"In the autumn Hamas supporters will be praying in the Muqata compound in Ramallah (site of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' offices)," he said during a rally in Gaza.
"We are now praying at the Presidential compound in Gaza, just as we said we would. Abbas' regime will fall like a leaf come autumn."
It's far from an idle threat. Abbas is laughingly referred to by Palestinians in the West Bank as `the mayor of Ramallah' since he and his forces control little else and Hamas and Islamic Jihad have a firm constituency there...as well as a lot of shooters, some of whom get a paycheck from
Rayyan continued to say that "in the fall the man who kills his own people will be exposed, and we will annihilate him (Abbas) just as we have annihilated others like him."
As I've pointed out before, Fatah and Hamas are still engaged in delicate negotiations for a sulwah ( reconciliation) with Iran and the Saudis acting as midwives. If it happens, it will likely happen after the maximum in concessions is extracted from the clueless Olmert if Condi Rice still manages to put together her
What I think Rayyan was really saying, in between the lines is that Abbas had better no get delusions of grandeur, and if the Annapolis summit doesn't happen or doesn't go well, his days are numbered. It was also a warning to him not to target Hamas and Islamic Jihad personnel in the West Bank.
We are making a serious mistake spending millions of dollars to prop up Abbas. Anything we give him in terms of money and arms will end up going to Hamas or squirreled away in Europe or the UAE, one way or the other.
Ex-PLO `information minister' Yaser Abed Rabo, now a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee, made the obligatory response that "Rayyan belongs in an asylum. These people are mentally and nationalistically backward.
"Rayyad, Mahmoud al-Zahar and that whole Hamas gang really, they don't deem Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank to be that important at all. All they want is to spread the Islamic mindset amongst Muslims worldwide. This group has nothing in its arsenal but threats; this gang does not know the meaning of dialog, all they can do is curse," the PA official told the Ma'an news agency.
Rabo, for those of you who've forgotten, famously got in trouble with his old boss Yasir Arafat for letting the cat out of the bag that the second intifada was not `spontaneous' or caused by the failure of the Camp David talks or Ariel Sharon's littl walk on the Temple Mount, but had been planned months in advance by Arafat and his cronies...including, of course Mahmoud Abbas.