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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is the terror escalation because of Abbas' planned Gaza visit?

Last week, Mahmoud Abbas announced plans to visit Gaza for the first time since Hamas took over.

It is possible that much of the recent escalation in rocket attacks, and perhaps even the Jerusalem attack, is an effort to stop that visit.

There has been much discussion in the Palestinian Arabic media about this planned visit. Hamas itself is divided over it, something that they even admit themselves. From Palestine Press Agency:

Official Hamas sources confirmed the existence of differences between the movement's leaders of the initiative of Abbas, and said: "Yes, there are differences in views toward Abbas's visit to Gaza" pointing out that it does not rise to the level of a dispute. "We do not have any allergies to any differences of opinion because there is a specific mechanism for decision-making, The differences in this case will be decided by opinion and the Shura Council."

The view of a senior official in Fatah is that Abbas's visit to Gaza has raised fears within Hamas, saying, "Definitely, if Abu Mazen went to Gaza, the masses will come out to receive support for his initiative because there is a strong desire to end the division [between Hamas and Fatah] ... These things frighten and confuse [Hamas], and... such a visit would be for them a new referendum on their popularity, they do not want to put themselves in that position or be engaged in this thorny issue," referring to Hamas' refusal to hold legislative elections. He added, "So we are questioning the chances of support by Hamas for Abbas' initiative."
Yesterday there were reports that the political Hamas leaders in Gaza were not against the Abbas visit but the Al Aqsa Brigades and the Syrian Hamas leadership were against it.

All recent polls show Fatah defeating Hamas in any election.

Add to this equation Islamic Jihad and the other terror groups, who now enjoy a cozy relationship with Hamas but who fear a unification that would leave them without their unofficial but substantial political power.

A new terror spree, and the Israeli reaction, would do a nice job at torpedoing any chance for re-unification between Hamas and Fatah.

Which means that in this case, Israel is not even the target of the terror initiative - Fatah is.

Killing and terrorizing Jews is just a bonus.