Skip to comments.Hamas vows to fight on after Israel's Gaza pullout
Posted on 08/13/2005 2:46:23 PM PDT by neverdem
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip For the first time in a decade, the founders and top political leaders of Hamas gathered on the same stage today, vowing to go on fighting Israel and claiming victory for the Israelis' impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
In a direct challenge to the Palestinian Authority, the militant leaders rejected the idea of a sole decision-making body for the area and claimed the group's right to possess its own weapons.
Tensions between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have heated up as Israel prepares to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements, with each trying to claim victory for the pullout scheduled to begin after midnight Monday.
In Jerusalem, meanwhile, Israeli police barred young Muslim worshippers from a mosque compound and deployed thousands of officers throughout the Old City to guard against clashes between Jews and Muslims, police spokesman Shmulik Ben-Ruby said.
Thousands of observant Jews many of whom oppose the Gaza withdrawal were expected to pray at the Western Wall on the eve of the Tisha B'Av fast day. Muslim clerics urged their followers to go to Jerusalem to protect two mosques that sit on a compound overlooking the wall.
The Hamas news conference came just a day after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and other officials held the Palestinian Authority's first celebration of Israel's withdrawal.
Speakers at Friday's event insisted all festivities marking the pullout would take place under the official Palestinian flag a warning to Hamas over its plans for its own military-style celebrations. Abbas also claimed credit for the Gaza pullout, promising that the West Bank and Jerusalem would be next.
But the Hamas leadership, positioned in front of the group's logo and a green Islamic flag, challenged the Palestinian Authority, saying its armed struggle led Israel to evacuate settlements and vowing not to lay down arms until Israeli occupation of all Palestinian territories ends.
Unlike the Palestinian Authority, which wants to establish an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital, Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel.
"Hamas remains committed to the choice of resistance as a strategic choice. Hamas remains committed to its military wing and its right to possess weapons," said Ismail Haniyye, a top Hamas leader.
Hamas does not plan to battle the Palestinian Authority, Haniyye said, but he added that "Hamas rejects the idea of allowing any single party to monopolize the decision-making process."
Last month, armed clashes erupted when Palestinian security forces tried to stop Hamas militants from firing rockets and mortar shells at Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. Abbas wants Hamas to surrender their weapons to ensure a smooth withdrawal.
On Thursday, Hamas invited TV cameramen for the first time to film about 1,000 militants training ahead of the pullout. The release of the pictures of militants rappelling down high walls and jumping through hoops of fire was seen as a challenge to the Palestinian Authority.
It was unclear whether the training, which included infiltration techniques and a simulated attack on a Jewish settlement, meant Hamas was planning to fire on withdrawing Israeli troops and settlers.
Israel has promised severe retaliation for any attack on Israeli troops or settlers during the pullout.
Later Saturday, Palestinian Interior Minister Nasser Yousef put his forces in the Gaza Strip on their highest alert level to prevent militants from attacking withdrawing Israelis.
Hundreds of Palestinian officers took up positions in areas near the Jewish settlements, especially near the Khan Younis and Rafah refugee camps near the Jewish enclaves.
Despite the tensions between Hamas and Abbas' government, officials from the Islamic group planned to meet with their counterparts from the ruling Fatah movement Saturday to discuss upcoming elections and other issues.
The meeting is "significant," Haniyye said, adding that Hamas was attending with an "open heart."
They will never please the Palestinians
Remove a common enemy and they turn on each other. The pull out may be the best way to solve the Palistinian problem to come along in a long time. They will probably innediatly devolve into civil war.
i'm shocked !
appeasement has always worked so well in the past!
The best bet for Israel is to simply start the expulsions now. Kick the Palestinians so hard in the posterior that they wind up in Uganda or some such.
This nearing 60 year conflict is rediculous. No matter what Israel does, the Palestinians will find fault with it.
Face up to it, a Palestinian state will NEVER exist and by the Palestian's own choice.
I've said before the Gazas have ONE chance to get it right. After the Jews are all gone Gaza will become a CLEAN target and I hope they realize that. The Israeli withdrawal represents a serious and severe test for the plo/Gazas and an opportunity to demonstrate their good intentions. Besides GW just wrote the check for 50 mil to help them clean up their mess and I expect he won't be interested in being made a fool of. PLO types who don't have honest intentions should keep their fingers in their ears so's they don't hear the boom when the F-18's show up.
I heard Hamas held a press conference today. I have a simple question. How is Hamas Allowed to have a press conference and why dont they "detain" their spokesman?
Let Hamas continue to wage their cowardly attacks once Israeli's leave Gaza. At that point, the world can no longer say "it's Israels fault." The Israeli's should then have the choke chain taken off of her and let her put down these terrorist thugs once and for all. Hit them so hard that they they will be sent to hell where 72 homosexual's wearing pig leather gimp outfits are there ready to rape them. It's clear that Hamas and other anti israel organizations never intended for peace. The word peace is not in their vocabulary.
Abbas is too weak and you can't negotiate from a position of weakness. Any peace achieved where one of the parties is weak it's, at best, a conditional peace.
This is why Fatah is demanding jobs and further weakening itself, while Hamas is filling in the void -- a void that Abbas cannot fill.
"How is Hamas Allowed to have a press conference and why dont they "detain" their spokesman?"
There are at any given point in time hundreds or perhaps thousands of conferences all over the world. It's just a fact of organized life. How, why and whom is gonna stop these conferences? Yours must be the most ridiculous statement in the life of FR.
Thats disturbing that you would find a simple post so disturbing. You may want to have your turbin tuned.
Wow..I thought I had some pent up anger. Good Man!
Wow..I thought I had some pent up anger. Good Man!
That is exactly why I believe the Gaza pullout behind the Israeli Wall makes perfect military sense.
Right now, Israelis in Gaza are playing the role of "human shields" for the Palestinian terrorists as any response to a Palestinian attack must be weighed against the risk of retaliatory attacks against Jewish settlements.
Once Israelis are on one side of the Wall and the Palestinians are on the other side of the Wall, any rocket attack by the Palestinians can be met with massive retaliation by the Israeli Air Force.
Rinse and repeat as often as necessary.
In the end, the Palestinian Authority will have to choose between fighting Hammas or watching 500 pound bombs fall from the sky.
As with all the other Islamic death cults, the only cure is eradicating them, since their way is only death.
One can buy a lot of explosives for 50 million dollars. I somehow doubt they will be paving roads.
Now if a man gave a million dollars to Hamas he would be jailed for supporting terrorist, but when a President...
The logic behind all this is missing in action.
Because HAMAS was voted in as the Government of the Gaza Strip by a landslide. Just like a modern passenger plane in the hands of muslims become a plane wreck, so to Democracy.
They really are crazy. Way past time we realized that.
They said the exact same thing about Lebanon and the Hizbullah. Hizbullah still attack and nobody cares. This is not about rightiousness, it is about the destruction of the Jews. Israel is being converted to the 21st century Death camp, and it is being stocked with a healthy supply of Sand Nazi's to run it.
We could have stopped Hitler, we knew of his camps, but we did not. How is that any difference to today? Actions speak louder than words, the actions show that the world has other motives when it comes to terrorism and Jews. Who is feeding these Nazis? Why the UN, the EU and the US, to the tune of many times their GNP. In humanitarian aid of course. Frankly they get paid a lot more than they once earned to kill Jews. Why should they stop and work for a living again?
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