israel and hamas skullduggery

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    Hamas was manipulated into prominence by Israel to counter the PLO and prevent peace from ever being achieved.


    Hamas has a peculiar organizational structure which contrasts sharply with that of the PLO. While within the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas exists as a broad political movement, its militant wings, the Izza-Din Al Qassam and Islamic Jihad, split-offs from the organization, are administered totally separately. These latter organizations, which are responsible for the attacks, are under the control of leaders who operate from abroad. Their offices are in London, where the group's magazine, Falatin Al Muslimah, is based; Jordan; Syria; and the United States, particularly in Virginia and Texas. Although Arafat has periodically tried to bring the popular base of Hamas into the Palestinian fold, the foreign-based military leadership has always opposed him.

    This bifurcation dovetails with Sharon's strategy of launching brutal attacks against Hamas targets, in order to elicit the equally brutal response from Islamic Jihad and the Izza-Din Al Qassam. Thus Arafat, and diplomatic goals, are undermined, and the fires of civil war within the Occupied Territories are stoked.

    The Anti-Oslo Terror Campaign Begins The Oslo Accords marked the first glimmer of hope for a resolution of the Middle East conflict. And, the first suicide terrorist attack aimed at destroying it was not launched by Hamas or Islamic Jihad or another Palestinian faction. The first suicide attack was launched on Feb. 25, 1994, by Israeli terrorist Baruch Goldstein, when he entered the Mosque of Hebron and killed 50 Muslim worshippers as well as himself. Goldstein was a member of Kach, the terrorist organization founded by the late Meir Kahane, who also founded the Jewish Defense League in the 1960s in the United States. Kach, which is well connected to Sharon, is on the official U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations.

    The unprecedented massacre was calculated to set the stage for a suicide bombing campaign by Hamas and its split-off, Islamic Jihad, over the next year. In fact, it set into motion the "cycle of violence" that has yet to end. The Goldstein attack came at precisely the point when Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and Arafat began the formal implementation of the Oslo agreement which envisioned the establishment of a Palestinian state by 1998. The first Hamas-linked suicide attacks did not start until two months later, in April 1994, when Rabin and Arafat signed the agreement for the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority. The agreement called for the conduct of free elections throughout the territories—which would eventually establish the international legitimacy of the Arafat-led government.

    But despite this terror campaign, which lasted for months under a massive crackdown by Arafat's security forces, the Rabin-Arafat alliance, although seriously weakened, was not broken. This alliance was finally broken with Rabin's assassination by an Israeli, on Nov. 5, 1995.

    The next phase of attacks followed the "targetted assassination" of Hamas bomb-maker Yahya Ayyash on Jan. 5, 1996. Although said to be "revenge attacks," they were in fact part of Hamas' campaign to get Benjamin Netanyahu elected Israeli prime minister. This was admitted by Ibraham Ghawshah, Hamas' official spokesman resident in Amman, Jordan. He said that it was part of their strategy to influence Israeli public opinon to bring down the entire Oslo process. The election of Netanyahu indeed fulfilled all their hopes, especially after he launched his own provocations, which not only brought about the pre-calculated Hamas response, but also brought the region several times to the brink of war.

    This tit-for-tat campaign reached the height of insanity when Netanyahu, under the direction of Sharon, who was a member of his government at the time, launched a Mossad assassination attempt in 1997 against the Jordan-based Hamas official Khalid Mishaal. Not only did the attempt fail, but it led to Israel agreeing to release Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin from an Israeli jail, where he had been under arrest since 1989. Yassin was allowed to return to Gaza to rally Hamas against the Oslo process in general, and Arafat in particular.

    This pattern has continued to this very day. Netanyahu's downfall in 1999 led to the short-lived government of Ehud Barak, who despite much talking and negotiating, furthered the Oslo process not one iota. By the end of the Summer of 2000, the stage was set for Sharon's ultimate provocation, his Sept. 28 march on to the Islamic holy site Al-Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount.

    Since coming to power, Sharon has done everything to ensure the collapse of Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. If successful, it would either bring Hamas to power or lead to political chaos within the terrorities.
 
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