88 percent of Palestinians believe armed struggle is the best way to achieve independence

December 16, 2012

(timesofisrael.com)For first time since 2006, more West Bank Palestinians favor Hamas’s political strategy over Fatah’s, poll finds
Media_httpcdntimesofi_fegpfFor the first time since 2006, more West Bank Palestinians support the political approach of Hamas as opposed to that of Fatah and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, a new poll shows. And an overwhelming majority of Palestinians believe the results of the latest Hamas-Israel escalation that included Operation Pillar of Defense — Israel’s eight-day operation against terror targets in Gaza last month — prove that the armed struggle represents the best path to Palestinian independence.
The poll, conducted earlier this month by the Arab World Research and Development (AWRAD), a Ramallah-based research center, sampled 1,200 Palestinians from both Gaza and the West Bank. It set out to examine political opinions among Palestinians following Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza and Mahmoud Abbas’s successful UN nonmember statehood bid.
While both events are overwhelmingly viewed as positive by Palestinians, adding popularity to both Palestinian factions, 42% of West Bank respondents said they preferred the approach of Hamas to that of Fatah, as opposed to only 28% who preferred Fatah’s approach.
Interestingly, more Gazans, 40%, said they preferred Fatah’s approach to that of Hamas, which rules over them. Thirty-seven percent of Gazans said Hamas’s approach was better.
While Abbas tends to favor a two-state solution reached by negotiations, Hamas — recognized internationally as a terrorist group — refuses to recognize Israel and vows eternal Jihad against the Jewish “infidels” who reside here.
An overwhelming 88% of the entire sample believed that the result of Operation Pillar of Defense proved that armed struggle is the best means of achieving Palestinian independence.
Another trend revealed by the poll is a sharp decline in support for negotiations with Israel among West Bank residents.
In May 2011, 59% of West Bank residents supported an immediate return to negotiations with Israel. That number dropped to 52% in May 2012, but declined sharply to 43% in the most recent poll. Meanwhile, support for negotiations remained largely stable in the Gaza Strip at around 50%.
Hillel Frisch, an expert on Palestinian politics at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, said he was not surprised with the results of the poll, given Hamas’s perceived victory in Operation Pillar of Defense and Israel’s recent decision to withhold tax money collected on behalf of the PA.
“Palestinians are becoming more frustrated and losing hope in negotiations,” Frisch told The Times of Israel. “They may turn to Hamas not because it’s Hamas, but because it’s the movement that opposes negotiations with Israel.”
For the first time since 2006, the Palestinian Authority allowed pro-Hamas demonstrations to take place last week across the West Bank in celebration of the movement’s 25th anniversary.


Another New York Times double standard

November 27, 2012

(Carl) Consider The New York Times reporter who was fooled by Hamas into thinking that a terrorist was a journalist. Alana Goodman adds another data point.

Samir Khan was the editor of al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine until he was killed in a CIA drone strike, but the New York Times has yet to accuse the Obama administration of “using war as cover to target journalists.” Apparently, Israel is the only country that’s expected to treat terrorists-posing-as-reporters the same way it treats actual reporters.

 I’m sure you’re all shocked by that double standard.

Our partner, Fatah, also fought Israel in Pillar of Defense

November 26, 2012

Gaza-based armed groups tied to Abbas’s Fatah party claim they fired 516 rockets at Israel during recent conflict.


Khaled Abu Toameh..
24 November ’12..
Several armed groups belonging to Fatah in the Gaza Strip claimed Saturday that they had also fired various types of rockets and missiles at Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense.
A spokesman for the groups, which are affiliated with Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs’ Brigade, told reporters that his men fired 516 rockets and missiles at Israel during the conflict.
The spokesman warned that the Fatah groups would “continue to defend the heroic Palestinian people against Israeli crimes and massacres.”
According to the spokesman, Fatah gunmen fought alongside members of other groups in the Gaza Strip during the recent escalation.
He urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to “head immediately to the Gaza Strip to put an end to the state of despicable state of division [between Hamas and Fatah].”

The Fatah groups also “welcomed” last week’s terror attack against a civilian bus in Tel Aviv, in which 28 people were hospitalized.
The masked Fatah spokesman revealed that a member of his group, Mohamed al-Zaini, who was responsible for launching rockets and missiles at Israel, was killed in an IDF air strike.
Abbas Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, was quoted over the weekend as praising Hamas and Islamic Jihad for “deciding to die for the sake of the Gaza Strip.”
Zaki said in an interview with a Palestinian TV station in the West Bank that Abbas was not against the “resistance” in the Gaza Strip.
“We gave legitimacy to the rockets and provided them with a political cover,” he added. “I have tremendous sympathy for Hamas. God bless them. They told Israel that the war was not a picnic. God bless Hamas and Islamic Jihad and all the other resistance groups which decided to die for the sake of the Gaza Strip.”
Link: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=293297

This is rich: Russia accuses US of preventing Security Council action on Gaza

November 20, 2012

This is truly rich. Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin is accusing the United States of preventing UN Security Council action on Gaza.

The Security Council held heated closed-door negotiations on a possible statement, but diplomats said a sticking point was that the text did not mention Hamas missile attacks on Israel. Israel said it was these attacks that prompted its major offensive against Gaza.

Council members were consulting with their capitals on the draft statement, which needs to be approved by consensus, but several diplomats said it was unlikely an agreement would be reached by a Tuesday morning deadline.

Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said that if the council could not agree, he would put a resolution – a stronger move by the council than a statement – to a vote on Tuesday to call for an end to the violence and show support for regional and international efforts to broker peace.

“One member of the Security Council, I’m sure you can guess which, indicated … they will not be prepared to go along with any reaction of the Security Council,” Churkin said earlier in a thinly veiled reference to the United States.

“Somehow, allegedly, that could hurt the current efforts carried out by Egypt and the region,” he said.

A resolution is passed when it receives nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the five permanent council members – Russia, China, Britain, the United States and France. Some diplomats said a vote on the Russian resolution would likely be tight and could force a veto by the United States.

Council diplomats, who did not want to be identified, said the United States’ UN delegation had been instructed by Washington not to engage in consultations on a statement by the Security Council.

France, Germany and Britain submitted amendments to the draft Security Council statement earlier, diplomats said, but Churkin said too many changes had been proposed.

“Unfortunately it looked like a little bit of a filibustering attempt. Maybe I am mistaken, maybe it’s just a laid-back attitude in a situation where we cannot afford procrastination,” Churkin told reporters after consultations.

One council diplomat described the filibustering accusation as “utter nonsense.”

Hey Ambassador Churkin, how many Syrians have been killed since the start of this operation (hint: many more Syrians than ‘Palestinians’ have been killed) and why has your country been blocking Security Council action against Bashar al-Assad for months? At the very least, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander!