Thursday, January 26, 2006

What Will This Mean?

The newly created Hamas political party has won the elections for the Palestinian Prime Minister and cabinet positions. Maumoud Abbas is still the leader of the Palestinian Authority, but the government will be re-organized and run by the terrorist Hamas. The party has stated that they will govern by the Koran.

What does this mean in the peace process with Israel?
The result could have a devastating effect on the peace process with Israel. Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas official, said Thursday that recognizing Israel and negotiations with the Jewish state are "not on our agenda."
A senior Fatah member, Saeb Erekat, said he could not confirm the unofficial results, but blamed Israel's refusal to resume peace talks with a Fatah-led government for the party's poor showing.

"Israel has declared us non-partners about four years ago and they were not speaking to our elected president," he told Israel Army Radio. "Everybody was blaming Fatah for every mistake in the world. Everybody was tying our hands and our legs and throwing us into the sea. And now I think all these things, including our mistakes in Fatah, led to this result."

Olmert said Wednesday that Israel cannot trust a Palestinian leadership in which the Islamic group has a role, according to a statement by his office.

"Israel can't accept a situation in which Hamas, in its present form as a terror group calling for the destruction of Israel, will be part of the Palestinian Authority without disarming," Olmert told U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden in a meeting, according to Olmert's office. "I won't hold negotiations with a government that does not stick to its most basic obligation of fighting terror."

Israel is willing to help the Palestinians and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas "a great deal" but only if they crack down on militants, Olmert said.

Israel has repeatedly asked Abbas to force Hamas and other militant groups to disarm but Abbas has refused, warning such an act could cause civil war. Hamas has committed dozens of suicide bombings against Israel.
Will this become a full-out war against Israel? Will Hamas, now that they have control of the Palestinian government, declare open season on all Israelis?
Hamas' success has alarmed Israel and the West, but Abbas has argued that luring the group, which has been behind dozens of deadly attacks on Israel, into politics would tame it and increase the chances for peace. The election will usher in a new parliament and Cabinet, but Abbas, who was elected president last year, will remain head of the Palestinian Authority regardless of the results.

"We are coming into a new phase. In this phase, we are calling for the international community to help us return to the negotiating table with the Israelis, conclude the peace process and implement it," Abbas said after the voting ended.
Abbas seems to think that by dressing the wolf up in sheep's clothing, the wolf will give up it's taste for the sheep. The next few months are going to be very tense as no one is quite sure what will happen.

Fox News

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