Friday, September 14, 2012

Hamas accused of planning to escalate WB protests into a coup

The Palestine Press Agency has a report that says that Hamas is acting behind the scenes to nudge the popular protests against high prices into riots that could bring down the PA.

While the agency is very anti-Hamas, they name specific Hamas members behind this alleged scheme: Khalil al-Hayya, Ismail al-Ashqar, and Zakaria Abu Muammar.

According to the report, Muammar is responsible for the Bethlehem and Hebron protests, attracting "weak" and poor people and radical students to join and co-opt the otherwise peaceful rallies.

al-Hayya and al-Ashqar are directing Hamas cells in the northern section, including Ramallah and Nablus.

The report says that Hamas is attempting to guide the rallies into becoming anti-Abbas rallies, forcing confrontations with police with the intent of ultimately toppling the PA and taking over.

Given the source, it is hard to know how accurate this is. The methodology described is very consistent with how Islamists try to guide popular revolts throughout the "Arab Spring," and the description of a "war room" behind the scheme is detailed.

On the other hand, this is exactly what the PA would accuse Hamas of doing even if the rallies got out of control for different reasons.

There is no doubt that Hamas media is doing all it can to praise and incite the protests, and whether it is a formal plan or not, no doubt the Islamists are ready to take advantage of any chaos for their own advantage.