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Fatah backed by America and Israel attempts coup against democratically-elected Hamas government of Palestine

UN envoy: anti-Hamas rhetoric undermines democracy

Alvaro de Soto, the just-retired UN coordinator for the Middle East, has warned that international hostility to the Palestinian Hamas movement, now fighting in the bitterly escalating civil conflict in Gaza, could have grave consequences by persuading millions of Muslims that democratic methods do not work.

The Peruvian diplomat's sensational valedictory dispatch, written last month and published exclusively in the Guardian today, traced increasingly violent responses to the victory of the Islamist group in the Palestinian elections in January 2006.

These included a continuing boycott of the freely-elected government - which he admits has had "devastating" consequences, which have contributed to the current violence between Hamas and Fatah.

"The steps taken by the international community with the presumed purpose of bringing about a Palestinian entity that will live in peace with its neighbour, Israel, have had precisely the opposite effect," he wrote in his confidential internal memo.

The US and Israel had both erred in seeing Hamas as a passing phenomenon, the envoy argued. "Hamas is deep-rooted, has struck many chords, including its contempt for the Oslo process, and is not likely to disappear," he wrote.

"Erroneous treatment of Hamas could have repercussions far beyond the Palestinian territories because of its links to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose millions of supporters might conclude that peaceful and democratic means are not the way to go."

In a key passage that may already have been overtaken by the rapidly deteriorating situation, Mr De Soto wrote: "Hamas is in effervescence and can potentially evolve in a pragmatic direction that would allow for a two-state solution - but only if handled right.

"If the Palestinian Authority passes into irrelevance or collapses (as now seems likely) calls for a one-state solution to the conflict "will come out of the shadows and enter the mainstream."

Mr De Soto is critical of the UN as well as of the US and Israel. He also attacked the Palestinians' record on violence directed at Israeli civilians as "patchy at best, reprehensible at worst" and described the Hamas charter as "abominable" while highlighting the movement's "alleged links to an Iranian regime which makes bloodcurdling statements about Israel."

"Palestinian terror strengthens the hardliners and weakens the peace camp in Israel," he wrote, but added: "If Israel was less heavy-handed about the way it conducts its military business, and... was seen to be moving earnestly to end the occupation, it would aid rather than handicap its legitimate fight against terrorism."

The effect of the quartet's intense focus on Hamas, (which still refuses to formally recognise Israel or renounce violence), was to take all pressure off Israel, Mr de Soto argued. That allowed the construction of yet more Israeli settlements and the separation barrier, which have in turn damaged the slim hopes that a viable Palestinian state can ever be created.

It would need a "Sherlockian magnifying glass," to find allusions to Israel's failure to comply with its "road map" obligations.

"No amount of magnification" would find references to its responsibilities as an occupier to ensure the welfare of Palestinian civilians."

On the UN and Israel he wrote: "We are not a friend of Israel if we allow it to fall into the self delusion that the Palestinians are the only ones to blame, or that it can continue blithely to ignore its obligations under existing agreements without paying an international diplomatic price in the short-term and a bitter price regarding its security and identity in the long-term."


The Guardian, "UN envoy: anti-Hamas rhetoric undermines democracy", 13 June 2007.


Yahoo News, "Israel, US, and Egypt back Fatah's fight against Hamas", 25 May 2007.
    Cairo and Tel Aviv - Senior US officials in Washington on Wednesday promised ongoing military support for secular Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas amid his power struggle with Islamist Hamas as part of an $84 million aid package largely aimed at improving the fighting ability of an elite corps of loyalists from his        Fatah Party.
    Israel, too, is making overtures to Mr. Abbas, reported the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Wednesday, allowing light arms to flow to members of his Presidential Guard and saying that it would allow some of the US training of his forces to take place in the West Bank.
    That policy puts the US and Israel on a highly unusual course in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: Four-square support for Fatah to contain, if not defeat, the growing power of Hamas, which won the Palestinian Authority's (PA) last election.
    But whether the effort will succeed is far from certain, and some analysts say there are risks to that course, chief among them the possibility of further fueling the internal Palestinian conflict, leading to deeper despair in the occupied territories [which is exactly what pro-Israel Zionist extremists want] and a PA less able to make the compromises on peace with Israel than it is today.
    "They want to see Hamas removed from office and see Fatah in control of everything, and [the military assistance program] should be seen as part and parcel of that approach," says Mouin Rabbani, of the International Crisis Group (ICG), reached in Amman, Jordan.

Daily Telegraph, "Israel considers giving Fatah military support", 19 May 2007.
    Israel is considering giving military support to the [supposedly] moderate Palestinian faction Fatah in its power struggle with [supposedly] radical rival Hamas.
    Even though Fatah is closely connected to Palestinian militants with a long record of attacks against Israel, the Jewish state is coming round to embracing the movement as a more pragmatic bulwark against Hamas, which they [supposedly] believe receives military aid from Iran.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 13 June 2007.

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Tags: Fatah, Hamas, coup, attempted, failed, Palestine, democracy, elected, CIA, America, armed, Israel, , conspiracy theories.

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