New York Only two days following the conclusion of the Annapolis meeting, Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas Fatah has declared that Fatah will fight alongside Hamas if and when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launches a military operation in the Gaza Strip to combat the incessant rocket fire of terrorists operating in the Hamas-controlled territory. A Fatah official was quoted as saying that Fatah wont remain idle in the face of an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip … We will definitely fight together with Hamas against the Israeli army. Its our duty to defend our people against the occupiers … The homeland is more important than all our differences (Jerusalem Post, November 29, 2007).
The statements came amid reports that some Arab countries were planning to resume mediation efforts between Fatah and Hamas to avoid further deterioration in the aftermath of the Annapolis peace conference. According to the reports, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have decided to invite representatives of Fatah and Hamas for talks on ways of ending their power struggle. A senior Palestinian official who visited Cairo this week said the Egyptians and Saudis have reached the conclusion that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wont be able to move forward with the peace talks with Israel without solving his problems with Hamas. A senior Palestinian official said Abbas had given his blessing to Cairo and Riyadh to resume their efforts to end the crisis with Hamas. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak phoned Abbas Thursday and discussed with him the results of the Annapolis conference and the possibility of resuming negotiations between Fatah and Hamas.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, When Abbas Fatah openly declares before the world, only two days after claiming to be dedicated to peace and fighting terror, that it will join Hamas in fighting against Israeli forces if and when Israel launches a long-overdue counter-offensive against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza, then it is obvious that Abbas and Fatah are not genuine peace-seeking negotiating partners. Hundreds of other facts and considerations to which the ZOA regularly points shows this to be true, but this is simply the latest, most blatant confirmation of the fact.
The PA is supposed to be fighting terrorism. It claims, at least in English, to be opposed to terror and meeting its obligations under the Roadmap. If he was serious about fighting terrorism and making peace, Abbas would be supporting Israel combating the anti-peace Hamas and destroying the terrorists, which is a precondition for a successful peace agreement. Instead, at the first sign that Israel will take action against Hamas in Gaza, Fatah, which was driven out by Hamas at gunpoint and its officials thrown from office buildings, declares that it would rather fight with Hamas against Israel.
Abbas Fatah is clearly a movement that is little different from Hamas, that agrees with Hamas in its aims, that shares the same positive view of terrorism, that engages in terrorism like Hamas, and would fight the Israelis no matter what. No wonder peace has proved impossible. All this simply confirms the folly of treating Abbas Fatah as genuine peace-partners and rewarding them with diplomatic support, funds and promises of Israeli concessions.
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