New York — A senior leader of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, Ismail Haneya, has described the upcoming Israeli withdrawal/expulsion of 10,000 Jews from their homes, schools, synagogues, farms and businesses in Gaza and Northern Samaria as “a national achievement.”
In an interview, Haneya was quoted as saying, “Hamas sees in the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip a national achievement by the Palestinian people. It is the fruit of the resistance and steadfastness of the Palestinian people. That is why Hamas is interested to see a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip so the Palestinian people can enjoy freedom as a first stage on the path of liberating the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories” (bitterlemons.org, July 25).
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is not surprising that Hamas leaders see this withdrawal/expulsion plan as a victory for their terrorist cause, because that’s what it is. As the respected columnist for the left-wing Ha’aretz paper and Arafat biographer, Danny Rubinstein, recently said when explaining his second thoughts about implementing the plan, ‘The fact that a majority of the Palestinian public sees Israel’s decision to withdraw as a sign of the victory of the intifada has long been known. It is hard to argue with this. Years of a peace process and negotiations between the Palestinians and Israeli governments, including Likud governments, have not led to Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The idea of withdrawal entered the mind of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon only after suicide attacks, Quassam rockets and mortars.’
“Just as Hezbollah was strengthened by Israel’s unilateral retreat under fire from Lebanon in May 2000, Hamas and all the other Palestinian terrorist movements will be similarly strengthened by this unilateral retreat, as another left-wing columnist, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Trudy Rubin, has rightly noted. Israeli cities and towns that are now tranquil will become the next targets of Palestinian missiles and mortars after the plan has been carried out. Already, the Palestinian Authority is making it clear that there will be no peace without further Israeli withdrawals. These are not the words of a terrorist regime that has been defeated or changed its ways.
“Every day, with more such victory declarations by terrorists, increasing numbers of murderous attacks on Israelis and the raising of further Palestinian demands and international pressures, only confirms that the Gaza withdrawal/expulsion plan is a mistake.”