The Palestinian Authority is threatening that the peace process would be harmed if Israel launched a military operation to stop the rockets and missiles that are being fired from the Gaza Strip.

In other words, the Palestinian Authority leadership is warning Israel against defending itself from the attacks carried out by Hamas and other radical Islamic groups in the Gaza Strip.

Apparently, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank believes that the rockets and missiles that have been pouring on Israel in recent weeks are beneficial to the peace process.

There is no doubt that another war in the Gaza Strip would be disastrous for the Palestinians living there. But the best way to avoid such a war is by calling on Hamas and the other radical groups to stop the attacks.

There is, additionally, a large degree of hypocrisy in the Palestinian Authority's position regarding the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have shown that the Palestinian Authority leadership actually appealed for Israel's help to get rid of Hamas: there were countless reports indicating that the Palestinian Authority -- expelled by Hamas from the Gaza Strip in 2007 -- had actually assisted Israel during Operation Cast Lead against Hamas two years ago.

Once attacks stopped, Israel would have no excuse to wage another war in the Gaza Strip.

Those who are firing the rockets and missiles are trying to drag Israel into another confrontation that would undoubtedly claim the lives of many Palestinians.

It is possible that those behind the attacks on Israel are seeking to divert attention from Iran's ongoing efforts to destabilize the region. The upsurge in the attacks on Israel come as an international tribunal prepares to hold Hizbullah responsible for the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The Iranian-backed Hizbullah is desperately nervous about the findings of the tribunal, and is already doing its utmost to discredit the tribunal. The groups in the Gaza Strip that are behind the recent spate of attacks on Israel are also backed and funded by Iran, which has long been trying to undermine moderate Arabs and Muslims.

The real threat to the Middle East peace process is coming from Iran and its proxies in the region. Mahmoud Abbas needs to understand that it is the rockets and missiles -- and not Israel's response to them -- that is threatening to destroy the peace process.

It is likely that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are well aware of the fact that it is Iran, Hamas and Hizbullah who are seeking to destroy the peace process. But as the WikiLeaks cables have revealed, Arab leaders are often afraid to tell their people the truth.

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