Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Motasem A Dalloul

Is Abbas serving the Palestinians or fooling them?

Palestinian Authority? None of the sort: Abbas has no choice but to cooperate with Israel on security matters

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority announced that it would start preparing a plan for full disengagement from the Israeli occupation. The decision was taken by the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which held a three-hour meeting chaired by Palestinian Authority PA and Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas in his headquarters in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

The plan was approved unanimously by the Executive Committee, which is dominated by Abbas loyalists, and covers the political, administrative, economic and security levels.

When the PA government, led by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah — an Abbas man, of course — announced the plan, it added that it would ask a committee to study the possibility of replacing the Israeli shekel with a Palestinian currency.

In fact, the PA’s full disengagement from the Israeli occupation is needed badly, but it would not be effective on the ground because the Israelis control everything related to daily life across the occupied territories.

What’s more, the PA has restricted itself through several agreements signed with the occupation authorities, such as the Paris Economic Protocol.

The announcements did not actually reflect anything which suggests that Abbas is really planning to change his deep-rooted policy of dealing with the Israeli occupation, which is built upon what he has called “sacred” security cooperation.

Given that the Palestinian cause is passing through a critical phase, and the peace process has failed to achieve anything, Abbas is obviously just trying to keep public opinion on his side. (Using rhetoric?)

Read: PA has to cancel punitive measures on Gaza or quit, insists Hamas

There is a lot of evidence to demonstrate that this is the case, not least the fact that meetings between PA and Israeli officials are still held as a matter of routine.

Furthermore, cooperation between the PA security services and their Israeli counterparts is ongoing, and Palestinians resisting the occupation — as is their legal right — are still being detained by the PA acting on behalf of the Israelis.

Last Thursday, Economic Ministers Eli Cohen from Israel and the PA’s Abeer Odeh met in the Élysée Palace in Paris, allegedly to discuss obstacles to economic growth in the Palestinian territories. Cohen, though, let slip that such a meeting had security and political purposes.

This meeting came just one day after a high profile get-together by Hamdallah and Major-General Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s Government Activities Coordinator in the [Occupied Palestinian] Territories.

The meeting took place at the Prime Minister’s office in Ramallah. According to UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, who attended the meeting, “All sides focused on the urgent need to finalise the reconstruction of physical damage from the 2014 Gaza conflict and on facilitating critical humanitarian solutions related to the electricity, water and health sectors.”

Mahmoud Abbas turns a blind eye on Gaza's blockade - Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Mahmoud Abbas turns a blind eye on Gaza’s blockade – Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

If this was the real reason for the meeting, it would have had some effect on the ground.

Dozens of similar meetings have done nothing for Gaza or the Palestinians. Hamdallah told the media twice in the past week that there would be no solutions for Gaza’s crises without the full handover of government offices in the enclave.

Is he unaware that all of his council ministers have traveled to Gaza and taken control of their offices properly, something that the media has witnessed and broadcast to the world?

Gaza was not the issue in Hamdallah’s meeting with Mordechai, because the Israeli Major General made it very clear that there was another objective. He stressed the importance of recovering the Israeli soldiers still missing in the Gaza Strip.

As far as security cooperation is concerned, Abbas himself called Israeli opposition leader Zehava Gal-On at the end of last month and stressed to her that it would continue. Gal-On wrote this on Facebook and Abbas did not deny it.

Speaking to Al-Jazeera, former Palestinian negotiator Diana Buttu said that, “Despite a decision by the PLO Security Council to end the cooperation, he [Abbas] is still holding on to the very essence of Oslo, which is security collaboration.”


Regarding Abbas and his war against the Palestinians who resist the Israeli occupation, the PA prisons are witnesses to what is being done to them. The PA courts, meanwhile, block the media from covering the issue.

Abbas makes it very clear that he is there to serve the Israeli occupation but not, as Buttu told Al-Jazeera, for the freedom of the Palestinians.

“It is quite the opposite,” she explained. “It is the basis for his personal political survival, and he is doing all of this at the expense of Palestinian lives.”

So, is Abbas serving the Palestinians or fooling them? The evidence is clear that it is the latter.

Note: Like Arafat before him, Abbas is financially satisfying the main Palestinian “leaders” of all factions

Israel will never go to war with Syria or Iran

 After the downing of the F16, Israel realized that air aggression on Syria has no tangible return but generate worse images of an impotent Israeli military effectiveness.

It was not easy to trust the news reports that Syrian air-defence missiles targeted an Israeli F16-fighter jet and downed it in response to Israel shooting down an Iranian drone that, according to the Israelis, had entered their airspace.

This happened, though, and a wide-scale war in the region was seen as inevitable, but neither Israel nor its main ally, the United States, are interested in such a conflict.

According to Israel, its response was the “largest and most significant strike in Syria since 1982.” (Exact damages were Not discosed)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be trying to de-escalate the tension and avoid going into battle, in both his actions and remarks; so did the US. “Our policy is clear,” Netanyahu claimed. “Israel will defend itself against any aggression and any attempt to violate its sovereignty.”

Although he took advantage of the sympathy generated by the incidents, all he did was order a strike similar to dozens that Israel has carried out in the past, which he knows very well do not prompt more than a few hollow comments from the Syrians and their Iranian allies.

While he accused Iran of being behind the shooting down of the Israeli jet and said that he would defend Israeli “steadfastly” against any Iranian attacks, at the same time he stressed that “Israel seeks peace” with Iran.

This is the first time that Netanyahu has ever made such a remark regarding the Iranian issue. He is known for calling for the destruction of Iran and calling for the US to scrap a “peace” deal with Tehran.

It is possible that Netanyahu orchestrated the claim that the drone violated Israeli airspace in order to persuade his people that Israel did not come under attack by Syria or Iran when the Israeli jet was downed, but that its adversaries responded to an attack by the “cautious” Israeli air-defence system, which downed an enemy drone that violated Israel’s sovereignty. The message was clear: in such circumstances, the Israelis must expect some losses.

The Syrians and the Iranians denied that one of their drones crossed into Israeli airspace. In a TV interview, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi described reports of the downing of an Iranian drone flying over Israel and Iran’s involvement in attacking an Israeli jet as “ridiculous.”

Brigadier General Hossein Salami, of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, told the Iranian news agency Tasnim, “We cannot confirm this report on the drone because Israelis are liars.” The Syrians, along with Hezbollah, also called the Israeli claim about shooting down a drone “a lie.”

When Netanyahu spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to give them the message that Israel would not tolerate Iran’s violations, he provided more evidence that he does not want a war with Syria and Iran.

Prior to this incident, which was big for Israel, Netanyahu had attacked targets in Syria without consulting anyone; in fact, he did so again on this occasion and prompted no Syrian response.

Speaking to Russia and the US made it look as if he was asking them to intervene and say, “Maintain self-control, please.”

Read: Putin urges Netanyahu to avoid escalation in Syria

If Netanyahu wants to start a war against Syria or Iran, now is the best time to do so because Syria has been depleted by the civil war and the fight against terrorist organisations for seven years. Iran has been involved in proxy wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, so it is also feeling the pinch.

(I note that If the military capabilities of Iran and Syria are way below those of nuclear-armed Israel, equipped with the latest military technology, the Israeli military on the ground is way below the experience of Syrian forces in the battle field).

According to former US envoy Dennis Ross, the Israeli military believed that President Donald Trump would translate his promises about deterring Iran into something on the ground. “Netanyahu,” he said, “has now travelled to Russia seven times in the last two years to see President Vladimir Putin, not simply to ensure there is no conflict between Israel and the Russian forces in Syria but also to try to persuade him to contain the spread of Iranian military infrastructure there. The former has worked, but the latter has not.”

As Israel will be alone in any military adventure in the Middle East, Netanyahu has been working to de-escalate the tension arising over this latest issue with Syria and Iran. Ross proved this before the incident with the downed jet even happened.

Note: The downing of F16 was done with a salvo of 20 air missiles. It means the decision of Syria was to score a definite message that violating its airspace and targeting Syrian installation will in no longer go without immediate and effective response




January 2023

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