Palestinian Officials Openly Fault Hamas

by IPT News:

Israel’s Operation Protective Edge is about to enter its second week, yet Hamas officials show no sign of backing down despite the utter failure of their campaign to rain rockets on Israeli population centers.

The terrorist group controlling Gaza reportedly rejected a ceasefire Egypt tried to broker and fired at least 85 more rockets into Israel Monday.

While American Islamists have remained mute about Hamas’ instigating the conflict, and about Hamas officials openly urging Palestinians to run into buildings about to be targeted to be human shields, they have no qualms hyping the resulting casualty figures to criticize Israel.

Zahra Billoo, the top Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) official in the San Francisco area,likened spraying civilian communities with rocket fire to a rape victim’s right to fight off an attacker.

Billoo’s attitude might draw an argument from a surprising source – Palestinian Authority leadership.

Last week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas wondered what Hamas was “trying to achieve” given that Palestinians “are the losing side, and every minute there are more and more unnecessary deaths. I don’t like trading in Palestinian blood.”

For that, Hamas officials blasted Abbas for being “a criminal” and “a Likud member.”

Abbas’ criticism was echoed in remarks made by his representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council last Wednesday on PA television.

 

Ibrahim Khreisheh warned Palestinians not to try to rush to the International Criminal Court for relief. Palestinian behavior, he said, would look worse in comparison with Israel. “The missiles that are now being launched against Israel – each and every missile constitutes a crime against humanity, whether it hits or misses, because it is directed at civilian targets,” he said in video translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

He prefaced his remarks by saying he’s not a politician, so he can speak without concern for his popularity. He mentioned Hamas officials encouraging people to be human shields, staying in structures after Israel warned occupants to get out before the bombs fall. “In such a case if someone is killed, the law considers that a mistake rather than intentional killing, because [the Israelis] followed the legal procedures. As for the missiles launched from our side, we never warn anyone about where these missiles are about to fall, or about the operations we carry out.”

Hamas’ rhetoric leads directly to higher Palestinian casualties, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Here’s the difference between us. We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

In a bit of public relations confounding to the sane, Sami Abu Zuhri, the same Hamas spokesman who encouraged people to be human shields, appeared on Hamas’ Al Aqsa television Sunday to say his group was not leading Palestinians to destruction. “We are leading them to death,” he said.

That, somehow, was offered as a good thing for Palestinians. Surreal.

 

Latest Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Exposes Surreal Reality

1022IPT News:

Perception and reality continued to baffle Palestinian advocates Thursday as the conflict between Israel and Gaza terrorist groups reached a third day.

Palestinians fired more than 100 rockets at major Israeli cities, including Beersheba, Rehovot, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Israel, meanwhile, stepped up efforts to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure and leadership responsible. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his security cabinet late Thursday, saying the military campaign was going well and “more stages were expected.”

Slate reporter William Saletan, a critic of the Israeli government, nonetheless saw reality. Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas started firing rockets at Israeli cities “well before” Israel started bombing targets in Gaza, he wrote.

Israel has conducted more than 500 airstrikes as part of Operation Protective Edge since then, yet the death toll stands at around 80 Palestinians. Their deaths are tragic, but “you’d have to conclude that either Israel is failing miserably to kill people or, more plausibly, it’s largely trying not to kill them, Saleton wrote” He notes that Israel directly calls occupants of targeted buildings urging them to get out, and fires warning shots in an attempt to limit civilian casualties.

Yet, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls Israel’s strikes, which target rocket launch sites and terrorist leadership, “collective genocide.”

“The charges are false,” Saletan writes. “By the standards of war, Israel’s efforts to spare civilians have been exemplary.”

For Israel’s foes, “exemplary” is not a concept they can handle. National Islamist groups are condemning Israel’s strikes while staying silent about Hamas rocket fire. Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Los Angeles office, similarly absolves Hamas of responsibility for the violence. And, ignoring Israel’s attempts to minimize casualties, he lashed out on Twitter, with a “damn you” post toward Israel and those who support “your filthy, criminal #Zionism.”

Hassan Shibly, Ayloush’s CAIR colleague in Tampa, similarly blasted Israel for not valuing “the lives of Palestinian children and on an institutional level treats Palestinians worse than animals.”

Contrast that with the reality of the Hamas message this week. When it comes to the Israeli warning calls, a Hamas official went on the group’s Al Aqsa television this week to encourage people to stay in the buildings as human shields, the Israel Defense Forces reported, offering the video.

 

Read more

 

The Palestinian Authority’s Cash for Killers Program: US Funding Palestinian Terrorists?

StakelbackTerror_BlogThe Watchman, By Erick Stakelbeck:

As Israel continues its defensive action to protect its citizens and eliminate Hamas rocket barrages out of Gaza, remember that Mahmoud Abbas, who the Obama administration continues to trumpet as a “man of peace,” recently forged a unity government with Hamas. Yet this should have come as no surprise, as Abbas is no stranger to terror.

His Palestinian Authority has long provided generous salaries to terrorists convicted of murdering Israelis.

And those PA terrorist salaries are paid for, in part, by U. S. taxpayers.

The Myth of a Hamas “Technocrat”

hamas sworn inCSP, By Alex VanNess:

Recently, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a new unity government that incorporates ministers appointed by Hamas.  By law, U.S. aid is to be cut off from any Palestinian government where Hamas holds “undue influence” unless Hamas complies with strict guidelines.  One of these is the public acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state – Something Hamas still has not done.

However, the State Department announced that the Obama administration is willing to work with this new Palestinian unity government, citing that the new government is composed of “technocrats” with no explicit Hamas affiliations and many having served in the prior government.  Additionally, the administration stated that they plan to continue U.S. financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

By continuing to fund the Palestinian Authority, the Obama administration is skirting U.S. laws and financing terrorists by giving these ministers the title of “technocrats”.  But what is a Technocrat?

The modern concept of a technocrat grew from works of science fiction, first developed in the 1920′s.  The concept grew throughout the 1930′s through science fiction publications and later becoming a full fledge movement.  The term has recently grown very popular in Europe, specifically in Greece and Italy.

A technocrat is an expert who exercises managerial authority in the fields of their respective ministries.  In a technocracy, power is placed in the hands of scientist, engineers and other experts in the field in which the hold power.  In essence, it is a highly educated bureaucracy.  The theory is premised on the idea that a Ministry of Health would be run by doctors, teachers would run a Ministry of Education and so forth.

There are multiple flaws with the concept of a technocracy.  I doubt anyone would argue in favor of having incompetent people running our government and economy.  However, a big flaw specific to the concept of a Hamas technocrat is that one can be an expert at a particular discipline and still be a terrorist.  These are not mutually exclusive ideas.

Not all terrorists are uneducated simpletons.  For example, Humam al-Balawi, who perpetrated a suicide attack on the Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan in 2009, was a medical doctor.  Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy and al-Qaeda’s chief strategist is a trained surgeon.  In fact, all of Hamas’s leaders are university graduates and several have advanced degrees.

Hamas is an openly anti-Semitic terrorist organization that calls for the complete destruction of Israel and has claimed responsibility for the deaths of countless innocent Israelis via rocket attacks, shootings and the cowardly act of suicide bombing.

Hamas provides social services including the funding of hospitals, schools and the building of roads.  Experts run these social services, yet the Hospitals run by Hamas serve as terrorist command posts; the schools under Hamas control are used to indoctrinate Palestinian children with the hatred of Jews and the roads are named after individuals who have killed innocent Israeli men, women, and children.

Additionally, the argument that these are the same individuals from the old government does not hold water.  Either it is a new government incorporating Hamas or it is the same old government, slightly rearranged.  It cannot be both.  Announcing a new government featuring the same old people would be a pointless venture for a Palestinian Authority interested in peace.  Just because these ministers do not have Hamas written down as their political party on their voter registration cards does not eliminate their obvious affiliation with the terrorist group.  Hamas has clearly exercised their influence by identified and appointed these representatives.

Lawmakers are rightfully pushing to classify the newly formed unity government as a foreign terrorist organization, and call for the government to cut off aid to the Palestinians.  Necessary undertakings until the Palestinians stop associating with terrorist, violence, and can show their willingness to accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.

The Obama administration has decided to skirt U.S. law and provide financial support to a terrorist entity by describing them as experts via science-fiction terminology.  One can only hope that the Obama administration will stop watching the sci-fi channel and realize that calling terrorists by another name does not make them any less dangerous.

Will the West Fund Hamas?

by Khaled Abu Toameh:

One thing is certain: both Hamas and Fatah are hoping to use the unity government as a ploy to attract financial aid from the international community, particularly Western donors. The unity government, which is backed by Fatah and the U.S.-terrorist-designated organization Hamas, actually serves both parties as a front for receiving funds from the international community.

Less than a week after its inauguration, the Hamas-Fatah unity government is already facing its first crisis as it remains unclear which party will pay salaries to tens of thousands of Hamas employees in the Gaza Strip.

It turns out that Hamas was hoping that the reconciliation deal it signed with Fatah in April, which led to the formation of the unity government, would absolve the Islamist movement of its financial obligations toward its employees.

That plan was, in fact, the main reason Hamas agreed to the reconciliation accord with Fatah. Over the past few years, Hamas has been facing a severe financial crisis, particularly in the wake of Egypt’s decision to destroy smuggling tunnels along its border with the Gaza Strip.

Hamas says that the new unity government is responsible for paying the salaries of its employees, but Fatah and Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas insist that this is not their responsibility.

The dispute between the two parties erupted into violence last week when hundreds of angry Hamas employees attacked a number of banks in the Gaza Strip after discovering that the unity government had failed to pay their salaries.

 

Hamas “civil servants” in the streets of Gaza. (Image source: YouTube video)

The Hamas employees also attacked PA civil servants who arrived to collect their salaries, which were transferred to their bank accounts by the unity government .

In response, thousands of PA civil servants, who were unable to withdraw their salaries, staged a protest in the Gaza Strip at which they accused Hamas “militias” of closing the banks and preventing them from receiving their money.

General Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank, strongly condemned the attacks on the banks and civil servants, which he said was carried out by Hamas “thugs.”

Earlier this week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas added fuel to the fire when he declared, during a visit to Cairo, that he does not intend to pay salaries to Hamas employees before the two parties reach an agreement on who is ultimately responsible for paying them.

Abbas said that more than 58% of the PA budget was already going to the Gaza Strip. Most of the funds were being paid as salaries to PA civil servants who lost their jobs after Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007, he disclosed.

The dispute over money between Hamas and Fatah shows that each group signed the reconciliation agreement for its own interests.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Also see:

Congress Seeks to Designate New Palestinian Gov’t as a Terror Org

Military spokesman for al-Qassam Brigades and Hamas / AP

Military spokesman for al-Qassam Brigades and Hamas / AP

By Adam Kredo:

House lawmakers are currently pushing a resolution to classify the newly formed Palestinian unity government as a foreign terrorist organization and cut off U.S. aid following the formation of a new ruling body that includes the terror group Hamas, according to a copy of the draft resolution obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The new resolution, sponsored by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) and Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), calls on the State Department to designate the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its new Hamas-backed unity government as a terrorist organization. The resolution is expected to be introduced Monday.

It additionally calls for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to be reclassified as a terror group and for the U.S. government to fully cut aid to the Palestinians, who have received around $5 billion in bilateral assistance since the 1990s.

“The Palestinian Authority has shown its true colors by forming a unity government with the terrorist organization Hamas,” Bachmann told the Free Beacon. “This nightmare scenario for the peace process means that Congress must reassert its constitutional authority and suspend foreign aid to the PA. We cannot continue to assist our enemies at the expense of our ally, Israel.”

U.S. lawmakers and Israeli officials have expressed shock in recent days that the Obama administration is willing to work with the new Palestinian unity government, which united the ruling Fatah party with the Hamas terrorist group that runs the Gaza Strip.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle maintain that the unity deal violates a U.S. law banning taxpayer dollars from being sent to any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.

However, the Obama administration has sought to exploit loopholes in the law and announced in recent days that it is willing to work with the new Hamas-backed government, despite Israeli objections.

The new congressional resolution maintains that there should be consequences for these moves and pushes for the PA to quickly dissolve the new government and outlaw Hamas.

Read more at Free Beacon

Pope Francis: Mahmoud Abbas is a “Man of Peace”

pa1-450x307by :

AP reported Sunday that “Pope Francis delivered a powerful boost of support to the Palestinians during a Holy Land pilgrimage Sunday, repeatedly backing their statehood aspirations, praying solemnly at Israel’s controversial separation barrier and calling the stalemate in peace efforts ‘unacceptable.’”

Not only that, but “Palestinian officials hailed Francis’ decision to refer to the ‘state of Palestine.’ In its official program, the Vatican referred to President Mahmoud Abbas as the president of the ‘state of Palestine,’ and his Bethlehem office as the ‘presidential palace.’ He pointedly called Abbas a ‘man of peace.’”

This is not really all that surprising. After all, this is the Pope who wrote last November that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” If “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” then Abbas is certainly a “man of peace.”

Abbas is the “man of peace” who said on March 15, 2013: “As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas.” He said that while undoubtedly knowing that Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna is quoted in the Hamas Charter as saying: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV has featured a music video that proclaimed: “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah.”

The “man of peace” heads up Fatah, which is hardly more “moderate.” Palestinian Media Watch reported on May 14 that “on one of its official Facebook pages the Fatah movement, which is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, yesterday posted a warning to Israelis. A sign showed an assault rifle and a map of ‘Palestine’ that included both PA areas and all of Israel. In Arabic, Hebrew, and English it said: ‘Warning. This is a land of a Palestinian state and the occupation to leave immediately’ (English original).”

Likewise, in mid-March, Palestinian official Abbas Zaki, a close friend of the “man of peace,” declared: “These Israelis have no belief, no principles. They are an advanced instrument of evil. They say, the Holocaust, and so on – fine, why are they doing this to us? Therefore, I believe that Allah, will gather them so we can kill them. I am informing the murderer of his death.” Fatah has also vowed to “adhere to the option of armed resistance until the liberation of all of Palestine,” and threatened to “turn the beloved [Gaza] Strip into a graveyard for your soldiers, and we will turn Tel Aviv into a ball of fire.”

Read more at Front Page

Sources: U.S. Held Secret Meeting With Hamas

hamas (1)By Aaron Klein:

TEL AVIV – The U.S. last week held a clandestine meeting in Egypt with Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of Hamas, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The officials would not say whether the meeting was with a current member of the U.S. government or a former diplomat acting as a proxy for the Obama administration.

Messages were exchanged about Hamas’s intentions as part of a newly formed Palestinian unity government with the rival Fatah party, led by Mahmoud Abbas, the officials said.

Last week, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted an unnamed White House official stating the Obama administration is leaning toward cooperating with the Hamas-Fatah Palestinian unity government, even if Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and despite objections from the Israeli government.

Previously the Middle East Quartet, made up of the U.S., Russia, European Union and United Nations, declared it would not deal with Hamas unless the terrorist group renounces violence and recognizes Israel.

The Haaretz article did not mention any U.S.-Hamas meeting.

Hamas has several times claimed it talked with U.S. surrogates about eventually establishing open relations.

Sources within Hamas previously disclosed to WND a June 2009 meeting with former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering. The sources claimed the meeting was about opening future talks with the West.

The State Department has not replied to a WND request for comment.

The gathering allegedly took place in Geneva with two Hamas leaders, Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Naim is Hamas’ health minister, while al-Zahar is one of the main Hamas leaders in Gaza.

Pickering’s meeting with Hamas in 2009 served as an “important step” to open eventual dialogue between the Islamic group and the Obama administration, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, Ahmed Yousef, told WND that year.

At the time, the State Department told the Jerusalem Post the meeting between Pickering and Hamas was not sanctioned by the White House.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly stressed Pickering acted as a private citizen. Kelly said he was unaware of any prior U.S. governmental coordination with the former diplomat about the meeting with Hamas.

Pickering was the State Department’s lead investigator on the Benghazi attack.

Read more at WND

The Winds of Anti-Semitism

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Israeli PM Netanyahu has said that there will be no peace talks unless Hamas recognizes Israel.

by Justin O Smith:

For the past sixty-six years of this modern era, Israel has been forced to defend itself, day in and day out, from a cohesive group of fifty-seven Islamic nations across the globe, even though, since its new founding__”the Jewish State, to be called ‘Israel'”__ on “the eve of the Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), Israel has appealed to the Muslims to preserve peace and participate in the rebuilding of the State on the basis of “full and equal citizenship”. But now, the decades have shown that the Islamofascists want nothing less than all of “Palestine” and the destruction of Israel, and Israel is doubly indemnified by an evil wind of anti-Semitism blowing through the international community, the U.S. State Department and the Obama administration.

On April 23, 2014, a nine-month long “peace talk” series of negotiations collapsed, after the White House and Secretary of State John Kerry seemed reluctant to introduce a more reasoned approach, that did not require so much more of Israel than it did the Palestinian Authority. Kerry was on a fool’s errand, if he actually thought Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would agree to expel 650,000 Jews living in so-called “Palestinian territory”, such as East Jerusalem; this same day, Kerry’s final-status agreement died, as Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leaders held hands aloft with those of the Hamas terrorists, and Israel immediately froze any further talks indefinitely.

On April 28th, 2014 during a White House meeting, Obama attempted to coerce and intimidate Israel by issuing a veiled threat that the U.S. might not be able to properly defend or protect Israel, if the U.S. led peace talks were not soon renewed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded that he would never compromise on Israel’s security.

A few days after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed a unity deal with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad terrorist groups, John Kerry told the Trilateral Commission (April 29), in a blatant act of anti-Semitism, that if Israel does not cut a deal with the Palestinians soon, it will either cease to be a Jewish state or it will become “an apartheid state.” This represents the first time a sitting U.S. Secretary of State has publicly endorsed an anti-Semitic view of Jews and the Jewish state.

With anti-Semites such as Obama and John Kerry at the helm of these peace talks, how could anyone expect them to succeed?

According to the 1998 Rome Statute, Apartheid is a crime of intent, not outcome. The Palestinians across their political and ideological spectrum have the malicious intent to found a state based on anti-Jewish bigotry and ethnic cleansing, while no Israeli leader or faction has any intention of basing national policies on racial subjugation in any form.

And yet, it is the Palestinians who demand that many areas designated for their homeland must be cleansed of all Jewish presence, before they will agree to accept sovereign responsibility for it. These “peace-loving” Muslims are so imbued with genocidal hatred for Jews that they insist all 650,000 Jews living in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria must be forcibly removed from their homes.

So who is it that wants an “Apartheid State”, if not the PLO and their champion John Kerry?

To make matters worse, Tzipi Livni, Israeli Justice Minister and chief negotiator, has regularly weakened Israel’s position and enabled Kerry’s hostile and bigoted policy views, because she owes both positions largely to the Obama administration’s support. And, then of course there are the leftist Jews of J-Street, an American Jewish group, who use deceptive rhetoric to agitate against Israel, have embraced the PLO’s unity pact with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad and are now defending Kerry’s “apartheid” remarks.

Last month  President Abbas signed 15 international treaties after the collapse of the peace talks. Two of these were the Geneva Convention of 1949 and the 1977 protocols on the laws of war. By signing these, the PLO leaders believe they are now recognized as an “occupied state”, which if true would undermine Israel’s contention that the 1967 territories are disputed.

Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the PLO’s central council, stated on April 29th: “We will proceed with UN treaties and gradually into UN agencies, the last of which will be the International Criminal Court”, as he suggested that the Palestinian’s would pursue Israel’s “war crimes” and that “There will be a moment when Israel will be brought to justice.”

Former Mossad intelligence director, Efraim Halevy told Israel Radio, “In the eyes of our rivals, it is in the end of the day a sign of weakness__ because they get something without giving anything”. But a senior officer stated, “Official rebuke, special reports, fact-finding missions and condemnations__ they (the PLO) are not ready for that,” as he alluded to how easy it is to show that human rights are being systematically violated everyday in Gaza.

“On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their state is irrevocable” (The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel).

Unilateral actions hold very clear lessons and dangers, as Israel learned through a 2005 disengagement from Gaza with thousands of rockets raining down on southern Israel, something Mahmoud Abbas may well soon discover. PLO negotiator, Saeb Erekat recently stated, “Israel cannot maintain the status quo”, and he is right, for reasons far removed from his own.

The propaganda and twisted rhetoric of the Islamofascists/ the PLO have led them into a dream of destruction and bloodshed, of injustice masquerading as justice and rights based upon falsehoods. And now, Abbas is considering a move to disband the Palestinian Authority and its security forces, to burden Israel with the responsibility for “the state under occupation”, scape-goating the Jewish state and inhumanely using “Palestinian refugees” as a war weapon against Israel; so, in light of this fact, Israel must move swiftly towards a One-State Solution, annexing Gaza and the West Bank, and in the process, Israel must correct the detrimental effects of 66 years of bending over backwards in the name of peace and human dignity.

“This is the natural right of the Jewish people to be the masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their own sovereign state…..Placing our trust in the Almighty, we affix our signatures to this proclamation….on the soil of the Homeland, in the city of Tel Aviv…..” signed: David Ben – Gurion and 37 other founders of the State of Israel (Establishment of the State of Israel).

New Palestinian Government Refuses to Renounce Violence

Mahmoud Abbas / AP

Mahmoud Abbas / AP

By Adam Kredo:

A top Hamas official said that the newly announced Palestinian unity government “will not recognize ‘Israel’ and will not give up the resistance,” throwing into jeopardy the new ruling government’s access to U.S. assistance and other measures.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to dissolve the long ruling Palestinian Authority and and has now surprised observers by forming a government with the terror group Hamas, which rules over the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and Fatah—Abbas’s political party that controls the West Bank—surprised Middle East observers on Wednesday morning by announcing that the rival groups would put aside differences to form a unity government with elections scheduled for later this year.

The move tossed another wrench into the fledgling peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and prompted sharp responses from U.S. officials.

Events took another surprising turn this afternoon when top Hamas official Hassan Yousef announced that the terror group would not renounce its commitment to violence and the destruction of Israel, according to Palestinian groups monitoring the situation.

Hamas will not recognize Israel—a chief sticking point in peace talks with Abbas—and “will not give up the resistance,” which is widely interpreted to refer to Hamas’s ongoing terror attacks against Israeli civilians and military personnel.

The announcement of the unity government came just days after Abbas threatened to completely dissolve the PA should peace talks come to a complete halt.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the news with skepticism.

“The Palestinian Authority, which just yesterday spoke about its dissolution, is now talking about reconciling with Hamas,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying. “They should decide what they want—dissolution to reconciliation? They should let us know when they want peace, because we want a true peace.”

Netanyahu said on Wednesday following news of the unity government that Abbas is siding with terror over peace.

“Does he [Abbas] want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?” he asked. “You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace, so far he hasn’t done so.”

State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki warned that the move could demolish the peace talks as well as America’s relationship with the PA.

“A great deal of effort has gone into building Palestinian institutions by Palestinians as well as the international community, and it would certainly not be in the interests of the Palestinian people for all of that to be lost,” Psaki told reporters.

Such a move would jeopardize U.S. assistance to the Palestinians, which has topped $100 million in recent years.

Read more a Free Beacon

Guest Column: The Palestinian Country of Lies

Arabs No Longer Take Obama Administration Seriously

by Khaled Abu Toameh:

The extension of the peace talks means only one thing: that Abbas will be able to use the new time given to him to try to extract further concessions from the U.S. and Israel, while all the time bearing in mind that Obama and Kerry are willing to do almost anything to avoid a situation where they are forced to admit that their efforts and initiatives in the Middle East have failed.

The communiqué issued by Arab heads of state at the end of their summit in Kuwait this week shows that the Arab countries do not hold the Obama Administration in high regard or even take it seriously.

The Arab leaders also proved once again that they do not care much about their own people, including the Palestinians.

The Arab leaders, at the end of their two-day meeting, announced their “total rejection of the call to consider Israel a Jewish state.”

This announcement came despite pressure from the Obama Administration on the Arab leaders to refrain from rejecting the demand.

A top Arab diplomat was quoted as saying that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry contacted Arab leaders on the eve of their 25th summit in Kuwait to “warn” them against rejecting Israel as a Jewish state.

Kerry, according to the diplomat, asked the Arab leaders completely to ignore the issue of Israel’s Jewishness and not to make any positive or negative reference to it in their final statement.

Kerry did not want the Arab heads of state to repeat the same “mistake” that the Arab League foreign ministers made on March 9, when they too issued a statement declaring their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

The Arab leaders, however, decided to ignore Kerry’s warning and went on to endorse Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal.

The Arab summit’s statement was published shortly before Kerry cut short a European tour to hold an emergency meeting with Abbas in Amman in a last-minute effort to salvage the peace process with Israel.

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cut short a European tour to hold an emergency meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan, pictured above on March 26, 2014. (Image source: U.S. Sate Department)

In light of the Arab summit’s announcement, all that is left for Kerry to do is to put heavy pressure on Abbas to agree to the extension of the peace talks after the April 29 deadline set by the U.S. Administration.

At the meeting in Amman, Kerry warned Abbas that failure to comply with his demand would result in U.S. sanctions against the PA, including suspending financial aid and closing the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington.

Emboldened by the Arab leaders’ backing, however, Abbas does not seem to take Kerry’s threats seriously, particularly in light of previous threats by the U.S. Administration that were never carried out.

In 2012, Abbas had also ignored U.S. threats and pressure by seeking UN recognition of a Palestinian state. The Obama Administration did not take any retaliatory measures against the PA or against Abbas himself.

Like most of the Arab leaders, Abbas apparently understands that the Obama Administration has been weakened to a point where it is no longer able to impose its will on any Arab leader.

The way things appear now, it is Abbas who is setting new conditions and coming up with new demands, evidently from a conviction that the Obama Administration has no choice but to succumb.

Abbas today seems to feel confident enough to set his own conditions for accepting Kerry’s demand to extend the peace talks.

Abbas has therefore now come up with a new requirement: that Israel release three senior Palestinians from Israeli prison: Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, PFLP Secretary-General Ahmed Sa’dat and Gen. Fuad Shobaki. All three are serving lengthy prison sentences for their role in terrorist activities, including the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.

The Palestinians also continue to accuse the Obama Administration of exerting heavy pressure on Abbas to soften his position and accept some of Israel’s demands, including the issue of Israel’s Jewishness. Some senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah have even accused Obama and Kerry of practicing “political and financial blackmail” against Abbas.

Abbas seems assured that Obama and Kerry are so desperate to avoid a collapse of the peace talks that they will be willing to accept anything he or the Arab leaders ask for.

The Arab summit stance on the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state is a blow to the Obama Administration’s efforts to achieve a peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

There is a feeling among many Arabs and Palestinians that the Obama Administration has no clue as to what it wants from the Arab world. They point out that the Obama Administration has failed in its policies toward several Arab countries, especially Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

‘There Are 1,700 Hamas Millionaires in Gaza’

Ismail Haniyeh (R) with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal Reuters

Ismail Haniyeh (R) with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal
Reuters

Arutz Sheva, By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar:

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction went on the offensive Thursday, claiming that Hamas in Gaza is corrupt and “doesn’t represent the Palestinian people.”

Fatah Spokesman Ahmad Assaf told Erem News that Hamas’s attempts to influence Egypt’s inner workings are “unacceptable,” noting the ties between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which have been outlawed in the Nile state for their part in terror attacks.

Egypt has done more for the Palestinian Arabs than Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, who merely spew empty slogans and sell religion according to Assaf. Hamas on Tuesday criticized Egypt for closing the Gaza border with Sinai, calling it a “crime against humanity.” The siege has led to power outages.

The Fatah spokesman claimed that while Gaza is one of the poorest places in the world, there are 1,700 millionaires among Hamas members, hinting that the terror group imposes steep taxes on its citizens for goods entering from Egypt and Israel, and that this money finds its way into Hamas officials’ pockets.

Assaf finished by praising Abbas, the “Palestinian President,” for standing behind his principles and treating any concessions in peace talks as red lines. The spokesman stated Hamas had returned the situation to the way it was before 1967, a somewhat confusing remark, given that it was in 1967 that the Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria came to an end, in the Six Day War.

Widening cracks in Fatah-Hamas relations

The Fatah criticism comes after Middle East expert Prof. Rafi Yisraeli assessed that Abbas’s life is in imminent danger from Hamas, which may try to supplant him. In doing so, the group would be aided by the fact that Abbas’s term of office ended in January 2009, giving Hamas claims of legitimacy.

Tensions between Fatah and Hamas have been high, with Hamas police in Gaza cracking down on demonstrators supporting Abbas on Sunday, with 13 demonstrators arrested and many reportedly beaten.

Those tensions have also been expressed in Hamas’s energy crisis. Hamas refuses to pay the exorbitant fuel taxes imposed by PA on fuel bought for the Gaza government from Israel, a key factor in the Hamas-enclave’s repeating fuel shortages.

On Sunday, Gaza was left without power for another day following an outage starting the day before, after the PA transferred only 100,000 liters of the 500,000 liters of fuel it had agreed to sell to Hamas.

Arafat Recognized Jewish State, Why Won’t Abbas?

 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas / KHALED EL FIQI/EPA

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas / KHALED EL FIQI/EPA

IPT: The Arab League is endorsing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’refusal to accept Israel as a Jewish state as a part of any peace agreement.

But in taking this position, Abbas – considered by the Obama administration to be a moderate Palestinian leader with whom a deal can be struck – is not going as far as his predecessor. Yasser Arafat recognized Israel as a Jewish state at least twice. In an undated video, Arafat said the PNC (Palestine National Council) accepted two states. One Palestinian, and a “Jewish state … Israel.”

 

 

“The PNC has accepted two states. Palestine state and Jewish state … Israel.”

Arafat also unequivocally accepted Israel’s Jewish character during a 2004 interview. Asked whether Israel should endure as a Jewish state, Arafat’s reply simply was “Definitely.”

“What Arafat permitted,” Ari Shavit wrote last month in Haaretz, “Abbas cannot forbid. The current Palestinian Authority president must say explicitly what his predecessor said implicitly. Peace? There won’t be any peace if Abbas doesn’t follow in Arafat’s footsteps and say that Israel is a Jewish state whose Jewish character must be preserved.”

Abbas is scheduled to visit the White House next week. In an interview last month that included pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to support the U.S.-led effort, President Obama told journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that Abbas represents “a partner on the other side who is prepared to negotiate seriously … for us to not seize this moment I think would be a great mistake. I’ve said directly to Prime Minister Netanyahu he has an opportunity to solidify, to lock in, a democratic, Jewish state of Israel that is at peace with its neighbors.”

Only if Abbas is prepared to negotiate seriously.

In Washington last week, Netanyahu spoke glowingly of the opportunities a peace deal would present. Abbas responded to that optimism with an adamant rejection of a reality that even Yasser Arafat could see. Israel twice before has extended generous offers that would create a Palestinian state, only to have them rejected, most recentlyby Abbas in 2008.

In an interview with an Israeli television station, Netanyahu said the Palestinian posturing creates doubts about the depth of their commitment to a peace deal.

“The question of whether there will be an agreement must first and foremost be posed to the Palestinians,” he said.

Obama’s Betrayal of Israel as a Jewish State

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has flatly refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Such recognition is a key condition that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded for reaching an acceptable peace agreement on a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Netanyahu explained the importance of such Palestinian recognition, which would amount to an expression of the Palestinians’ good faith intention to truly end the conflict by accepting Israel’s right of self-determination to once and for all live in peace as the Jewish state its founders envisioned:

“The central question at the end is of course ‘Are you willing to recognize that the state of Israel is the nation state of the Jewish nation?’. If you don’t have the brunt of the agreement, then why turn to the leftovers. Concentrate on the central and difficult questions that they need to provide an answer for, but they don’t provide an answer. If they do give an answer — its negative. They say that they will not recognize a Jewish state in order to leave the right of return on the table. So then what are we even talking about here? That a Palestinian state will be established but it will continue its conflict against the state of Israel with more preferential borders? We are a lot of things, but we are definitely not fools.”

Incredibly, the U.S. State Department backs Abbas’ position. The spokeswoman for the State Department, Jen Psaki, stated in an interview Saturday with the “Al-Quds” newspaper that “[T]here is no need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The American stance is clear in that it recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, but there is no need for the Palestinians to recognize it as such in a final agreement.”

Psaki is ignoring the Palestinians’ intent to throw out any Israelis still living in an independent Palestinian state. Abbas, for example, declared that “If we want an independent state, I will not accept any single Israeli in our territories.” He denied that he was against the Jews per se, but such antipathy is precisely what animates the xenophobic, anti-Jewish Palestinian ideology. This ideology starts with the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to falsely re-write the history of the Jewish homeland, denying that Jews have any historic connection to the land at all. Official Palestinian Authority outlets broadcast this lie over and over again. For example, in a documentary appearing last December on an official Palestinian Authority TV station, a woman proclaimed:  “I’m not against Jews. They can live. They can live on Mars, Allah willing, but they cannot take over places that are not their places, or land that is not their land and a homeland that is not their homeland.”

On January 7, 2014, the official spokesperson for President Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeina, accused the Israeli government of “falsifying history.”

Then there is the provocative statement by Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash in a sermon delivered in the presence of Abbas and broadcast on official Palestinian Authority TV. Al-Habbash said that any peace agreement reached with Israel is just the first step towards defeating Israel, citing as the “model” Mohammed’s conquest of Mecca just two years after he had signed a treaty that gave his forces time to gain enough strength to carry out the conquest.

Recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state would be contrary to the Palestinians’ goal of returning millions of the descendants of the original refugees to pre-1967 Israel. In other words, while insisting that Israel withdraw to the pre-1967 lines to make way for an independent Palestinian state devoid of any Israeli Jews, the Palestinians still demand the right to undermine the Jewish character of Israel, even as it existed pre-1967, by flooding Israel with so-called “refugees” (actually many descendants several generations removed from the original refugees) rather than giving them real homes in an independent Palestinian state.

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