The Iranian-backed Hamas movement has welcomed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s latest threat to renounce all agreements and understandings with Israel and the US, including security cooperation.
“We hope that this time Abu Mazen’s (Abbas’s) decision is a serious one,” said Saleh Arouri, deputy head of the Hamas “political bureau.” Arouri added that the return of the “armed resistance” to the West Bank was now possible “and even closer than some may think.”
The Hamas official repeated his movement’s rejection of any peace agreement with Israel, including the Oslo Accords, signed between the PLO and Israel in 1993. “Since day one, we have rejected the Oslo Accords,” Arouri explained. “We have also strongly opposed all security agreements with the occupation, and therefore we welcome Abu Mazen’s decision to halt the security coordination [with Israel].”
Iran’s other Palestinian proxy, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), also seems to be satisfied with Abbas’s recurring threat to renounce all agreements with Israel, including security coordination.
“We take Abu Mazen’s announcement seriously and look forward to its implementation,” said PIJ Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhalah. “What is required of the Palestinian Authority is a big step towards unity.”
Why are Hamas and PIJ so happy with the Palestinian leader?
Abbas’s threat, which came in response to an Israeli plan to extend Israeli law to parts of the West Bank, is undoubtedly a precious gift not only to his Palestinian political rivals in Hamas, but also to Iran, whose leaders continue to talk about the need for “eliminating the Zionist regime.”
On the same day Abbas made his announcement, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, wrote on Twitter:
“Eliminating the Zionist regime doesn’t mean eliminating Jews. We aren’t against Jews. It means abolishing the imposed regime and Muslim, Christian and Jewish Palestinians choose their own government and expel thugs like [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. This is ‘eliminating Israel’, and it will happen.”
In another comment on Twitter on May 19, Khamenei said that the West Bank, where Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are based, “must be armed, just like Gaza.”
The Iranian leader is actually saying that his country is seeking to turn the West Bank into a launching pad for terrorist attacks in order to achieve the goal of eliminating Israel. Bizarrely, he is promising to destroy Israel, but without killing Jews.
Khamenei evidently sees Abbas’s decision to renounce all agreements and understandings with Israel and the US as a positive development that would facilitate the mission Iran and Hamas share to export anti-Israel terrorism to the West Bank. The Iranian leader wants the West Bank to become like the Gaza Strip, from where Hamas and its allies have been firing rockets at Israel for several years.
If Abbas goes through with his threat to halt security coordination with Israel, that would mean an end to his efforts to prevent Iran’s Palestinian proxies, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, from proceeding with their ambition of extending their control to the West Bank.
By halting the security crackdown on Hamas, Abbas would be paving the way for terrorists to kill him and his associates in the West Bank, as they already began to do in 2007 in the Gaza Strip, and possibly again in a coup in 2014.
Therefore the leaders of Hamas are now heaping praise on Abbas and urging him to “translate his words into deeds.” The message Hamas is sending to Abbas is, “Thank you for finally realizing that the armed struggle is the only way to destroy Israel. Let us join forces in the Jihad to eliminate Israel.”
Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist; its charter states that:
“the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. No Arab country and no Arab king or president have that right.”