This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1175

Abbas is Hamas : US labels Hamas as terrorists but fears offending WH guest Fatah leader Abbas by informing him of this

Paid Assassins officials working with kidnappers who ply lucrative trade unhindered
October 21, 2005

MIM: It looks like the US is afraid that if they offend Abbas he will leave the safety of Washington to his hellhole of a non existent country and stop making nice with President Bush...

"...Abbas met President George W. Bush at the White House on Thursday. At a joint news conference, Bush did not publicly back Israel's demand that Hamas be banned from the ballot unless it renounces violence.

"We are not going to write election laws for the Palestinians," the senior official said. "This is their election. They will determine who the participants are."

However, the official noted of Hamas: "They're terrorists. Armed groups operating inside a democratic state are antithetical to the building of a democracy..."

MIM: The administration's pathological political correctness in trying to appease the Muslim world that they are evenhanded when it comes to Israel has brought them to the point of tacitly condoning the head of an organisation dedicated to the destruction of Israel,while simultaneously declaring them to be a terrorist organisation. Should Hamas win the elections to the parliament of a non existent country, the world will no doubt be privy to the spectacle of an Israeli prime minister shaking hands with the head of an organisation intent on killing him and wiping his country off the map. A victory for Hamas would also mean a potential Nobel Peace prize for the second Arab terrorist in a row.

The European Union has gone one step further and is urging the US to stop their calls to dismantle Hamas completely, a move which seems redundant in light of the fact that the US's allowing Hamas to be part of the upcoming election farce will serve to solidify their power base and make dismantling oxymoronic.

US says it will not dictate to Palestinians on Hamas


Fri Oct 21, 2005

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration believes the Palestinian militant group Hamas is a terrorist organization but will not try to dictate to the Palestinians that Hamas should be barred from upcoming parliamentary elections, a senior administration official said on Friday.

The position puts Washington at odds with the Israeli stance and calls into question Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's suggestion that he would impede voting in the West Bank unless Hamas stays out.

"Our views on Hamas are well known. Hamas is a terrorist organization. We will not deal with a terrorist organization. However, we believe that it's up to the Palestinians to determine who will participate in their election," the senior administration official said.

Hamas, a Palestinian Islamic militant group sworn to Israel's destruction, has spearheaded suicide bombings and rocket attacks during an uprising since 2000.

Hamas plans to challenge the Fatah group of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in legislative elections in January for the first time, a move Israel opposes.

Abbas met President George W. Bush at the White House on Thursday. At a joint news conference, Bush did not publicly back Israel's demand that Hamas be banned from the ballot unless it renounces violence.

"We are not going to write election laws for the Palestinians," the senior official said. "This is their election. They will determine who the participants are."

However, the official noted of Hamas: "They're terrorists. Armed groups operating inside a democratic state are antithetical to the building of a democracy."

U.S. officials and diplomats have said that any shift in policy was pragmatic: Hamas-funded social services are popular with many Palestinians; it is winning local races and could make a strong showing in the parliamentary elections. Some Hamas-backed politicians and affiliates are seen as moderates.

European allies, including Britain and France, have been pushing behind the scenes for Washington to drop its call to dismantle Hamas completely.

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MIM: After Gaza was became Judenrein, Arabs who are unable or too lazy to leave Gaza, have had to turn their sociopathic proclivities on each other. No doubt this recent upsurge in murder and mayhem will cause Abbas to whine that the Jews left Gaza to make the Arabs look like a bunch of lawless miscreants whose excel in murder and mayhem.

MIM: It looks like the State Department will have to do better getting the concept of merit based societal advances through to Arabs in the Middle East.While a journalist lamented that the kidnappings might deter investment, the good news is that one terrorist stated that "we were influded by the Iraqi experience, but with less violence here".

Dr. Daniel Pipes predictions and his blog "Entitled the Coming Palestinian Anarchy" has expanded into a new blog entitled: "Palestinian Anarchy- Post Arafat" http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/369

MIM: In the Wild West Bank crime is the only thing that does pay, and revenge is best served at the barrel of a gun.

"...Citing the example set by Iraqi insurgents, gunmen are increasingly resorting to kidnappings to get jobs, break relatives out of jail or settle personal scores.

In a further twist, many of those involved in kidnappings have ties to the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent group linked to Abbas' ruling Fatah movement. Other hostage-takers even serve in the security forces.

Tawfiq Abu Khoussa, an Interior Ministry spokesman, acknowledged the government appears weak, but said little can be done for now.

"The abductions will end only when we clean our streets of weapons," said Abu Khoussa. "Everyone who has weapons can do whatever he wants to do and the authority can't assign a policeman for every citizen to protect him."

Our areas will be seen as unsafe and lawless," said Palestinian columnist Hassan Kashef. "These acts ... will discourage serious investors."

A leading militant, giving only his code name, Abu Abir, said his men take their cue from Iraqi insurgents who have seized more than 200 foreigners and killed nearly 40 in their campaign to drive out foreign troops and reconstruction teams.

"We were influenced by the Iraqi experience, but with less violence here," said Abu Abir, who belongs to the Popular Resistance Committees, made up of former members of nationalist and Islamist factions.

The senior Palestinian security official said he knew the identities of the kidnappers and asked Abbas to let him arrest them. But Abbas opted to negotiate, agreed to give the abductors jobs in the security forces and assigned a security commander in southern Gaza to wrap up the details with the kidnappers in his office, the official said..."

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1107AP_Palestinians_Kidnapping_Surge.html

Friday, October 21, 2005 Last updated 9:11 a.m. PT

Palestinians may have deals with kidnappers

By LARA SUKHTIAN AND MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITERS

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Rather than fight them, Palestinian officials have been negotiating deals with those behind a wave of kidnappings, and the lenience is worsening the chaos left behind after Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, according to a senior Palestinian security official.

Citing the example set by Iraqi insurgents, gunmen are increasingly resorting to kidnappings to get jobs, break relatives out of jail or settle personal scores. Gaza and the West Bank suffered 31 abductions in August and 44 in September, according to official statistics.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' reluctance to crack down on crime appears driven by the same fear that has prevented him from going after militants: he doesn't want to unleash a battle he could easily lose.

A top Abbas aide, Rafiq Husseini, denied the authorities were giving in to kidnappers' demands. However, the security official as well as a militant and a human rights activist all said otherwise. "No one is ever held accountable," said Raji Sourani, a prominent human rights lawyer in Gaza.

The security official requested anonymity, saying he was afraid to go public in the dangerously charged atmosphere in Gaza. He complained that the readiness to negotiate with kidnappers was encouraging crime. In a further twist, many of those involved in kidnappings have ties to the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a violent group linked to Abbas' ruling Fatah movement. Other hostage-takers even serve in the security forces.

Tawfiq Abu Khoussa, an Interior Ministry spokesman, acknowledged the government appears weak, but said little can be done for now.

"The abductions will end only when we clean our streets of weapons," said Abu Khoussa. "Everyone who has weapons can do whatever he wants to do and the authority can't assign a policeman for every citizen to protect him."

Among those seized were 11 foreigners, including journalists and aid workers, and Palestinian commentators are warning the abductions will hinder economic progress in Gaza following Israel's historic pullout last month.

"Our areas will be seen as unsafe and lawless," said Palestinian columnist Hassan Kashef. "These acts ... will discourage serious investors."

A leading militant, giving only his code name, Abu Abir, said his men take their cue from Iraqi insurgents who have seized more than 200 foreigners and killed nearly 40 in their campaign to drive out foreign troops and reconstruction teams.

"We were influenced by the Iraqi experience, but with less violence here," said Abu Abir, who belongs to the Popular Resistance Committees, made up of former members of nationalist and Islamist factions.

They have been involved in several high-profile kidnappings, including that of Manhal Arafat, son of former Gaza security chief Moussa Arafat. The gunmen executed the elder Arafat in a raid on his Gaza City home last month before snatching his son.

The foreign hostages have generally been treated well and released quickly.

American reporter Dion Nissenbaum and British photographer Adam Pletts, seized in Gaza, were served dates, tea and a rice-and-meat dinner. During their 6 1/2 hours in captivity the hostages watched TV together with their captors, who gave them a baseball cap with the group's logo as a farewell present.

"Our captors were young and friendly. One wanted me to find him a wife in America. Another said he was a teacher with three kids. A third couldn't have been more than 22 or 23 and made sure that we were as comfortable as possible," Nissenbaum, a reporter for the Knight Ridder newspaper chain, said in an e-mail account to colleagues.

The senior Palestinian security official said he knew the identities of the kidnappers and asked Abbas to let him arrest them. But Abbas opted to negotiate, agreed to give the abductors jobs in the security forces and assigned a security commander in southern Gaza to wrap up the details with the kidnappers in his office, the official said.

The kidnappers usually don't have political motives; they want jobs, to get relatives and friends out of jail, or to settle personal scores. Family feuds, street brawls, drugs, and personal vendettas have all been used as reasons for kidnapping.

Husseini, Abbas' chief of staff, insisted "there have been no deals" with kidnappers and that "no requests have been granted."

But Abu Abir, the militant, said demands were being met.

Kidnappings "put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to employ fighters," he said in a telephone interview, warning that if the government did not give in, the hostages would be harmed.

He complained of rampant nepotism in the Palestinian Authority and said he and his fellow kidnappers were simply leveling the playing field.

In some cases, corrupt officials were seized by armed groups because the government refused to prosecute them, Abu Abir said, citing Arafat, the slain former security chief who was distantly related to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The militants had accused him of illegal weapons dealing. His son was released after two days, his face bruised.

The security forces have made no known attempt to arrest the man they believe is responsible.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect, who lives in the Jebaliya refugee camp and heads a powerful gang. Just recently, the man walked into a Gaza police station to negotiate the release of some of his men from jail, and officers made no attempt to seize him, the Palestinian security official said.

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http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=91650

U.S. Accepts Hamas Participation in PA Election

Sunday, October 23, 2005

It's now official: Though the U.S. considers Hamas a terrorist organization, it will take no active steps to prevent Hamas from running in the upcoming Palestinian Authority elections.

State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack, at his official Daily Press Briefing on Thursday, said clearly that Palestinian politics is exclusively up to the "Palestinian people."

At the same time, McCormack emphasized that the American and Quartet position has not changed regarding "terrorist organizations operating outside of the rule of law" - though he did not elaborate. He said that in the view of the U.S., "Hamas is a terrorist organization."

However, McCormack added in a lengthy explanation, "It is also the case that how the Palestinian political process unfolds and evolves is a question for the Palestinian people. And I think that President Abbas is at the forefront, saying that there can only be one rule, one gun and one authority. And you heard he and President Bush speak just a short while ago ... about the fact that President Abbas was elected on a platform of bringing peace and security to the Palestinian people. And we are working with him and other members of the Palestinian Authority to see that the Palestinian Authority is able to live up to its obligations under the roadmap. Those obligations are that they not only have to stop acts of terrorism and violence, but they have to act to dismantle terrorist groups."

McCormack praised a recent Palestinian Authority law that forbids "armed displays in mass demonstrations," indicating that this could soften the damage done by Hamas' participation in the elections.

U.S. President George Bush hosted Abbas in Washington on Thursday. PA sources said afterwards that though Bush raised the matter of disarming Hamas, he did not dwell on it or pressure Abbas on this matter. Neither did he mention the issue during a joint press conference with Abbas after the meeting.

Both the U.S. and Abbas seem to prefer pushing off a clash with Hamas until an unspecified later date. American officials explained that Bush believes there is no
advantage to staging a frontal confrontation with Abbas just a few months prior
to the January elections, Haaretz reported.

Abbas, too, said he has no intention of barring any Palestinian faction from running, explaining this would be "counterproductive." He said that the "consent" of Hamas and other terrorist organizations to maintain a period of no attacks is proof that there is no need for a clash at present. Abbas believes that only the new democratically elected legislature will have the necessary legitimacy to disarm terrorist organizations.

In a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, former Deputy Defense Minister, Ephraim Sneh of the Labor Party wrote that three facts about Hamas must be remembered:

"First, the aim of the Hamas movement is not the end of Israeli occupation, nor is it the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Hamas' aim is to take over Palestinian society and impose Islamist rule. For this reason, Hamas poses a greater threat to Palestinian secular parties than it does to Israel.

"Second, Hamas is not just a terrorist organization. It is a movement supported by many in Palestinian society, though still a minority, as the recent Palestinian municipal elections proved...

"Third, even if Hamas does win many seats in the Palestinian parliament, it will not cease to be a terrorist organization. We must not delude ourselves into thinking that government responsibility will lead to Hamas' self-moderation. With this type of radical Islamist movement, there is no distinction between armed and political actions, which serve the same goal. At the core of this movement is a terrorist ideology that denies the rights of another people and coerces an entire society into a fundamentalist Muslim lifestyle. Whenever it serves its cause, Hamas will use terrorism against Israel and the Palestinian government.

"Anyone who wishes for Israeli-Palestinian peace and a democratic Palestinian state must also wish for the downfall of Hamas."

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1175