The Middle East Newsline has learned from Israeli security sources that there is a distinct possibility that Hamas has achieved the capability to torpedo Israel’s parliamentary elections on Feb. 10.

Israeli government sources confirm that Hamas could fire salvos of missiles and rockets that would prevent hundreds of thousands of people in central and southern Israel from voting in Knesset elections.

They said Hamas has threatened to wield this option in an effort to win concessions, including open borders with Egypt and Israel as well as international aid.

“Right now, we face a situation where Hamas could wipe out the election process within moment’s notice,” a government source said. “If Hamas doesn’t agree to a cease-fire, then there could be chaos next week [during the elections].”

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On Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak convened what officials termed an emergency meeting of military and intelligence chiefs on the subject of the Israeli elections. Mr. Barak was said to have sought intelligence assessments of Hamas capabilities and intentions as well as the feasibility of an immediate ground operation in Gaza.

The Israeli intelligence community has assessed that Hamas was being encouraged by Iran and Syria to torpedo the Israeli elections. They said Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Masha’al and five members of the political bureau were receiving tens of millions of dollars in aid as well as instructions during their visit to Teheran in early February.

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.