Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hamas: Give Us The West Bank And We'll Destroy Israel, Temple Mount Clashes

Hamas: Give Us The West Bank And We'll Destroy Israel

For any who are still curious why Israel doesn’t simply acquiesce to Palestinian demands for an independent state and end the conflict, Hamas once again happily provided the answer in a revealing interview with Arab media last week.

Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar told the Ramallah-based Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam that if his group could “transfer what it has [in Gaza] or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise [to destroy Israel] with a speed that no one can imagine.”

Recently, Western power brokers, chief among them US President Barack Obama, have tried to differentiate between Hamas and the Islamic extremists of ISIS (now known simply as the Islamic State).
But al-Zahar was not shy in admitting that Hamas’ goals are largely synonymous with those of ISIS, if only on a smaller scale.
“[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won’t do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine,” said al-Zahar.

Hamas has already demonstrated that democracy is no obstacle to its ambitions.
Hamas handily won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. And when it was denied the power due it, Hamas turned its guns on the Palestinian Authority and swiftly seized control of Gaza.
Recent polls have suggested Hamas would repeat that feat in the West Bank were Israel to withdraw its forces and uproot the Jewish settlements there.

A survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research last week revealed that if elections were held today, Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would become the new president of the Palestinian Authority, beating out current President Mahmoud Abbas by a margin of 55 percent-to–38 percent.
The poll demonstrated that support for Hamas is high in the West Bank, giving credence to al-Zahar’s threat to transfer the groups military capabilities and more severely threaten the Jewish state’s major population centers.

Dozens of veiled rioters hurled stones and fireworks at police officers Wednesday morning on the Temple Mount. A police force entered the compound and pushed the assailants back into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex; four officers were wounded and were treated by medics on location.

Five rioters were arrested. Police and Palestinian sources said the clashes were premeditated – a group of Palestinians had spent the night at the compound in order to intensify the tense atmosphere in the morning hours.

The rioters barricaded parts of the compound and doused the barricades with flammable liquids. They threw rocks and cinder blocks towards police from within the Al-Aqsa Mosque; they fired fireworks and even hurled a Molotov cocktail, which smashed against a police officer's shield but did not ignite.

Jerusalem Police maintained an increased alert posture this morning. Officers, Border Guard units, and volunteers were deployed across the city in crowded sites, shopping centers, and markets – as well as flash points like the Old City and around synagogues – in order to maintain the peace and protect worshippers.

A pair of explosions along the Israel-Lebanon border on Tuesday wounded two Israeli soldiers patrolling the area, and significantly raised tensions between the two neighbors.
Israel responded to the incident with heavy artillery fire at terrorist positions in southern Lebanon.
Credit for the border attack was claimed by Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist militia, which said it was responding to last month’s death of Hezbollah operative Ali Hassan Haidar, which the group blames on Israel.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that while Hezbollah might have planted and detonated the bombs used in the border attack, ultimate responsibility lies with the government of Lebanon.
The incident follows a brief skirmish between Israeli and Lebanese soldiers on Sunday. The Lebanese gunmen crossed briefly into Israel, possibly unintentionally, and were immediately engaged by Israeli forces.
With the sudden rise in violence along the border, tensions are running high, as are fears of a new war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, would be a major prize for the jihadists, as it would give them unbroken control of a long stretch of Syria’s border with Turkey.
It also threatens to pull Turkey’s military — which is part of NATO — into direct combat with IS for the first time.
Turkey last week won parliamentary approval for military intervention against IS in Syria and Iraq, but it has yet to announce any firm plans despite the advance of the jihadists on its doorstep.
Many Kurds fear the Turkish government is more interested in undermining Kurdish separatists than dealing with the IS threat.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Tuesday that the strategically important town was “about to fall”, saying a ground operation was needed to defeat the militants.
“The terror will not be over ... unless we cooperate for a ground operation,” Mr Erdogan said in a televised speech.
Analysts have warned that a lack of ground support for air strikes against IS, and Turkey’s reluctance to step in militarily, had all but sealed Kobane’s fate.
A Pentagon official told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin that the U.S. is not shifting its air campaign in an effort to save Kobane.
“Kobane is horrible but right now there’s a lot of horrible in Iraq and Syria,” the official said. “Kobane is not unique.”

US official rebuffed claims Wednesday that Washington should be doing more to stymie the advance of Islamic State fighters on the beleaguered Syrian border town of Kobani, saying the likely fall of the Kurdish city was of little concern.

The unnamed official, speaking to CNN, maintained the Obama administration’s main focus centered on the jihadists’ strategic gains in Iraq.

The official added that the US believed the town would fall into the hands of the Islamic State.

The Kurdish militiamen defending Kobani received some support overnight and Tuesday from the American-led coalition, which carried out six airstrikes against Islamic State operatives around the town, destroying four armed vehicles, damaging a tank and killing fighters, the US military said.

Capturing Kobani would give the Islamic State group, which already rules a huge stretch of territory spanning the Syria-Iraq border, a direct link between its positions in the Syrian province of Aleppo and its stronghold of Raqqa, to the east. It would also give the group full control of a large stretch of the Turkish-Syrian border.

The US-led coalition has conducted airstrikes over the past two weeks near Kobani in a bid to help Kurdish forces defend the town. But the number has been limited, and Kurds have appealed for more help in the fight.

Syria’s Kurds have struggled to gain the sort of Western backing that their brethren in Iraq enjoy, and the aerial campaign around Kobani has been far more limited than the airstrikes against Islamic State fighters attacking Iraqi Kurdish areas. The US and its allies also have not agreed to arm Syrian Kurds like they have Iraqi Kurds.

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1 comment:

Mrs.C said...

Amazing that Hamas wants the "West Bank". Gods Word tells us that the West Bank, is going down in Isaiah 17:3...