Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fallout from the Gaza War

Hamas agrees to allow Fatah forces to patrol Rafah crossing (Ha'aretz):
The London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported Saturday that Hamas has suggested representatives of the Palestinian Authority be stationed at the Rafah crossing, but that they be residents of Gaza, not the West Bank. 

Also on Saturday, Hamas officials laid out some of their conditions for a continuation of the Gaza truce and for the release of captured Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit. 

Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha told Asharq Al-Awsat that his group wants European Union and Turkish troops to patrol Gaza's border crossings with Israel
I'm sure the heads of Hamas made these suggestions on their own initiative.

Assad  congratulates Hamas on 'victory' over IDF in Gaza (Ha'aretz)
According to the article, Assad told Meshal, currently in exile in Damascus, that the Palestinian peoples' response to Israel Defense Forces operation "Cast Lead" was evidence of their "commitment to their inalienable rights to their land and homes, and of their deep faith in their ultimate victory over occupation and aggression." 
More cheap words from Assad.  
The delegation reportedly told Syrian officials that Syria is the first stop in a tour of countries in the Middle East in order to "express their gratitude to them for standing by the Palestinian people during the aggression."
Mubarak must be ecstatic.

Egyptian official: Israel achieved all of its military goals in Gaza (Ha'aretz)
An Egyptian official has said that Israel achieved all of its military objectives during "Operation Cast Lead" in the Gaza Strip, having exacted serious blows to Hamas and it's infrastructure, according to an article published in the Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat on Saturday. 
The official is quoted in the article as saying that senior Hamas leaders are still in hiding out of fear of Israel Defense Forces strikes, and that Israel is not interested in pursuing a new calm or Tahadiyeh with the militant group. 
Egypt is not letting Hamas forget this.

ANALYSIS / The IDF model that failed in Lebanon succeeded  in Gaza (Amos Harel, Ha'aretz)

The Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported this week that the head of Hamas' political bureau in Damascus, Khaled Meshal, expressed disappointment at the Arab reaction to the operation during a closed session of the Arab summit in Qatar. Not only did Hamas remain almost alone in the campaign against Israel, it also suffered a painful blow in the military confrontation. The best proof of this was its agreement to an unconditional cease-fire while IDF troops were still in the Gaza Strip. Al-Ahram reports that Meshal admitted that he had not expected the Israeli reaction to be so severe and sustained - the same sentiment that was expressed by Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon two and half years ago. 

Outwardly, Hamas broadcast a different message. Military Intelligence tends to give Hamas high grades for the credibility of its announcements in ordinary times. But since the start of the ground operation, Hamas' fabrications have gone off the charts. One of the organization's spokesmen claimed this week that Hamas had expelled the IDF from the Gaza Strip. The spokesman of the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, admitted to losing only 48 of its men in the fighting. And how many Israeli soldiers were killed? Forty-nine, according to Hamas (in reality, 10 soldiers were killed). Conversations with residents of Ramallah and East Jerusalem indicate that from their point of view, Hamas won. They claim that Hamas withstood Israeli military pressure and that the IDF struck only civilians in the Gaza Strip. Asked why they think Hamas stopped firing rockets, they explain that it was a good-will gesture to Barack Obama on the occasion of his inauguration.

More deadly stupidity.

Gaza agreement eludes Arab leaders (Al Jazeera)

Arab leaders have pledged $2bn to help reconstruct the Gaza Strip after a three week Israeli offensive that devastated the territory's infrastructure, left 1,300 Palestinians dead, and thousands more displaced.

But there have been disagreements over how the aid will find its way into Gaza, with countries including Saudi Arabia concerned about giving funds directly to Hamas, which currently administers the Gaza Strip.

Rifts over Israel

"They [the Arab leaders] decided to confine themselves in a general statement to postpone differences," Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reported from Kuwait.

"Saudis and Egyptians are very sceptical of [giving money to] Hamas for one reason," he said.

It will be interesting to see who wins this battle. Qatar's position has been dynamic over the past two years. Once in a while they support the Saudi line and at other times they subtly undermine their bigger neighbor. This time, Qatar has made no bones about its position. The emirate's stance during the Gaza War made it possible to speak of a Syrian-Qatari axis in support of Hamas and aligned with Iran. So far, Qatar has confined its war to one of words, or, more precisely, images - through its widely-watched al Jazeera outlet. The Egyptians and the Saudis must be fuming, but it remains to be seen whether the Arab masses will stay riled up long enough to present a serious threat to the security apparatuses of these regimes. 


Anonymous said...

the fallout over the gaza war is in israel. you guys screwed yourself big time. hamas will be supported by arab countries because the arab people demand it. israel propoganda will always play the theme that arab countries do not support hamas, just like iran supply hamas with these tin pot weapons.The trouble is that propaganda is most convincing for the propagandist himself. And after you convince yourself that a lie is the truth and falsification reality, you can no longer make rational decisions.
that is why hamas will prevail and can't be destroyed. its a grass root organisation with popular support. peace will only come to israel by talking with hamas and not fatah who are finished .

Nobody said...

"Hamas is declaring victory, but in reality it's a catastrophe," said Abu Sada, a professor at Gaza's al-Azhar University. "The massive destruction that Israel inflicted will make Hamas and any other Palestinian group think twice before launching rockets in the future."

He added that Hamas is likely to try to focus on reconstruction and the need to provide tangible improvements for Gazans, who have seen their quality of life plummet in the 19 months since Hamas took control.

Source: The Washington Post

Amos said...

Anonymous, don't be ridiculous. Since when have the Arab states done anything that the Arab people demanded?

Critiker said...

Hello Amos, this is Critiker.
You wrote: “ Residents of Ramallah and East Jerusalem …[when] asked why they think Hamas stopped firing rockets, they explain that it was a good-will gesture to Barack Obama on the occasion of his inauguration.”

I am very curious why the residents of Ramallah are so happy about Obama’s inauguration, and why, all of a sudden, from burning American flags they go as far as thinking that Hamas stopped firing rockets as a gift for the new U.S. president?? He has not yet done anything to deserve such favors from Hamas, but maybe they expect that he soon will.

Amos said...

Hello Critiker, this is Amos.

The passage to which you refer is from a part of a Ha'aretz article that outlines the absurdities that Hamas propagandists have been cooking up about the Gaza war. The explanation that the interviewed Ramallah residents advanced to the effect that Hamas had stopped firing rockets from Gaza as a "present" to Obama is, of course, utter nonsense. I would not credit it with anything beyond providing a cross-section of the delusions that people have created for themselves to paint the destruction of Gaza as a "victory" for Hamas. As far as Hamas and Obama go, the organization has already made declarations about the new president that are anything but positive.

Having said all this, even if the Palestinians living in the West Bank and/or Gaza were happy about Obama's inauguration, I would hardly have this as negative and contrary to Israel's or America's interest.

Anonymous said...

when their own existance in in doubt. arab countries who side with israel will do so at their own peril. remember what happen to sadt or even rabin.