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Gaza Coup: Why now?


The coup d'etat in Gaza was well-prepared over a long period of time. That allowed creation of a very effective plan which led to the defeat of the PA security forces in only three days of real fighting.

The question however, is why it took place just now. "Why now?" The answer is that Hamas felt that there is a plan being prepared to crush them, because of the declaration of the American benchmarks plan issued at the end of last April. This has as one of its aims to support the presidential guards in order to take the responsibility of security in Gaza, as part of cooperation with Israel.

Hamas considered this (linked also with the training of more security agents supportive of Abu Mazen in Egypt) as the preparation to crush them, while Abu Mazen was not ready at the same time to make progress on the two issues that Hamas was looking for as a fulfillment of previous agreements between Abu Mazen and Hamas. Namely: the issue of security partnership and the re-composition of the security departments in order to include Hamas members, and the issue of political partnership in the PLO, and also in the PA through increasing the number of Hamas employees in the Ministers in order to balance those of Fateh.

Abu Mazen, on his part, was not able to fulfill his promises in these two issues due to strategic differentiations with Hamas for instance: How can he bring them into the PLO while they reject the PLO's previous agreements with Israel? If he bring them with these rejection positions, the PLO then will be deligitimized regionally and internationally. and it will become a non-partner. On other hand Abu Mazen did achieve an agreement with Hamas on the creation of a central joint security force to be led by Said Fannounch, but a few days after that, Hamas initiated the war against the PA security forces aiming to get unilateral control of the security in Gaza.

What does it all mean?

On the one hand, the Hamas felt threatened by the American benchmark plan and the training of new agents in Egypt, simply because it does not want to change its policies, and also because it wants full unilateral control over Gaza in order to promote Islamism. They claimed that what they did was an obligatory step in order to stop the security chaos. But the question still remains: Why did they do what they did few days after the Abu Mazen- Hannieh agreement to have a joint security force in Gaza, and also a few days before the meeting of all the Palestinian factions that Cairo had called, after it finished its unilateral meetings with all the factions?

To sum up: The timing and the motivation are both connected to Hamas's desire to take over Gaza unilaterally, in order to serve the Muslim brotherhood's agenda and maybe also the Iranian agenda in its conflict with the West.
Walid Salem

Walid Salem is the director of Panorama, the Centre for the Dissemination of Democracy and Community Development, East Jerusalem office. He is also the author of books and articles on such issues as democracy, citizenship, youth rights, civil society development, Israeli-Palestinian peace-building, and the right of return.

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Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000598.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

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Replies: 1 Comment

I think that Hamas’ sense of marginalization locally through the provocative language of some elements in Fatah, international embargo, and the collusion of some Arabic regimes are adequate reasons to drive Hamas to overthrow Palestinian government. In relation to Hamas-Iran alliance, this is the only available option and recourse for Hamas as source of financial support. Another point is worth mentioning is that the intention of Hamas to set up Islamic empire in the form of Taliban regime, I exclude this idea at least at this difficult moment, otherwise this would be the death knell of the question of Palestine. At the end, there is nothing wrong with Islam as creed and civilization, but the problem is what form it will take. Indeed, we need Islam that calls for tolerance, acceptance of others, justice, education , building, diligence, hard work and progress. We all feel proud of Islam as religion and to be part of its world, we need Islam that would revive and restore our stolen dignity and rights.

Posted by Um Abdullah Australia @ 06/27/2007 07:44 AM CST

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