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July 1, 2006

IAF Warplanes Strike Haniyeh's Office in Gaza - So Where's The 'Real' Palistinian Control?

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives
"THE Palestinians have a bitter joke: What would happen if the Palestinian Authority disappeared? The answer: How could you tell? "
haniyeh ahmadinejad.jpg[Image: Ahmadinejad and Haniyeh - terrormaster and terrorist (Syria and Iran, which support the Hamas leaders in exile, have no interest in a calm Israeli-Palestinian relationship)]

Israel just sent Hamas (the wrong one) a message, and cranked up the pressure another notch:

IAF warplanes attacked the office of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City overnight Saturday, setting the building on fire.

Witnesses said two missiles hit the south side of the building, setting it ablaze. Due to the late hour, the building was empty, they said.

The IDF confirmed the air strike, saying that it wanted to make clear to the most senior Hamas officials that it held the organization directly responsible for the kidnapping of IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

An IDF spokesman said that the army would "employ all means at its disposal ... to secure the safe return" of the soldier.

Inspecting his burning office, Haniyeh called the attack senseless. "They have targeted a symbol for the Palestinian people," ...

Sounds like Haniyeh is getting the point, and understands that next time the target just might be him.

Of course that's why he's been in hiding except for Friday prayers. However, he's the wrong one to get the message.

The problem is that the Hamas government has been unable to persuade Hamas militants, who take their orders from abroad - particularly Khaled Meshal, Mousa Abu Marzouk and Muhammad Nazzal , even to discuss a diplomatic resolution with Israel. And then of course there's Iran and Syria:

The haplessness of even Hamas has been evident in this latest crisis. The new leaders of the Palestinian Authority can't pay salaries or provide social benefits because they can't defeat the economic embargo that their election provoked. But the Hamas government has been unable to persuade Hamas militants, who take their orders from abroad, even to discuss a diplomatic resolution with Israel.

Instead, with Israeli troops already in Gaza and bombing its power plants and ministries in "Operation Summer Rains," Hamas is putting at risk its cherished hold on power and its power center in Gaza itself, its own little Hamastan.

But the Hamas leaders in exile -- in particular Khaled Meshal, Mousa Abu Marzouk and Muhammad Nazzal -- have little interest in domestic issues.

"The farther you are from the real problems on the ground, the more radical and inflexible you tend to be," said Ali Jarbawi, a dean at Birzeit University here. "That was true of Arafat in exile, and it's true of Meshal in Damascus."

Mr. Meshal, who with his Syrian hosts is said to fear losing influence to those inside, has actively manipulated the current crisis, said Nasser al-Kidwa, a nephew of Mr. Arafat who was the Palestinian foreign minister in the former Fatah-led government. "Meshal's aim is to send a clear message about who is in control of Hamas -- first to those in Hamas, and then to Palestinians generally," Mr. Kidwa said.


Related - Haniyeh: US is enemy of Islam and Muslims: Palestinian Prime minister Ismail Haniyeh called the United States an "enemy of Islam and Muslims" in an interview for Iranian news agency IRNA.

Posted by Richard at July 1, 2006 9:00 PM

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