

European diplomats updated by the White House on the talks said that Abbas had stressed to Obama the need of opening the border crossings into the Gaza Strip and the easing of the siege, but only in ways that do not bolster Hamas.

One of the points that Abbas raised is that the naval blockade imposed by Israel on the Strip should not be lifted at this stage. The European diplomats said Egypt has made it clear to Israel, the U.S and the European Union that it is also opposes the lifting of the naval blockade because of the difficulty in inspecting the ships that would enter and leave the Gaza port.

Abbas told Obama that actions easing the blockage should be done with care and undertaken gradually so it will not be construed as a victory for Hamas. The Palestinian leader also stressed that the population in the Gaza Strip must be supported, and that pressure should be brought to bear on Israel to allow more goods, humanitarian assistance and building materials for reconstruction. Abbas, however, said this added aid can be done by opening land crossings and other steps that do not include the lifting of the naval blockade.
What the Americans and Europeans still don't get after all these years is that Hamas is the bogeyman that no one wants to see in power. While I'm not convinced that Fatah is any better, Fatah has an interest in keeping their arguably more popular rival at bay.

Egypt wants to keep Hamas at bay for fear that it will collude with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to overthrow the Mubarak regime. Recall that Egypt refused to take Gaza back under the Camp David accords in 1982. That's why. From Egypt's perspective, opening land crossings is okay only if done on the Israeli side.

And Israel continues to maintain the myth that Fatah are the 'good terrorists' and Hamas are the 'bad terrorists' and we'd rather deal with the good ones than the bad ones. Of course, at the end of the day, Hamas and Fatah have the same goal (exterminating the Jewish state), but differ on methodology.

What could go wrong?


At 12:15 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Of course. But its done on the theory Fatah could moderate someday. That will never happen with Hamas. And as much as Fatah loathes Israel, its not too surprising it along with Egypt (which also loathes Israel), shares with Israel a common antipathy to Hamas. So the blockade is not going to be lifted any time soon because none of the three parties - strange bedfellows on this issue - sees it as being in their interest.

The world better get used to it.


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