Updated: 1.31.09 added another story
compiled by Cem Ertür
27 January, 2009
excerpts from: ‘Iran and Syria trying to replace PLO‘
by Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, 29 January 2009
The Palestinian Authority [PA] on Thursday accused Iran and Syria of encouraging Hamas and other radical groups to establish a new leadership that would challenge the [Palestine Liberation Organisation] PLO’s claim to be the “sole and legitimate” representative of the Palestinians. The PA is an organ of the PLO.
The PA fears that the potential new leadership, which would be headed by Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, would be recognized by several Islamic governments that are unhappy with President Mahmoud Abbas.
The PA is also worried because the idea of replacing the PLO is being backed by prominent Arab political analysts, newspaper editors and even veteran Fatah leader Farouk Kaddoumi.
Mashaal on Wednesday surprised the PA by announcing that the current circumstances require the Palestinians to start thinking about the creation of a new leadership that would represent all Palestinians.
The PLO was no longer the legitimate representative of the Palestinians “because of its role in deepening divisions among the Palestinians,” he said.
His declaration has won the backing of all the Damascus-based Palestinian groups, including Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command headed by Ahmed Jibril.
Hussein a-Sheikh, a senior Fatah operative in the West Bank, called for organizing protests against Mashaal’s comments.
“This is an Iranian-Syrian plot against the PLO,” he said.
A Fatah leaflet distributed in Nablus on Thursday lashed out at former MK [member of the Israeli parliament Knesset] Azmi Bishara for supporting the idea […] The leaflet condemned all those who support Hamas as “mercenaries” working for Iran, Syria and Qatar.
excerpt from: Thousands of al-Qaeda supporters active in Gaza
by Ali Waked, Ynetnews, 31 January 2009
Thousands of global Jihad supporters, mostly concentrated in southern Gaza, are currently active in the Strip according to a Ynet inquiry with various Palestinian sources.
According to Ynet’s inquiry, the overwhelming majority of Qaeda supporters are in fact Hamas or Popular Resistance Commiittees (PRC) members who were unimipressed with Hamas’ decision to join the political establishment and run in the Palestinian elections. These members claimed that this prompted Hamas to abandon the path of Jihad, which they felt is the only way to liberate Palestinian lands from Israel’s control.
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