Jerusalem – Only one week after the Annapolis Middle East Summit, where Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, AKA Abu Mazen, was lauded as the man to lead the fight against the Hamas Islamic terror organization, he reached out to Hamas in a surprisingly conciliatory manner.
He gave an interview to his official PBC Palestine Broadcasting Corporation radio network on his way to Riyadh.
Mr. Abbas noted that he does not see anything that will prevent dialogue with Hamas, which he described as “part of the Palestinian people.”
The leading Arab media at the summit, Al-Jazeera and Al-Hayat emphasized that although the chairman of the Palestinian Authority repeated his demand that Hamas return the situation in Gaza to its previous state, he spoke of Hamas in a more “positive tone when he described it as part of the Palestinian People.”
A high-ranking Islamic Jihad operative, Khaled el-Batash, said Monday that there could be meetings soon between the rival Palestinian organizations in the Egyptian capital in order to put an end to the split between Gaza and Judea and Samaria and reunite the Palestinian people.
He noted his organization continues its efforts to find a solution and reduce the tension between Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Mr. Batash added the solution to the crisis will not be in Gaza but rather in Egypt or Mecca, “but our job is to open the door to internal dialogue and afterwards to go to Egypt or to Mecca to continue the dialogue.” Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Wednesday in a lecture in Cairo that an intra-Palestinian agreement that would end the split by holding new elections or a referendum must come after negotiations with Israel or together with them.
Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a top aide to Mr. Abbas, said as far as the PA was concerned, Jerusalem was a “red line” that can’t be crossed.
While Mr. Abbas himself spoke in Annapolis of the Palestinian claim for all of “holy Jerusalem,” which in the Arabic language is “Al Kuds A-Sharia,” the media mistranslated this term as confined to East Jerusalem – the area of Jerusalem which was under Jordanian control after the 1949 armistice ordered a temporary halt in hostilities between the nascent state of Israel and five neighboring Arab states that had invaded Israel on the day of its inception.
Under Arab rule, from 1949 until 1967, Jews were not allowed entry into any area of Jerusalem under Arab control, nor in areas under Arab rule.
War Activity Over
The Past Week
Over the past week, Palestinian forces fired over 50 mortar shells and over 15 Qassam rockets from the Gaza Strip at the Israeli western Negev.
Over 2,000 Qassam rockets and mortar shells have been launched at southern Israel since the beginning of 2007.
The IDF carried out attacks against two mortar shell launching cells in the northern Gaza Strip. In one of the incidents the cell was already armed and ready to launch mortars at Israel. The IDF identified killing four and injuring five Palestinian terrorists.
On Monday, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out an attack against a post of the Hamas terrorist organization in the central Gaza Strip. The attack was carried out following the continuous launching of Qassam rockets and mortar shells at Israeli communities. Three Palestinian operatives were killed.
Ground, armored and engineering forces, in coordination with the Israeli Air Force, operated against the terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip in order to prevent attacks against IDF soldiers and rocket and mortar shell fire at the Israeli home front. Ten militants were killed and 13 were injured.
In several different incidents Palestinians opened fire at IDF patrols and engineering works near the security fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
No injuries or damage were reported.
Summary Of IDF Activity In The Judea And Samaria Region
On Sunday, it was released for publication that IDF forces together with the ISA arrested the wanted terrorist responsible for the murder of Ido Zuldan on Nov. 19. The two terrorists were Dafar Baram, a member of Fatah and a member of the Palestinian national security forces in Ramallah, and Abdullah Baram, both 22 years old and residents of the village of Kadum.
The two admitted during questioning that they were responsible for the attack and even handed over the weapons that they used. Fadi Jama, who served in the Palestinian national security forces, was also involved in the terror attack and was arrested.
On Wednesday afternoon, armed gunmen opened fire at an IDF force, during an arrest operation in Bethlehem. The force returned fire at the gunmen. One man was killed and another was lightly injured. After the incident, it was discovered that Palestinian security personnel were involved. The Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brigadier General Noam Tivon, and the Head of the Civil Administration, Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai, offered medical assistance to their counterparts in the Palestinian security apparatus. Brigadiers General Tivon and Mordechai met with their counterparts in the Palestinian security services and agreed to establish a joint investigation team.
On Tuesday, an IDF officer was lightly wounded during a violent riot that took place near Beit Ummar, southwest of Bethlehem. During the riot, 450 Palestinians gathered and hurled a massive number of Molotov cocktails and rocks at the IDF force present. The force responded using riot dispersal means. When the rock hurling continued, the force fired at the lower body of one of the main provocateurs and identified hitting him.
During the past week, IDF forces uncovered three improvised explosive devices, a hunting rifle, a handgun, two AK47 assault rifles, three improvised guns and ammunition. Palestinians opened fire in four different incidents and hurled two explosive devices at IDF forces.
©The Bulletin 2007