Some interesting developments over the weekend on the Israel/Palestinian front.
First off, the Beast appears to be working out some of its turf battles and difficulties, as Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh had a sitdown with `moderate' Fatah boss and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas today. After all, they both want the same things...the Jews out of Israel by whatever means. Their differences boil down to divvying up the spoils and patronage and quarrels over methods.
Simply put, Hamas needs Abbas to provide a legitimate cover for the West to start sending donor aid again. As the West's favorite terrorist, Abbas has access to donor aid plus the $1.4 billion Palestine Investment Fund. On the other hand, Abbas needs Hamas' street cred, contacts with Iran and popular support, particularly in Gaza.
For the gullible Western press, Haniyeh and Abbas agreed to at least halt the rocket fire into Israel and concentrate on killing Jews in Judea, Samaria (the West Bank) and Jerusalem. The decision to halt the Qassam attacks doesn't square with the information Israel obtained when it sent naval commandos into Gaza yesterday and abducted two jihadis from the Muamar clan.
Mustafa and Osama Muamar are part of the long established Palestinian clan in charge of smuggling the Grad 122mm rockets landed into Sudan from Iran and their delivery into Hamas hands in the Gaza Strip. Apparently Osama just got back to Gaza from meeting Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers in Khartoum and asking them to speed up delivery.
It also doesn't square with statements by Hamas and Islamic Jihad spokesmen.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: "The military wing has not given a commitment in this regard. The problem is with the occupation, not the Palestinian people."
And al Aksa and Islamic Jihad also claim not to have signed on to any truce.
Another problem is Abbas insisting on a `unity government' and essentisally splitting the pie to get the foreign aid flowing again. Abbas also wants a clear rsolution in any deal that appoints the PLO as `the sole representative of the Palestinian people. Hamas, understandably is unwilling to cut a deal that significantly lessens its power.
Abbas and Haniyeh will meet tommorow to try to work out a `statehood manifesto', which envisages a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and the West Bank.
The 500 lb. gorilla in the roomis of course, Iran, which thanks to its defense agreement with Syria can now directly move Revolutionary Guard troops to face off against Israel's northern border with Syria...not to mention the Lebanese border with Israel controlled by Iran's proxy, Hezbollah.