Fatah’s cheap opportunism ~ by Khalid Amayreh

[ PIC 14/08/2012 – 01:02 PM ]

Commentary by Khalid Amayreh

Following last week’s murderous attack in Rafah, in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed, Fatah officials and spokespersons viewed the incident as a valuable propaganda asset to tarnish the image of Hamas and incite the Egyptian government against the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Hamas strongly condemned the attack, voicing its willingness to help identify and capture the criminal perpetrators.

However, Fatah deliberately and brazenly ignored the obvious fact that Hamas had absolutely nothing to do with the “takferi” Qaida-allied terrorists and was in no way involved in or responsible for the nefarious crime against Egyptian lives and national sovereignty and dignity.

Fatah also seemed completely oblivious of the fact that the attack collided head-on with Hamas’s political interests, especially after the successful recent visit Prime Minister Ismael Haniya paid to Egypt, during which he held extensive meetings with President Muhammed Mursi as well as the leaders of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers.

Instead, Fatah spokespersons began uttering and issuing all sorts of disinformation and black propaganda with the clear aim of besmirching Hamas’s image and creating the false impression that Hamas bore at least part of the blame of what happened.

One of the PA mouthpieces, the Maan News Agency, which is funded by the European Union and is expected to practice a semblance of professional journalism, stooped to the base level of becoming a cheap tool of incitement against Hamas.

Citing “unnamed sources” as usual, the “news agency” claimed that the perpetrators came originally from the Gaza Strip and that Hamas helped and facilitated the task of the killers in some way.

Not a shred of evidence was given to corroborate the venomous accusations.

Similarly, a host of Fatah spokesmen, in whose lexicons, words such honesty and veracity evidently don’t exist, claimed that that the Sinai attack was made possible due to the network of underground tunnels in the area and that Hamas bore the ultimate responsibility.

One spokesman claimed that the Takferi elements incubated from under the cloak of Hamas and that Hamas was sharing them their extremist ideology.

They utterly forgot how Fatah sided with these elements when Hamas cracked down on them a few years ago.

Even PA president Mahmoud Abbas joined the tirade of incitement. He urged the Egyptian authorities to destroy all the tunnels in the area, claiming that Gazans didn’t need the tunnels in the first place.

He ignored the criminal 7-year siege by Israel which forced the inhabitants of the coastal enclave to seek vital consumer products from across the border in Egypt in order to avert starvation.

Abbas’s remarks decidedly put him on the side of Israel, the US and remnants of the defunct Mubarak regime which wanted to put Gaza and its 1.7 million Palestinians completely at Israel’s mercy.

Indeed, instead of voicing satisfaction at the new arrangements at the Rafah border crossing whereby travelers move relatively freely in both directions of the borders without any Israeli interference, the PA seemed to long for the days when the Israelis would even know the color of a traveler’s underwear, thanks to the humiliating conditions stemming from the disgraceful agreement to operate the Rafah Border Crossing, which Israel and the U.S. imposed on a shockingly pliant PA.

In the final analysis, the PA is willing to travel any distance and go to any extent to spite off Hamas, even if this meant colluding and coordinating positions with the enemy, which really raises the question of whether it is wise to seek unity with Fatah under existing circumstances.

The terrorist attack near Rafah has really unmasked the real intensions of Fatah vis-à-vis Hamas.

The group, which had signed the perfidious Oslo Accords and promised the Palestinian masses that the treasonous agreement would lead to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, is now devoting all its energies to undermine Hamas, not end the Israeli occupation.

Fatah is not really interested in a genuine reconciliation with Hamas. Instead, Fatah would like to use the reconciliation process in order to crush Hamas and paralyze its role in the Palestinian society.

The trouble with Fatah goes far beyond inciting Egypt against Hamas. Fatah continues to detain Hamas’s supporters in the West Bank. Fatah continues to hound and blacklist Islamists, barring them from public jobs in education, hospitals and various other fields.

I really don’t know how a real reconciliation can be achieved when the Fatah leadership, including the bulk of the security agencies in the West Bank, is still haunted by the desire for revenge for “the loss of Gaza.”

Perhaps it is still not too late to hope for the rebuilding of Palestinian national unity. However, it is extremely important that the Islamist camp be really vigilant and meticulous about every little detail.

In the final analysis, Fatah will have to clean its hatefulness, vindictiveness and sullen hostility toward Hamas. This is the main prerequisite for a successful reconciliation.



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