This would be a win-win situation for Fatah: The truce would fail, making Hamas look incompetent, and both of Fatah’s enemies would inflict casualties on each other. Now that they’ve been caught, will that change the PA’s relationship with Western powers in any meaningful way, or will it be swept under the rug in order to continue to uphold Mahmoud Abbas as a “pragmatic” partner for peace?
JAFFA, Israel — A Hamas investigation replete with video confessions has discovered that militants from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization received instructions to disrupt a cease-fire that Israel agreed to last week with the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip.
WND last week exclusively quoted sources in Fatah’s declared military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group, stating they received “understandings” from Abbas’ office they are to fire rockets into Israel to sabotage the truce.
U.S. and Israeli policy considers Abbas to be “moderate.”
Hamas has been abiding by the truce while Fatah’s Brigades took responsibility for firing at least three rockets from Gaza last week.
Now Hamas officials told WND yesterday an investigation concluded that Abbas’ officials instructed the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades to launch rockets into Israel.
The Hamas officials said they obtained videotaped confessions from Brigades members allegedly admitting to receiving attack instructions from Fatah. Hamas said it may release the videos on the group’s Al Aqsa Television Network later this week.
A senior source in Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades told WND last week his group received “understandings” from Abbas’ officials that Fatah wants to see the cease-fire “collapse.”
The senior Brigades source hinted a top Abbas official gave the Brigades specific instructions to launch Gaza-based attacks against Israel to precipitate an Israeli military response that would initiate a cycle of Hamas reprisal attacks that would, in turn, scuttle the cease-fire.
The Brigades source refused to say which Abbas official may have given his group instructions, but WND understood from informed sources it was Tayir Abdul Al-Rahim, the secretary-general of Abbas’ office, who communicated specific instructions to the Brigades to shoot rockets at Israeli population centers. […]
Earlier this week, WND quoted a top PA official complaining the truce between Hamas and Israel enhances the position of Hamas and amounts to the Jewish state’s tacit recognition of the terrorist group’s control of the Gaza Strip.
Officially, the PA, headed by its president, Mahmoud Abbas, endorsed the Gaza truce agreement, which went into effect 11 days ago, hours after Hamas and other local Palestinian groups took responsibility for firing nearly 30 mortars and rockets from Gaza into nearby Jewish communities.
But unofficially, the PA has been expressing to Israeli and American diplomats its strong opposition to the truce, explaining the cease-fire puts Hamas in a more powerful position.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “sold us out,” said the top PA official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.