Rising tensions between Hamas and Abbas and their far reaching implications

Present political tensions in Palestine were initiated by a near complete international hostility initiated by israel and the US as a reaction to the rise of Hamas to power. Internally, Abbas is playing on this hostility and on the pressures exerted on Hamas in the hope of regaining power.
Recently, Hamas announced it is going to have its own internal security force composed of volunteers in order to curb the growing insecurity in the territories provoked by thugs and militants unhappy with their loss of power (on this you can read Laila's post). However, Abbas, as president of the PA, vetoed the Hamas initiative.

The Associated press reported today some very harsh statements from Hamas's political chief Khaled Mechaal targeting Abbas without naming him. Mechaal pronounced these statements in a rally in a Palestinian refugee camp north of Damascus and in the presence of high ranking officials from the Hezbollah, the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine and Palestinian FM Mahmoud Zahar.
I believe that tensions meant to oust Hamas from Power can actually spread to the entire middle east. Pro Hamas and anti-Hamas camps are being formed. Jordan's king have already criticized Hamas publicly and accused them of arms smuggling in Jordan. Saudi Arabia will be busy preparing for what it seems to be the next Al-Qaida operation. Egypt's Mubarak is the US's number one ally in the middle east and will not turn on them. In the Hamas camp you find Lebanon's Hezbollah, Syria's Assad and most importantly Iran.

The Hamas's game the US is playing with Israel and their Arab allies have the potential to stir up a war in the entire region with one strike of a match.

Mechaal's words (My translation from Le Monde's article)
''There is a another government in Palestine, a counter-government depriving us from our prerogatives and the rights of our people. This is a plot.''
''A faction of our own people is plotting against us. They are carrying out a plan to defeat us.''
''Those who think that our failure is an equation to reintegrate power with the help of Israel and the US are being misled. Only ballot boxes can legitimize power.''
''This military coup disguised as a security matter and supported by zionists and the US will be defeated by the Palestinian people.''

In an interview with Germany's ZDF channel on Friday, April 21st, Mechaal said that Hamas will recognize Israel in exchange of palestinian land occupied during the 1967 war and Jerusalem.

''"Israel must withdraw from territories it has occupied since 1967. This includes the capital of Jerusalem." Other conditions Mishaal said include "the right of refugees to return as well as the dismantlement of Jewish settlements, the destruction of the separation barrier and the release of all (Palestinian) detainees. "If and only if Israel does this, then Hamas, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims will be ready for true peace."''

Mechaal said that he was disappointed by Europeans. So I am. Instead of playing in Israel's and Bush's hands, the present difficulties of the PA must be an opportunity for the Europeans to regain the lead and the initiative for an Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution.


Cosmic Duck said...

A good post.

You're probably correct that the EU holds the clue to moving things in Palestine. They just have to get out of the American embrace,and start renewing the common foreign policy. Angela Merkel and her social democratic foreign minister appear to be not as America-leaning as was first supposed when they came to power.

It's vital to heed the signal that Mechaal sends out. Formulated in this way Hamas demands are not "unreasonable", but can only be considered justified on the historical background.

Sophia said...

Dear Cosmic,
lets hope that your appreciation of Germany's position is correct. In my opinion, Germany can make a big difference. But nobody can replace Joshka Fisher and his opinionated position toward the US which is very much european.

Gert said...

My take on Fisher:

"Yesterday's revolutionaries are today's politicians, today's politicians are tomorrow's reactionaries".

Sophia said...


Can you elaborate on 'today's politicians are tomorrow's reactionaries' in the case of Fisher ?

Gert said...

I was being a bit short there.

Whilst I still respect Fisher as a fairly progressive politician, my interest in environmental issues shows that Fisher has slid considerably to the centre since getting out of the green shadows and into mainstream politics. I guess that's kind of normal. Sometimes that can be a good thing, sometimes not...

Looking at the political biographies of people like Blair and Straw, what you see there is the morphing of quite militant students into quite authoritarian figures. In particular Blair, as the Dispatches program showed once again, is more than willing to sacrifice the power of the people to further his own ideas. Problem is that Blair is often (probably) quite well meaning but loses sight of pluralism and democratic consensus. Re Iraq, he recently stated "he'd do it all again". Even a donkey only stubs his toe once... Not so with Dear Leader...

Sorry for going off-topic...

Sophia said...

You are right. Some of them get to loose themselves when in power. However, I cannot speak about Fisher's position in environnemental issues but it seems to me that germany is a very environnementalist country and the green party there is the most powerful among european green parties.

Gert said...

Off topic:

Looks like our mutual "friend" (lol) is at it again...

Scroll down to Peter42y2 on Thu Apr 20. We've been linked!

Cosmic Duck said...

"Yesterday's revolutionaries are today's politicians, today's politicians are tomorrow's reactionaries".

The president of the European Commission, who is now a leading champion for neoliberalist policies to be adopted in the EU, was a Maoist, when he was a student. Jospin was a trotzkist, when he was young.

In Fischer's case, you're right, Gert, that he also moved somewhat, i.e. towards the centre. But after all, he stood for some style that was a little different from other "apparatchick"-politicians in the German federal state. I still remember when he told Rumsfeld off at the NATO ministerial meeting shortly after the attack on Iraq. That was really wonderful to see some of the diplomatic polish being peeled off. Also the Greens in the German government were responsible for Germany stopping the further development of nuclear power - they even carried through a plan to start dismanteling it.

But of course, in suit and tie and as a responsbile foreign minister of the federal republic, he was a far cry from the revolutionary student being beaten up by the police in demonstrations in the 1970s.

Richard said...

What was it someone once said?

All power corrupts!?

I think, albeit to varying degrees, that's as inarguable as it is inevitable.

Since March 29th 2006