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Monday, June 18, 2007

An Arab view: Congratulations Hamas

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

It was the biggest insult to the Palestinian nation that looked on with embarrassment and disappointment at what had happened in front of their eyes. The scene was terrible. It was one of the biggest massacres in Gaza's history as the soldiers of Hamas killed tens of Fatah members, dragging those who were alive to their deaths even though they held their arms up in submission in front of the soldiers of Hamas who flashed the victory sign, declaring that they have liberated Gaza without shame.
What is happening? Does it make sense that Hamas chooses to fight Fatah when the Israelis are a stone's throw away? Could Hamas settle for being a mere tool for the Iranians to sabotage the situation and destabilize the region just as it did this time last year? Last summer, Hamas kidnapped an Israeli soldier and in response, Israel damaged it. This time, Hamas chose to attack the headquarters of Fatah and the President's office as well as to pursue its employees; therefore, it won the battle on the ground. However, which victory exactly is Hamas celebrating?
Hamas has buried the Palestinian cause and thrown the world's respect for the rights of Palestinians down the drain. Furthermore, it has polished Israel's image and thwarted any hopes for an independent Palestinian state. What Hamas has done is just the beginning of dissent that bids farewell to the cause and welcomes a war between brothers.
Arab societies have endured difficult times on a number of occasions but the modern day is worse than ever before in Arab history. For this, the Arab world must take a decisive stand as it should not accept the partition of Palestine even at the hands of its own people. The Arab world does not accept silence whilst one Palestinian party slaughters another. The Arab world will not accept the deposed prime minister [a reference to Ismail Haniyeh] announcing his support of the killing, lawlessness, looting, burning and pursuing of fellow Palestinians from Fatah and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the seizing of the headquarters and offices that Haniyeh's men carried out. The Arab world should clearly and decisively declare its stance and announce that it supports the legitimacy that is represented through the PA, not Hamas nor Fatah. Such legitimacy is primarily represented through the president, who brought about elections and admitted Hamas to the political competition, respected the results of the elections and accordingly assigned Hamas' leader, Ismail Haniyeh, as prime minister, granting him all the necessary support.
Today, President Mahmoud Abbas was forced to dismiss Haniyeh due to the latter's knowledge of and perhaps support for the crimes that were committed. He was dismissed because he was the one to announce the abolition of Palestinian authority, allowing his men to occupy every post that symbolized such authority. Haniyeh's official spokesman announced that the Gaza Strip was liberated from herds of traitors by which he meant the PA itself.
Everybody knows that Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] was very patient with Haniyeh, Hamas and its practices, Hamas' disregard of signed agreements, the fact that it carried arms against the PA, in addition to its dealings with Iran and allowing Khaled Meshaal to run Hamas from Syria.
For several months, Abu Mazen refused Fatah's demands that called for seeking a decision from the Palestinian people via early elections through which they could express their viewpoints with regards to who should run Palestine. Hamas does not want to seek the decision of Palestinian people as it knows that Palestinians are extremely disappointed with how Hamas had led government. Hamas had neither fought Israel nor had it respected conventions or eased the suffering of the people who have survived the worst stage witnessed by the Palestinian occupied territories since the beginning of the Israeli occupation.
Thus, the League of Arab States should recognize the president as a valid president and leave the Palestinians to select their prime minister through elections. If the Palestinians were to elect Haniyeh then he should stay, and if they do not accept him then they should put forward another candidate whom they would accept.

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
the general manager of Al -Arabiya television. Mr. Al Rashed is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al- Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine, Al Majalla. He is also a senior Columnist in the daily newspapers of Al Madina and Al Bilad. He is a US post-graduate degree in mass communications. He has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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