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Militant Islam Monitor > Satire > Al Qaeda infilitration of Gaza to be discussed at peace summit summit postponed due to ongoing terrorist attacks

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.

Several messages have appeared in Islamic Internet forums claiming that members of the al-Qaeda cell in Gaza handed out pamphlets at two mosques during last Friday's prayer time, while some of the newly constituted cell's statements have been distributed in the area around the Khan Yunis refugee camp.

Besides the threat posed by the al-Qaeda cell, Israel is also concerned that militants from the radical Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah have also taken advantage of the lax security conditions that followed the departure of Israeli troops to infiltrate the Strip.

Israeli intelligence officials have evidence that a high-ranking Hezbollah member, Qis Abid, is in the Egyptian town of Arisha close to the border with Gaza to plot fresh attacks against Israeli targets, together with representatives of the al-Aqsa Brigades, an armed Palestinian group linked to Abbas' Fatah faction.

According to Asharq al-Awsat, Israel will launch a huge military operation in Gaza to root out the militants from the Strip unless it receives assurances from Abbas that the PA will handle the matter.


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.

At the meeting, Mr Abbas will press Mr Sharon to release Palestinian prisoners and make further withdrawals from Palestinian cities in the West Bank. Mr Sharon will forcefully demand that the Palestinian Authority disarm the militants of Hamas. But, just back from a trip to the Gaza Strip, Radio Netherlands' Bertus Hendriks believes that is unlikely to happen any time soon.

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
This would have been a favourable moment for the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas to enforce its ban on the public display of weapons by the different militias and to start implementing its policy of "One Authority - One Armed Force". But the problem for Mr Abbas is that in real life in Gaza, there is no single authority. There is instead a situation of dual power: on the one hand, the official Palestinian Authority and, on the other, the institutions and armed forces of Hamas and - to a lesser extent - Islamic Jihad.

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
Meanwhile, the first attempt by the PA to enforce the ban on the public display of weapons earlier this week led to an armed clash between a PA police patrol unit and Hamas fighters, which left a deputy police commander and two civilians dead. So Mr Abbas is hardly in a position to satisfy Mr Sharon's first and foremost demand: disarming Hamas. Instead of a forced disarmament, Mr Abbas is trying to co-opt Hamas into the political system. Hamas is willing to play that game, although at the same time it wants to keep its weapons, in the same way as Hezbollah has been doing in Lebanon.

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
All this leaves Mr Abbas in an awkward position. To shore up his power vis--vis Hamas he needs tangible political concessions, such as the resumption of political negotiations and a halt to the building of the separation wall or security fence as the Israelis call it. A few mere gestures, like the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners or the withdrawal of Israeli troops from two or three more West Bank cities will not be enough to break this vicious circle. So, the summit may go ahead, but don't hold your breath.

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