Al Qaeda infilitration of Gaza to be discussed at peace summit summit postponed due to ongoing terrorist attacks
October 10, 2005
MIM: Peace summit Sharon and Abbas style.
As Arab demand more concessions Israel offers to go beyond expectations by releasing terrorist prisoners, and approving the arming of the PA/Hamas, and throwing in the use of armoured personal carriers. The Al Qaeda infilitration of Gaza, (which is so open that one wonders if they will also be running in the PA elections), has just become reason for Israeli officials and the media if the Arabs are really serious about stopping violence, (!).
Al Qaeda is now giving out pamphlets at area mosques with an eye to recruiting which may spark a 'turf war' between Al Aqsa and Hamas.
The peace summit has had to be postponed after the IDFshot 3 Arabs engaged in planting a bomb. Note the Scotsman headine which reads "Peace summit threatened as three Palestinians shot dead". The fact that those killed were planting a bomb is irrelevant, and the threat and that the Guardian sees the threat to the 'peace summit' and not the intended Israeli victims.
Gaza City, 10 Oct. (AKI) - The presence of an al-Qaeda cell which infiltrated the Gaza Strip following Israel's August withdrawal from the territory is likely to feature high on the agenda of Tuesday's scheduled Israeli-Palestinian summit, according to an Arab newspaper. The London-based Asharq al-Awsat said Israeli premier Ariel Sharon is likely to ask Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas what steps are being taken to destroy the cell.
Peace summit threatened as Palestinians shot dead
VIOLENCE threatened a crucial summit meeting intended to promote Middle East peace efforts when Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians next to the Gaza-Israel border fence today.
The military said soldiers spotted the three crawling toward the border fence near the Kissufim crossing point carrying a bag - apparently planning to plant a bomb. Soldiers opened fire, the military said.
Palestinian officials said the three were killed, and contacts were under way with the Israelis to turn over their bodies. It was the most serious incident of its kind since Israel completed its Gaza pullout last month.
The clash came as Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was to sit with Dov Weisglass, a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a day before the scheduled summit between Mr Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Although there is some uncertainty as to when they will actually meet, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon are still scheduled to hold their first summit meeting since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza sometime this week.
A personal report:
I visited Gaza just after the Israeli Army had ended its bombing campaign in retaliation for the launching of Qassam rockets against the Israeli town of Sderot. The official reason given for the rocket attack was the death of more than 20 people as a result of an explosion during a Hamas victory parade in the Jabalya refugee camp, where its Qassam rockets were on display. Hamas accused Israel of having fired a missile which caused the explosion, but an inquiry by the Palestinian Authority established that mishandling of a makeshift rocket by Hamas fighters caused the drama. It was an embarrassing situation for Hamas. The obvious cover-up and the casualties and damage from the Israeli retaliation clearly put Hamas on the defensive.
Dual power in Gaza
Mr Abbas' government is simply too weak to enforce the disarmament of Hamas without risking a Palestinian civil war. Were he to actually try, his forces would probably be defeated in the showdown, as his own Fatah movement - the backbone of the Palestinian Authority - has been torn apart by competing rival factions.
During my visit I saw a telling illustration of this duality of power when entering the former Israeli and now abandoned settlements of Neve Dekalim and Kfar Darom. The entrance to the latter was guarded by the official PA security forces but the entrance to Neve Dekalim was defended by armed Hamas militants weaning masks.
Politics and weapons
Hamas has already participated successfully in local elections and plans to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections set for next January. But Mr Sharon will have nothing of that. He insists that Hamas should not be allowed to participate in the elections while keeping its arms. To underscore his point, Israel has started to arrest a great number of leading Hamas election candidates in the West Bank and will likely hinder the free movement of candidates during the campaign if Hamas is allowed to participate.
Mr Abbas in the middle