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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Israels foil Hamas plot to kill Abbas - Terrorist group accuses Islamofacist PA president of "obstructing their right to govern"

Israels foil Hamas plot to kill Abbas - Terrorist group accuses Islamofacist PA president of "obstructing their right to govern"

May 8, 2006

Israel foils plot to kill Palestinian president
Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv
The Sunday Times May 07, 2006


A HAMAS plot to assassinate Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has
been thwarted after he was tipped off by Israeli intelligence.

Hamas's military wing, the Izza Din Al-Qassem, had planned to kill Abbas at
his office in Gaza, intelligence sources said.

Abbas, who became president of the Palestinian Authority last year after the
death of Yasser Arafat, was formally warned of the danger by the Israelis
and cancelled a planned visit to the territory.

The murder plan is the clearest sign yet of the tensions inside the
Palestinian Authority between Hamas, which swept to power after elections in
January, and Abbas's Fatah movement.

Hamas leaders, who refuse to recognise the state of Israel, suspect Abbas of
obstructing their attempts to govern, which have been hampered by a
financial boycott from donor nations. "Hamas considers Abbas to be a barrier
to its complete control over Palestine and decided to kill him," said a
Palestinian source who was an adviser to Arafat and is a close acquaintance
of Abbas.

It is understood that the attack would also have targeted Mohammed Dahlan,
Abbas's strongman in Gaza.

The sources were unable to say who in Hamas's secretive leadership had given
the order to kill Abbas. But an indication of its hostility towards Abbas
came last week.

In a statement to Al-Jazeera, the Arab television news network, Mohammed
Nazzal, one of its leaders, accused the president of being party to
"besieging and isolating the Hamas-led government".

Abbas, who is guarded by his own security men, divides his time between his
Gaza and Ramallah offices. While in the West Bank he is relatively safe, but
Gaza - stronghold of Hamas and numerous rogue terrorist organisations - is a
dangerous place. Shortly after his election to the presidency Abbas narrowly
escaped an assassination attempt in the Gaza Strip.

A recent request to the Israeli government to let him bring in new weapons
for his presidential guard was rejected by Shaul Mofaz, the outgoing Israeli
defence minister.

However, the Israelis could not ignore intelligence information regarding
the imminent threat to Abbas's life. "We monitor every movement of Hamas in
Gaza," said an Israeli intelligence source. "So when we learnt that Abbas's
life was in danger, we made sure to inform him without delay."

Matti Steinberg, a former adviser to the head of Shin Bet, Israel's domestic
security service, said he would be surprised if any decision to kill Abbas
had been taken by Ismail Haniyeh, the Palestinian prime minister, or Khaled
Mashaal, the Damascus-based Hamas leader. "However, such an action by the
military wing of Hamas is very plausible," he added.

While Hamas is struggling to maintain power, and Abbas to remain relevant,
economic chaos is spreading in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. For the
second month in a row 160,000 employees of the Palestinian Authority have
not received their salaries.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Website: www.imra.org.il

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