This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2983
Olmert says terror attacks on Jews the norm thinks attacks on "Palestinians" could provoke world outrage
June 17, 2007
A Fatah terrorist in Ramallah
Moderate" Abbas Executes Man Without Trial and Attacks Others
by INN Staff
(IsraelNN.com) Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas unleashed his party's Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist militia Friday, executing one person without trial and wounding and arresting dozens of others. Al Aksa said it murdered a 32-year-old Hamas loyalist from Shechem in retaliation to Hamas assassinations of Fatah terrorists in Gaza.
The bloodshed spread to Tulkarm, east of Netanya, where masked Fatah terrorists sprayed fire indiscriminately and torched a Hamas office, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency.
Abbas' terrorists also kidnapped a grocery store owner in Tulkarm, shot at two buses, set fire to a Hamas charity office and to stores and raided homes.
The US State Department said it will continue to train Abbas' elite Presidential Guard militia. American Middle East military envoy Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton said last week that reports of Hamas forces being superior to those of American-trained Fatah were incorrect. He and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently convinced American Congressmen to approve more than $60 million to help equip the Fatah militia despite the danger that Hamas might confiscate its weapons.
Hamas confiscated on Thursday and Friday a huge arsenal of rifles, grenades, ammunition and American armored personnel vehicles in Gaza. Hamas terrorists paraded in the streets of Gaza and showed off the weapons while hundreds of Fatah fighters fled to Egypt.
The State Department hurried to Abbas' side after Hamas devastated Fatah in Gaza. Secretary of State Rice said: "President Abbas has exercised his lawful authority ... We fully support him."
She telephoned Abbas to "underline the United States support for [him and] for the Palestinian moderates who have made the commitment to work with the Israeli government," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
McCormack referred to Abbas and his supporters as "advocates...with whom we are going to work.... Make no mistake about it, that the way to achieve a Palestinian state, is via the negotiating table. It is never going to be achieved via the use of violence, threats, intimidation or terrorism.... The strategy is to help build up functioning, effective, legitimate institutions of a future Palestinian state." McCormack deflected reporters' doubts about the extent of Abbas's power.
David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, stated: "The people who are moderate are not effective, and the people who are effective are not moderate."
Local commentators note little difference between Fatah and Hamas with regards to their designs to perpetrate attacks against Israel. It was Fatah under Yasser Arafat which signed the Oslo Accords. In the framework of the agreement, Israel authorized the transfer of thousands of rifles to Fatah, but the Israeli government documented their use in fatal terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
Both Fatah and Hamas demand the right of more than five million Arabs to immigrate to Israel as descendants of half a million Arabs who fled Israel in 1948.
One major difference between the two groups is that Fatah is a secular party. The Arabic meaning of its name is "conquest," and the word "Fatah" is also a reverse acronym for the Arabic term for the Palestinian Liberation Movement.
Another apparent difference is that Abbas outwardly accepts a two-state solution including Israel. But in practice, PA schools under his authority teach children that all of Israel is "Palestine."
The State Department has maintained that Abbas' statements are only a prelude to negotiations, but the Hamas takeover in Gaza and Hamas claims that Fatah leaders are linked with the United States will make it harder.
Fatah Officials Flee Gaza, Attack Hamas in Judea & Samaria18 June 07 05:38by Ezra HaLevi
(IsraelNN.com) Israel rescued about two hundred Fatah terrorists, aid workers and their families from Gaza, allowing them to take up residency in Judea and Samaria Saturday. More than 100 escaped to Egypt.
After the Fatah VIPs were allowed to cross into Israel, the Erez Crossing was closed Saturday afternoon. Hundreds more Gazans crowded in to try to make their way out of the now-Hamas controlled region. Some broke through to the PA side of the terminal and took advantage of the absence of Fatah security by looting it. A Hamas official told Gaza radio listeners that those trying to escape should return home, and that they would not be punished.
Hamas has taken over all the Gaza crossings including the positions on the Gaza-Egypt border. European Union forces who had assumed security responsibility at that border on behalf of the international community following the Disengagement abandoned their posts.
Although Hamas has solidified its hold on Gaza, isolated clashes continue. A Fatah man was killed by gunfire in central Gaza Sunday morning and a teenager died in an explosion. Hamas men clashed with a powerful Khan Younis clan as it carried out the collection of all non-Hamas weapons, a policy it has instituted and is now implementing. Hamas also announced that it would be illegal for armed men to wear masks.
Hamas Takes Away Peace Prize From Arafat
The home of deceased PLO chief Yassir Arafat was looted Saturday, with Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize taken, along with his various military uniforms. Arafat received the prize together with Israel's new president Shimon Peres and former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin after signing the Oslo Accords.
In Israeli prisons, Hamas and Fatah terrorists have been separated to avoid bloodshed.
Fatah Squads Hunting Hamas Members in Judea and Samaria
In Ramallah and Shechem, 250 buildings belonging to Hamas have been torched in recent days. Hamas accused Fatah of "ethnic cleansing," saying more than 150 Hamas men have been killed. Fatah replied that Hamas had "murdered 400 Fatah activists" in Gaza.
In Judea and Samaria, Fatah's Al-Aksa Brigades declared Hamas to be illegal and said it would continue to round up members of the Islamist group. A Hamas man in Shechem was apprehended and then executed without due process in the street by Mahmoud Abbas' men Saturday. The head of Hamas TV in the city was also abducted. The IDF had already arrested the mayor and deputy-mayor of Shechem – both Hamas members.
A gang of 50 Fatah terrorists broke into the home of jailed Hamas-affiliated mayor of El-Bireh Jamal Tawil, near Ramallah Saturday. The men trashed the home, threatened to murder his wife and kids and arrested two members of the family.
Businesses owned by Hamas supporters have been looted and burned. In Hamas-dominated Kalkilya, store-owners reportedly shaved their beards to avoid being targeted by Fatah death squads. In Ramallah, according to Yediot Acharonot, three French citizens were beaten for being suspected Hamas men due to their beards.
Fatah Government to be Established in Judea and Samaria
Fatah has announced that Salem Fayed, the PA minister whose account was used to channel international aid to Fatah, will be sworn in Sunday afternoon as PA prime minister in Judea and Samaria.
Both US officials and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have said that such a Hamas-free government would be embraced and funded by both Israel and the international community.
The Fatah terrorist organization is seeking more arms donations after losing 50,000 weapons, jeeps and armored personnel vehicles to the hands of Hamas.
Former Gaza Fatah chief Mohammed Dahlan has returned from Egypt and was allowed to travel to Ramallah by the Olmert government. He promptly blamed Israel for Hamas's takeover of Gaza, Saturday. "Fatah has been exhausted and destroyed by years of fighting Israel," Dahlan told Al-Arabiya TV, in his effort to explain the well-trained, US backed Fatah militias' failure to stand up to Hamas.
US Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, who has overseen the funding and training of Fatah's Presidential Guard militia, will reportedly continue to train Fatah forces. Dayton put forward the "Benchmark Plan" calling upon Israel to allow passage between Gaza and Judea. Israel rejected it; if it would have been implemented, it could possibly have allowed Hamas to dominate in Judea and Samaria as well.
Analysis: Olmert's message to US stresses new 'opportunity'
Herb Keinon, THE JERUSALEM POST
Jun. 18, 2007
Last week, a day after Hamas easily overran Fatah and turned the Gaza Strip into Hamastan, the message coming from the Prime Minister's Office was that the sky had not fallen, and that the developments - which on the face of it seemed like an unmitigated disaster for Israel - were actually a golden opportunity.
The message from the Prime Minister's Office was to forget the Yediot Aharonot headline from Friday - "Iran five minutes from Ashkelon" - and rather stress instead that there was now actually the possibility of creating Switzerland five minutes from Jerusalem.
"I think that what happened lately was also an opportunity," Olmert told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Sunday evening, framing this new theme.
"We will cooperate with this government," Olmert said. "We will defreeze monies that we kept under our control because we didn't want these monies to be taken by Hamas to be used as part of a terrorist action. And we will do what we can to upgrade the quality of life [in the West Bank]."
He said that in the new circumstances Israel could "perhaps take more risks than in the past. The purpose is to project to the Palestinians that when they are ready to refrain from terrorism, there is a genuine chance for a different life for them and us."
That was the overall theme, but in diplomacy, the devil is in the nuances, and in his speech to the President's Conference Olmert introduced a couple of new themes that are likely to become set points in remarks on the new situation.
The first has to do with blame. Perhaps cognizant of murmurs of some in Washington that Israel bears some responsibility for the situation in Gaza because it did not "take enough bold moves" to strengthen Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, or perhaps mindful of critics in Israel saying that none of this would have happened had Israel not disengaged from Gaza, Olmert said that this was not a time to dwell on the past, but rather to look forward to the future.
"There is a natural tendency to talk about who did the right thing, and who did the wrong thing," Olmert said. "Who had a consistent policy, and who zigzagged. We are not interested in that. We are trying to look to see how it can be used for an opportunity in the future, rather than to invest our energies in making an analysis of who is responsible for what is taking place."
This theme appeared at another point in Olmert's 45-minute address, which he delivered without any notes. "The state of mind that is taking over in Israel is not to look for excuses, but rather to find ways to establish the necessary foundations for a real and genuine movement forward."
Another theme had to do with Palestinian internecine violence.
Just as he did during his meeting on Sunday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Olmert emphasized in his speech the brutality of the violence evidence last week in Gaza. One was left almost with the sense that he was saying that while the world had become used to Palestinian atrocities against Jews, maybe this new violence would better show the inhumanity Israel has come up against.
Olmert said that he recognized that at a certain point in time Israel would have to respond to Hamas attacks on Israel, and that when this happens there will be many in the world who will "tend to ignore what happened lately, and to forget the terrible pictures of brutality, hatefulness and violence, pictures of people dropped from the 15th floor to the ground by Palestinians, and people shot in their knees in order to cripple them for the rest of their lives, and families butchered in their homes by Palestinians. I believe that the majority of sincere honest observers in the world won't be able to forget these pictures."
Even when discussing Syria, and Damascus's refusal to kick the terrorist headquarters out of the country, Olmert talked not about the organizations' terrorism against Israel but rather the atrocities these organizations are responsible for against other Palestinians.
The hard reality of the situation with Syria, he said, is that "it hosts the terrorist headquarters of organizations which are perpetuating the atrocities in Gaza and other parts of the Middle East."
This new message seemed to be that if the terrorism against Jews didn't move the world to press Damascus to get rid of the terrorist organizations in its midst - perhaps because the world has become used to terror against Jews and sees it as part of the game in this part of the world - maybe Hamas's brutality against fellow Palestinians would do the trick.http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1181813067063&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2983