Palestinian Unity Gov’t to Resign over Gaza

(Photo: flickr/joegaza)

(Photo: flickr/joegaza)

Over a year ago, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas formed a “unity” government, with the plan of governing both the West Bank and Gaza. Other than their shared animosity toward Israel, the two parties have been unable to cooperate, and The Times of Israel reports that the Palestinian Authority is about to resign because of its inability to act in the Gaza Strip:

“The government will resign in the next 24 hours because this one is weak and there is no chance that Hamas will allow it to work in Gaza,” said Amin Maqbul, secretary general of the ruling Fatah movement’s Revolutionary Council…

Hamas ruled Gaza for seven years but its administration stepped down last June when the Ramallah-based consensus government was sworn in.

Comprised of independent technocrats, the government lineup was agreed by both Fatah and Hamas and was given a mandate to govern both the West Bank and Gaza, ending seven years of separate administrations.

But in practice, it has been unable to extend its authority to Gaza, which was devastated by a deadly 50-day war with Israel last summer and where Hamas remains the de facto power.

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Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 at 2:35 PM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinian Authority’s Crimes of High Treason

(Photo: wikicommons/ Peter Fedynsky)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Peter Fedynsky)

Yesterday we discussed the fact that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is, in reality, not a better alternative than the terrorist group Hamas. Today, the Gatestone Institute’s Khaled Abu Toameh writes that while Hamas is open about its desire to destroy the Jewish state, the P.A. also continues to promote an anti-Israel ideology and considers any concessions to Israel to be treasonous:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership continues to give false hope to Palestinians regarding the “right of return” to their former villages and towns in Israel, as do the leaderships of most Arab countries.

This is what the Arab and Palestinian leaders have been doing since the establishment of Israel in 1948 — and why millions of Palestinians continue to live in refugee camps throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Instead of helping the refugees and encouraging them to move on with their lives, Arab and Palestinian leaders continue to ask them to stay where they are because, they will are told, they will return to the homes of their grandfathers and great grandfathers inside Israel.

Arab and Palestinian leaders are afraid to confront the refugees with the truth sixty-seven years later, namely that the majority, if not all, will never return to towns and villages that no longer exist inside Israel…

Abbas and other Palestinian leaders have refrained from talking about the sensitive issue of the “right of return.” The only time they make any mention of the issue is when they call on Palestinians to mark “Nakba Day” (Day of Catastrophe) on the anniversary of the establishment of Israel.

Nakba Day is marked every year in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with rallies and marches, during which speakers and participants emphasize that they will never abandon the dream of returning to villages and towns inside Israel. On this day, many Palestinians also hold a key, which is the symbol of the “right of return.” Some, such as Hamas, go as far as repeating their call…

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Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 at 8:18 AM  | Stand For Israel

Muzzled Democracy

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas has now been in power for a decade (after winning a four-year term), ruling the West Bank as a dictator. Hamas, the Gaza-based terror organization, is now gaining favor in the same area. The Economist notes that whoever has control over the Palestinian people – Hamas or Abbas’ Fatah – it is not a good situation:

Campus politics offers young Palestinians their only chance to vote. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, started a four-year term ten years ago. The legislature has not been re-elected since Hamas’s surprise victory in the 2006 ballot. So student elections are seen as bellwethers for public opinion. Candidates at Birzeit argued over the best way to fight the Israeli occupation: should they fire rockets or pursue Israel at the United Nations? The outcome was discussed for days on Palestinian television.

Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, while its nationalist rival, Fatah, controls the West Bank. They tried to end the split in June, when they signed a reconciliation agreement and installed a new technocratic government. The deal called for elections within six months, but Mr Abbas is dithering. Last year’s 50-day war against Israel earned Hamas new admirers in the West Bank, where the president’s Fatah movement is seen as corrupt and out-of-touch. A recent poll showed that trend reversing slightly, though his approval rating stands at just 40%; four out of five Palestinians are unhappy with the performance of the consensus government. “The outcome here is a warning to the Palestinian Authority,” said Ghassan Khatib, a vice-president of Birzeit. “The system is losing its legitimacy.”

But Hamas has concerns, too. Its popularity has slipped in Gaza, after repeated wars that have only immiserated the territory. Tens of thousands of civil servants have not been paid in nearly a year, owing to an internecine dispute over who is responsible for their salaries. A delegation of ministers travelled from Ramallah to Gaza last week to resolve the crisis, but they were…

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Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 8:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinian Authority Wants Arabs to Bomb Gaza

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

Yesterday, we reported on the Palestinian Authority’s official membership into the International Criminal Court (ICC), an attempt to charge Israel with war crimes. Yet, at the same time, writes Gatestone Institute’s Khaled Abu Toameh, the P.A. is calling on the Arab world to bomb Gaza, the very same actions they claim are war crimes:

The Palestinian Authority (PA), whose leaders say they are planning to file “war crimes” charges against Israel over its last war with Hamas, is now calling on Arab countries to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip, similar to the Saudi-led campaign against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen…

When Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the summer of last year in response to the firing of rockets at Israeli cities, the Palestinian Authority and its leaders, including Abbas, were quick to condemn Israelis for allegedly perpetrating “war crimes” against Palestinians.

But now the same Palestinian Authority, which condemned Israel over Operation Protective Edge, is calling on Arab armies to launch a military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

For Abbas and his top advisors, it is fine if the Gaza Strip is attacked, so long as Israel is not the attacker. In fact, the PA is inviting the Arab states to do exactly what the Israel Defense Forces did in the summer of 2014: to launch airstrikes against terror bases belonging to Hamas and other radical groups inside the Gaza Strip…

The PA’s call for military intervention in the Gaza Strip should be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court if and when Abbas proceeds with his plan to file “war crimes” charges against Israel for its 2014 war against Hamas. This call should also be brought to the attention of Western governments and international human rights organizations that condemned Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

What they need to know is that Abbas in fact supports military action against Hamas, but has a problem when it is carried out by Israel. Arabs are…

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Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 at 8:18 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinians Join International Criminal Court

icc_logoEarlier this year, we reported on the Palestinian Authority’s move to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), in hopes of bringing war crimes charges against Israel. The Times of Israel reports that today, the P.A. officially became a member of the ICC:

The Palestinian Authority became a member of the International Criminal Court in Wednesday and was marking the occasion with a low-key ceremony at the court’s headquarters.

Palestinians signed the court’s founding treaty in January and their membership came into force Wednesday, an event welcomed by activists who see it as an opportunity to bring accountability to years of conflict between Palestinians and Israel.

Israel is not a member of the ICC, but the country’s military and civilian leaders could now face charges if they are believed to have committed crimes on Palestinian territory…

Beyond seeking war crimes charges against Israel at the court, the Palestinians want the UN Security Council to set a deadline for an Israeli troop withdrawal from the West Bank and hope for new momentum of a Palestinian-led international movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions.

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Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 at 11:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

Role of Palestinian Authority in Israel’s Election Results

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Since news broke of Benjamin Netanyahu’s overwhelming victory in Israel’s elections, much of the world’s media has been attacking Israel for the result. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Alan Dershowitz says that Israel and her people have only done what they have been forced to do:

Those around the world who are upset with Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu electoral victory over the Zionist Camp party should put much of the responsibility for Israel’s rightward turn squarely where it belongs: on the Palestinian Authority (PA).

At least twice over the last 15 years, Israel has offered the Palestinians extraordinarily generous two-state solutions …

Israel is a vibrant democracy, in which people vote their experience, their fear and their hope. In 2000-2001 and 2007, most Israelis had high hopes for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian conflict. These hopes were dashed by Arafat’s rejection and Abbas’ refusal to accept generous peace offers. It is not surprising therefore, that so many Israelis now vote their fear instead of their hope …

The Obama administration also contributed to the election results in Israel by refusing to listen to Israeli concerns — concerns shared by Israelis of every political stripe — about the impending deal with Iran. Many Israelis have given up any hope of influencing the Obama administration to demand more from the Iranians. The current deal contains a sunset provision which all but guarantees that Iran will have nuclear weapons within a decade. Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog made a serious mistake when he said he trusted President Obama to make a good deal with the Iranians. Few Israelis share that trust, as do few members of Congress, and few Sunni Arab governments. That lack of trust was reflected in voting for a Prime Minister who has been more confrontational and less trusting.


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Thursday, March 19th, 2015 at 8:53 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinian Dictator Abbas Gets a Free Pass

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

(Photo: White House/ Paul Morse)

While the world’s media spends so much of its time, energy, and ink criticizing and demonizing Israel, it rarely does the same for those who are truly at fault. Writing at The Daily Beast, though, David Keyes calls out Palestinian Authority dictator Mahmoud Abbas, whose wrongdoings are ignored by the world:

Which “moderate” Arab president publicly hugged the genocidal leader of Sudan last week? Which Middle Eastern “reformer” just entered his 10th year of a four-year term? Which Western “ally” days ago ordered an investigation into a cartoonist for possibly drawing Mohammed?

The answer is Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

These three stories barely made it into Western press. Why? Put simply, the bar has been set so low that they were not deemed newsworthy. An Arab leader who doesn’t allow elections? Yawn. A Middle Eastern president who embraces one of the worst mass murderers in recent history? Nothing to see here.

There is a tragic disconnect between Western rhetoric and Arab reality. Abbas, if one listens to leaders of the free world, is a moderate, reformer and ally. He is better than Hamas, after all, isn’t he?

Never mind that Abbas said in 2013, “There is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas.” The point is this: Being better than a genocidal terrorist organization does not a “moderate” make. Pretending it does demeans the word. It is condescending to Palestinians and insulting to true moderates.

Less than a month ago, Abbas marched in Paris in solidarity with the cartoonists who were murdered in the attack on the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Last week, he ordered an investigation into a Palestinian cartoonist who may have drawn Mohammed.

Under Abbas’s rule, the Palestinian Authority has arrested activists for Facebook posts and jailed atheists. Two weeks ago, a 22-year-old student was imprisoned for insulting the head of the Palestinian Football Federation. Torture is rampant and Abbas refuses to hold elections, even though his…

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Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 8:52 AM  | Stand for Israel

Abbas May Halt Security Cooperation with Israel Unless “Palestine” Is Created

(Photo: U.S. State Dept.)

(Photo: U.S. State Dept.)

Palestinian Authority (P.A.) head Mahmoud Abbas has long found ways to try to pressure Israel into conceding to his demands. The Jerusalem Post reports that the P.A.’s latest tactic may be to stop any semblance of security cooperation with Israel in the West Bank unless a Palestinian state is created:

An unnamed international diplomat well-versed in the vicissitudes of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations of recent years told Israel Radio on Thursday that “it is not inconceivable to envisage a scenario in which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would put a halt to security cooperation with Israel in the West Bank.”

Israel Radio quotes the official as saying that if the Palestinian leader feels he has exhausted all other options in his quest to establish an independent state on the West Bank, he would in effect abdicate the provisional government’s responsibility – as per the terms of the Oslo Accords – to combat rejectionist violence from organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The official predicted that the United States would move to renew the peace process shortly following Israel’s upcoming parliamentary elections …

Washington would block unilateral Palestinian efforts to win statehood through UN Security Council resolutions by applying various levers of pressure.

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Thursday, February 5th, 2015 at 8:50 AM  | Stand for Israel

Abbas in Paris: Hypocrisy Isn’t Progress

(Photo: twitter/israelipm)

(Photo: twitter/israelipm)

This weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s presence in France seemed in stark contrast to that of his Palestinian Authority counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas attended the same rally, appearing in the picture above, and putting on a show of standing against terrorism. Yet, Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin writes, progress will come not when Abbas marches in Paris, but when he stops supporting terror at home:

Though the Obama administration and all of Europe treats him as a hero of peace, his personal record as well as that of his government gives the lie to such assurances. His critics will bring up his long service as a deputy to arch terrorist Yasir Arafat as well as his doctoral thesis denying the truth of the Holocaust. But we don’t have to go back to the period preceding his service as president of the PA (an office in which he is currently serving in the 10th year of the four-year term to which he was elected). Since taking over the PA after Arafat’s death, Abbas has not only turned down peace offers and refused to negotiate seriously with Israel, he has repeatedly stated that he will never accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. He has also continued to support the “right of return,” which is inconsistent with Israel’s existence though at times he has said things to the English and Israeli press that contradicts those given to his own people.

Moreover, rather than standing in unity with the world against terrorism, Abbas signed a unity pact with Hamas terrorists last year, an act that blew up the peace talks Secretary of State Kerry worked to keep alive.

But even more than that, Abbas has in recent months personally incited his people to commit acts of violence as part of an effort to falsely convince them that the mosques on the Temple Mount are in danger … Indeed, had the Charlie Hebdo and kosher market murderers committed their acts in Israel, there is little doubt…

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Monday, January 12th, 2015 at 8:35 AM  | Stand For Israel

The ICC Threat



The Palestinian Authority (P.A.) unsuccessfully tried to pass a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from the territory it gained during the Six-Day War in 1967, including East Jerusalem. Now the P.A. has turned to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the next venue in which it can continue its diplomatic attacks against Israel.

By sidestepping negotiations and seeking to join international bodies in the absence of a peace agreement with Israel, the P.A. has fractured the peace process. It has not just created an environment hostile to peace, it has erased every effort made by Israel, the U.S., and the international community to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The P.A. was created – at the inception of the peace process – and allowed to govern the West Bank with the understanding that it would work to end the conflict. In fact, it has done the opposite. When Israel extends its hand in peace, the Palestinians respond with terrorism. And this terrorism has now taken two forms – Hamas‘ violent attacks, and the P.A.’s diplomatic warfare.

These seemingly different approaches work hand-in-hand. Hamas initiated a bloody war this summer – forcing an Israeli military response – and then placed its civilian population on the receiving end of Israeli fire. After the smoke cleared from the battered Palestinian towns in Gaza, the P.A. began maneuvering in order to prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes at the ICC, trying to rob Israel of its right of self-defense.

Thus, the idea that Israel can negotiate a lasting peace with the P.A. is ludicrous. No democratic nation should have to sit at the negotiating table with a terrorist organization, and the Palestinian Authority is a terrorist organization. And yet, even Israel’s friends in the U.S. continue to insist that Israel do just that.

In case you aren’t convinced the PA is a terrorist organization: The P.A. sat with Hamas in a unity government throughout the summer as Hamas kidnapped Israeli kids on their way home from school, attempted to attack Israeli communities…

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Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 at 8:15 AM  | Stand For Israel