Christian Action Network

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Abbas claims Al Qaeda entering Gaza

(ABC) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas claims Al Qaeda is operating in Gaza after the takeover by the radical Islamist group Hamas, and has called for international troops to be deployed to protect aid deliveries. Mr Abbas invoked the name of one of the biggest enemies of the West during an interview on Italian television. “Thanks to the support of Hamas, Al Qaeda is entering Gaza,” he said. But deposed Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, a senior Hamas leader, says it has no links with Al Qaeda. “Hamas’s policy and strategy are different [from Al Qaeda],” he said. “Hamas fights the Israeli occupation and only inside the Palestinian occupied territories, and has never operated outside these borders.” Since Hamas militants took control of Gaza from Mr Abbas’s Fatah faction last month, Israel has clamped down on the territory. It has closed down Gaza, allowing only limited deliveries of aid. But most of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents rely on food aid and Mr Abbas now fears a humanitarian crisis. Overnight about a dozen Palestinians reportedly died after being blocked, along with thousands of others, from fleeing into Egypt. Mr Abbas now wants international troops in Gaza to ensure the delivery of aid. But Hamas has made it clear it will treat any foreign troops as an occupying power, and Mr Haniyeh says the only way to reunify the Palestinian leadership is through dialogue. Mr Haniyeh has been taking on a diplomatic role and is hosing down fears that Hamas wants to act out its charter, which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state. “What happened [in Gaza] was a security step that had no political dimension,” he said. “Hamas does not want to establish a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, and does not want to establish an Islamic country separated from other Palestinian territories.” It remains to be seen how Hamas can head off a humanitarian crisis as Israel continues to isolate Gaza. Dialogue But the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah has moved to international diplomacy, with Mr Haniyeh repeating his call for talks with Mr Abbas. “We say that the only way to end this Palestinian situation is a dialogue, without conditions,” he said. “I think that President Mahmoud Abbas is in a hurry when being asked about dialogue with the Hamas movement.” For the moment though, Palestinian unity seems a faraway prospect at best, with Mr Abbas refusing to deal with Hamas. “There are no contacts between us and Hamas,” he said. “Some parties are trying to mediate or to find solutions. “Our position is as follows: those who carried out the coup must return everything to the way it was before. Prior to this happening, there will be no dialogue with them.” The call from Mr Abbas for international troops to enter Gaza is unlikely to be taken up, not only because Hamas rejects the idea as intervention in Palestinian affairs that would amount to a new occupation. A spokesman for the United States administration says the idea will be studied but the idea does not have a lot of traction.


July 11, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

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