Monday, May 1, 2017

Abbas keeping two million Gazans in dark to court Tel Aviv, Trump: Israeli Daily

According to Haaretz, keeping in darkness over two million residents of the Gaza Strip, who are already suffering a 10-year siege imposed by Israeli regime, is” a political play by the Palestinian president to convince Trump he’s a partner for peace”.

The PA leader is set to meet US Trump on May 3.

The Israeli daily in an analysis written by Zvi Bar’el also claims that Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, has speared no effort to play up to Tel Aviv and its main supporter the US.

“Tens of thousands of Palestinian Authority employees in Gaza are seeing their salaries cut by at least 30 percent, and many workers expect to be forced into early retirement. The assistance the PA gives Gaza’s health and welfare systems is likely to shrink dramatically. And if a solution to the rift between Hamas and Fatah isn’t found in the near future, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is liable to declare Hamas-run Gaza a state in rebellion and perhaps even label Hamas a terrorist organization”.

Zvi Bar’el believes that the mounting pressure on the besieged enclave is pre planned and related to regional and international developments.

“At a gathering of Palestinian ambassadors from around the world in Bahrain on April 11, Abbas said he intends to take vigorous action against the “dangerous situation” Hamas has created in Gaza. A few days later, he ordered the salary cuts, pursuant to the European Union’s announcement earlier this year that it would no longer fund salaries for PA employees in Gaza ,” Haaretz says.

The Israeli Columnist implies that Qatar, that has been funding Gaza to purchase electricity from Israeli regime, is part of the plot to put more pressure on Hamas Resistance movement that is running Gaza.

“In January, Qatar announced that the emergency aid it provided to fund Gaza’s purchase of electricity from Israel would end in another three months. That decision wasn’t unexpected, yet Hamas’ leadership in Gaza had still believed Qatar would continue to fund the electricity payments.

Abbas then announced that he would finance the electricity if Hamas paid taxes on it – a condition Hamas couldn’t accept, since it would triple the price of power. On Thursday, the PA told Israel it would no longer pay for the electricity and demanded that Israel stop deducting the payments from the taxes it collects on the authority’s behalf.”

The Israeli columnist suggest that Abu Mazen Seeks to oust Gaza’s Hamas government by adding its own economic siege to those imposed by Israeli regime and Egypt, or to make Hamas capitulate to the demands of the Fatah-run PA.

Tel Aviv regime has imposed an all-out siege on Gaza controls Gaza access, except at the Egyptian border, and controls all crossings between Gaza and the West Bank. Egypt has contributed to land, air, and sea blockade on the enclave. The Israeli authorities have kept the Gaza Strip mostly closed in the past two decades and especially since 2007.

The official political pretext for the punishment was Hamas’ decision to set up an administrative council to run public services in Gaza – essentially, a quasi-government. This would circumvent the June 2014 decision to establish a Palestinian unity government until new parliamentary and presidential elections could be held.

Salah Al Bardawil, a senior Hamas official in Gaza, retorted that Hamas would willingly disband the council and let the unity government run Gaza, including its border crossings, if the PA would treat Gaza in the same way as it does the West Bank. Though Fatah claims Hamas doesn’t allow it to run Gaza properly, Hamas claims the PA systematically discriminates against Gaza, which makes the administrative council is necessary.

But this spat fails to explain the PA’s sudden change of policy, three years after the unity government was formed.

One explanation offered by Palestinian sources relates to the “general mood” against Hamas, both regionally and internationally, especially in Washington. Abbas, they say, wants to bring a “dowry” when he meets with Trump next week, since the U.S. president has made fighting terror a key principle of his foreign policy. Moreover, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states share this principle, and all view Abbas as the sole partner for any possible diplomatic process.

If Abbas is truly punishing Hamas as part of a diplomatic initiative, and not just for internal reasons, this could help him convince Trump that he is Tel Aviv’s true friend, and that Netanyahu is wrong to claim he has no Palestinian partner for peace. Showing that Abbas is genuinely trying to force Hamas to accept the unity government and recognize him as the representative of all the Palestinians undermines Netanyahu’s additional argument that Abbas can’t be a partner because he doesn’t represent Gaza.

If Hamas refuses to capitulate despite this heavy pressure, Abbas could raise it, perhaps even declaring Hamas a terrorist organization.

Khaled Meshal, Hamas’ political bureau leader, has decided to release the resistance movement’s new charter on Monday that according to Haaretz will reflect a main change.

“Unlike the old charter from 1988, the new one does not mention the Muslim Brotherhood. This omission is meant to paint Hamas as a purely Palestinian organization rather than one based on an external pan-Islamic ideology. But above all, the move is meant to placate Egypt, which is waging all-out war against the Brotherhood.”

However it seems that Hams is not ready to quit its anti-occupation stance as on of the new documents’ provisions says, “There will be no concession of any portion of the land of Palestine, no matter the terms or the pressure, even if the occupation continues. Hamas rejects any alternative to the liberation of Palestine in its entirety, from the river to the sea. Establishing an independent Palestinian state with its capital in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on the June 4, 1967 lines, and returning the Palestinian refugees to the homes from which they were expelled, is the shared, consensual national program, which definitely does not mean recognizing the Zionist entity, just as it doesn’t mean conceding any Palestinian rights”

Haaretz implies that the catastrophic situation that two millions Gazans are living, has intimidated Israeli regime, saying the “punitive policy toward Gaza will leave Israel on the verge of an explosion… Doing nothing could hasten the explosion in Gaza that senior army officers have recently been warning about, and leave Israel facing another round of violence”.

The Israeli analyst concludes that “Israeli disregard for Palestinian political and economic crises is a strategic threat to its own security and its international standing”.



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