Mahmoud Abbas asks radical Hamas terrorists to form a new government
His defeated Fatah slapped down participation in a Hamas-led coalition. Earlier, Fatah PM and cabinet quit when early results gave Hamas a sweeping 70-75 seats in the 132-seat Palestinian legislature.

The first Hamas statement: Negotiating with Israel and recognition are not on our agenda. The armed struggle will continue. Hamas control of Palestinian government is a regional earthquake that will bring the Muslim Brotherhood into power by the ballot for the first time in Middle East history. President George W. Bush says he will not deal with Hamas unless the organization renounces its commitment to fight for Israel’s destruction.

In Gaza, in answer to a question on policy, Hamas operative Mohammed Rantisi, whipped out the late Yasser Arafat’s motto: We shall hold talks as though there is no terror and wage terror as though there are no talks. Other leaders reject negotiations, recognition of Israel or laying down arms. In view of this election upset, some Palestinian sources predict a long wait for final results amid attempts at manipulation, which the Hamas will fight tooth and nail.

The Palestinian election sets back critically the underlying objective of the US-led global war on terror: denying terrorists territorial strike bases and keeping them on the run - as manifested in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. For Israel, allowing the Hamas terrorists to take part in the Palestinian election - after its takeover of the Gaza Strip – was a fatal blunder. It is now condemned to dealing with the Damascus-based Khaled Mashal and Mahmoud a-Zahar in Gaza, now holding the whip hand in Ramallah. Behind them lurk sponsors and mentors such as Mahdi Aqaf, leader of the radical Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’s parent body, and Sheikh Qardawi, the Qatar-based television preacher. While speaking out against suicide bombers for Western targets, this influential radical ardently advocates Muslim martyrdom for the sacred purpose of killing Israelis.

The peace strategy acting Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert outlined in his policy address the day before the Palestinian election is passé; it was built around negotiations with Abu Mazen and a Fatah regime in Ramallah. He failed to consider the possibility of having to face up to a Palestinian negotiating partner that takes its orders from Cairo, Qatar, Damascus and Tehran.
On the other hand, it brings what we knew all along out into the open. Wonder if Sharon was counting on this?

Posted by: Steve 2006-01-26