The Palestinians: Possible Coup?
Until recently, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas used to claim that Hamas was plotting to overthrow his government in the West Bank. Abbas's claim was aimed at justifying the massive crackdown that his security forces have been waging against Hamas supporters in the West Bank.
But in recent weeks Abbas's top aides have also begun talking about another threat to his government – this time from some Fatah leaders.
According to the aides, one of these Fatah leaders, Mohammed Dahlan, has been plotting to topple the Palestinian president. Dahlan is a former security commander who was thrown out of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Ironically, Hamas claimed then that it had to launch a pre-emptive coup in the Gaza Strip after noticing that Dahlan, with the help of Americans and Europeans, was conspiring to overthrow its government.
Dahlan and dozens of his supporters have since moved to live in the West Bank.
Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah claim that the overly-ambitious Dahlan has recently been plotting to replace Abbas as president – a charge dismissed by Dahlan as a "joke."
Dahlan's associates say that Abbas is obviously suffering from severe paranoia because of his belief that too many parties are planning to topple him. They note that similar charges have also been leveled against other senior Fatah officials, including Nasser al-Qudwa, a nephew of Yasser Arafat, and Ahmed Qurei, a former prime minister and veteran Fatah operative.
All three Fatah leaders have reportedly been targeted by Abbas for daring to criticize him and his policies in closed and public forums. The three have been punished in different ways by the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
Qurei has been stripped of his VIP card, denying him even the privilege of travelling to Jordan in his private vehicle; after that, Abbas's aides announced that a special commission had launched an inquiry into charges of financial corruption.
Al-Qudwa, a former foreign minister, has been accused by Abbas's aides of working to undermine the Palestinian leadership by projecting himself as a "natural successor" to the president. After that, Abbas's office published an article in the official Wafa news agency strongly condemning al-Qudwa.
But most of the heat has thus far been directed against Dahlan. Abbas first ordered his security forces to assign only two policemen -- instead of four -- to guard Dahlan's private residence in Ramallah. The decision has been interpreted as an attempt to humiliate the former security commander.
After that, Abbas ordered the closure of a private TV station in Ramallah that is believed to be owned by Dahlan. All 35 employees working for the station, Falasteen al-Ghad [Palestine Tomorrow] were ordered to leave the offices of the station.
Abbas's aides now claim that Dahlan, like Qurei, is also facing charges of financial corruption.
The infighting in Abbas's ruling Fatah faction shows that the real threat to his authority is no longer Hamas but a growing number of disgruntled officials surrounding him. If anything, the charges made by Abbas's aides are a sign that the Palestinian president is under immense pressure.
Some Palestinians are convinced that the allegations coming out of Abbas's office are exaggerated with the purpose of winning international support. The message that Abbas is trying to send to the world is: I need your moral and financial support because everyone, from Hamas to Fatah, is now against me.
It now appears that the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East is no longer the construction in the settlements, but the threats facing Abbas at home.
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by Burak Bekdil
So in the EU-candidate Turkey, a pianist should be punished for his re-tweets, but a pop-singer should be congratulated for her first-class racist hate-speech. This is contagious.
No reporter present at Mr. Ihsanoglu's campaign launch speech thought about asking him if his commitment to the "Palestinian cause" included any affirmation of the Hamas Charter, in particular a section that says, "…The stones and trees will say, 'O Muslims, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Turkey is also the country where a few years earlier, a group of school teachers (yes, school teachers!) gathered in a demonstration to commemorate Hitler.
by Debalina Ghoshal
Despite Chapter VII of the UN Charter and UNSC Resolutions, it seems that North Korea will continue developing its missiles -- and eventually weaponize them with nuclear warheads.
"North Korea's ballistic and nuclear threat is very much a near-term threat. ... Steady progression in their program is not harmless." — Victor Cha, Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
On March 26, 2014, North Korea reportedly test-fired medium-range ballistic Rodong missiles -- capable of reaching Japan and U.S. military bases in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since February, South Korean officials claim that North Korea has confirmed at least 90 test-firings, among which ten were ballistic missiles.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
It is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas's or Islamic Jihad's overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.
Many foreign journalists who came to cover the war in the Gaza trip were under the false impression that it was all about improving living conditions for the Palestinians by opening border crossings and building an airport and seaport. These journalists really believed that once the demands of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad are accepted, this would pave the way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
To understand the true intention of Hamas and its allies, it is sufficient to follow the statements made by their leaders after the cease-fire announcement this week. To his credit, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's leader, has never concealed Hamas's desire to destroy Israel.
Hamas and its allies see the war in the Gaza Strip as part of there strategy to destroy Israel. What Hamas and its allies are actually saying is, "Give us open borders and an airport and seaport so we can use them to prepare for the next war against Israel."
by Burak Bekdil
A front-page headline was particularly revealing: They (Israel) bombed a mosque in Gaza! Including the exclamation mark!
A quick internet search, if you typed "mosque bombing Shiite-Sunni," would give you 782,000 results on July 16.
Why did we not hear one single Turkish voice protest the death of 300,000 Muslims in Darfur?
Hamas's Charter is must-read fun.
by Bassam Tawil
What is sad is that the Gazans have not yet been able to free themselves from the yoke of Hamas.
The world seems not to understand that Hamas, like ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood, does not exist in a vacuum. It is one cog in the radical Islamist wheel that threatens the Arab and Muslim world and the major cities of Europe.
The Western world also seems not to understand that it has to incapacitate or totally neutralize the countries funding terrorism, such as Iran, Qatar and Turkey, for whom the Palestinian problem is only a pretext on the way to destroying the Western world as we know it and replacing it with only Islam.