maandag 17 november 2008

Wat wil Hamas?

Wat ook nog zou kunnen is dat beide partijen vooral niet als verliezer naar het staakt-het-vuren willen terugkeren. Hamas heeft volgens andere berichten nieuwe voorwaarden gesteld, zoals totale opening van de grenzen en een uitbreiding naar de Westoever. Het lijkt dan ook onwaarschijnlijk dat het een staakt-het-vuren op de oude voorwaarden (die overigens vanaf het begin door beide partijen verschillend werden geinterpreteerd) zal accepteren. Israel is de wapensmokkel een doorn in het oog, dus het zal voor Hamas gunstigere voorwaarden zeker niet accepteren. Ondertussen is Israel wat betreft een gevangenenruil die tot de vrijlating van Shalit zou leiden geen steek verder gekomen, en dat was wel één van haar motivaties voor het staakt-het-vuren.
Ami Isseroff
There are two diametrically opposed views of the recent Hamas escalation, stated with equal confidence and authority.
Palestinian sources in Gaza say Hamas purposely provoking Israel to end ceasefire and influence upcoming general elections. 'Hamas wants right-wing gov't to end diplomatic process; group functions best during military clashes,' says source.
"They know his election will put an end to the diplomatic process. With right-wing leadership, the chance of military clashes grows, and Hamas functions best in such a situation, and support for the group grows, while support for those who seek negotiations weakens."
The source warned that "if there is no Egyptian intervention and renewed examination of the ceasefire in its current form that will lead to the opening of the crossings, Hamas will continue its policy that will lead to the ultimate collapse of the truce."
Hamas' military wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam claimed responsibility for eight of the 10 rockets that were fired on Israel Friday. Salah al-Din Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing claimed responsibility for the other two.
But on the other hand...
Ex-Shin Bet official: Most Hamas leaders want to maintain short-term truce
By Amos Harel, Barak Ravid and Amira Hass, Haaretz Correspondents
Most Hamas leaders are interested in maintaining a cease-fire with Israel in the short term, according to a former deputy chief of the Shin Bet security service.
In an article published on U.S. Web site regarding the escalation of violence that erupted more than a week ago between Israel the Gaza Strip, the official wrote that continuing the truce would allow Hamas to achieve its other political goals.
"Although certain Hamas officials (particularly in the military wing) want to abandon the ceasefire altogether, most of its leaders will most likely continue to emphasize the truce's benefits and maintain the agreement for the near term, since it allows Hamas to make progress on other goals," wrote the official."
"The organization is concerned that a large-scale incursion by the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] would prevent it from dealing with its complex set of challenges and also endanger its main achievement, the complete control of the Gaza Strip," the official wrote. "The truce promotes Hamas's interests by buying time to advance the movement's short- and long-term goals."
Meanwhile, violence between Israel and Gaza continued on Friday as Hamas militants fired over a dozen rockets at the western Negev, while the Israel Air Force responded by shooting missiles at a rocket-launching pad in the northern Strip.
Gaza Hamas leader Mahmoud Az-Zahar warned Israel in a Friday sermon, "If you want to leave the truce, we are ready. And if you want to continue it, then abide by it."

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