Topic | Choose topic/s and define your search
Affiliations / Personalities
Sources
Date Range

PA: Israel and Hamas planning to assassinate Abbas

Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |
     
PA: Israel and Hamas planning
to assassinate Abbas

 
  • Abbas' advisor: "There is suspicious and dangerous coordination... both Israel and Hamas incite against the president [Abbas] morning and night... and want to assassinate him"
  • Abbas repeats libel that Israel poisoned Arafat: "They can kill me in my home with bullets or with a missile at any given moment. They can also kill me with poison, as they poisoned the late President Yasser Arafat... but I will not surrender"
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on religious affairs has accused Israel and Hamas of planning "an attack against Abbas":

Mahmoud Al-Habbash: "There is suspicious and dangerous coordination between the statements of the occupation state's leaders and the statements of the Hamas Movement's leaders on all that is connected to an attack on [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 14, 2019]

Al-Habbash claimed Israel and Hamas share a desire to "assassinate" Abbas. He alleged that Israeli cabinet members have talked about "ways of getting rid of" Abbas, and said this was done in parallel with Hamas urging foreign parliaments to revoke Abbas' legitimacy as president:

"[Al-Habbash] emphasized that this coordination of statements [between Israel and Hamas] and the attack on the Palestinian leadership headed by the president is not coincidental, because both Israel and Hamas incite against the president morning and night, challenge his legitimacy, and want to assassinate him."

The "attacks" against Abbas refer to remarks by Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan who suggested barring Abbas from returning to the Palestinian territories the next time he travels abroad, and to a campaign by an Israeli private right-wing organization that on posters with Abbas' face seen through a rifle sight has called on the Israeli government to "eliminate those who fund murder!" (see more below.)

Fatah's Revolutionary Council Secretary Majed Al-Fatiani claimed this campaign is coming from the Israeli government:

"If not for the political cover from the highest echelons in the settler government, they would not be threatening the president through posters that they have glued to the occupation army's checkpoints. This is direct incitement by the occupation government, exactly like they incited against President Martyr leader Yasser Arafat before and during the siege on him."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 14, 2018]

Abbas himself reacted to the alleged "attacks" against him and compared his situation to that of former PA leader Arafat, repeating the PA libel that Israel poisoned and killed him:

Abbas: "They can kill me in my home with bullets or with a missile at any given moment. They can also kill me with poison, as they poisoned the late President Yasser Arafat (sic., scientific teams have debunked this conspiracy; see note below) and killed [Palestine Liberation] Organization leaders in the past - but I will not surrender. Life is in Allah's hands, and even if they kill me, it will not solve their problems."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 15, 2019]

A regular columnist of the official PA daily, Bassem Barhoum, also claimed that Hamas is helping Israel target the PA. Referring to a break-in and destruction of equipment at the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) office in Gaza, Barhoum stated that the perpetrator "is certainly a Zionist pawn" - endorsed by Hamas:

"One who decides to break into the offices of the [Palestine] Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) while masked and to destroy and shatter everything inside it is certainly a Zionist pawn (refers to attack on PBC offices in Gaza on Jan. 4, 2019). This is because it is impossible that any patriotic Palestinian would commit this crime against a national institution whose main work is to defend the Palestinian people and its cause... Since nothing happens in the Gaza Strip without Hamas' knowledge, it bears the responsibility as the de-facto government."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 6, 2019]

Barhoum accused Hamas of having harmed "the Palestinian cause" and timed suicide operations during the second intifada to serve Israel and provide it with excuses to destroy the PA:

"Let us recall how the timing of Hamas' suicide operations (i.e., suicide bombings) served Zionism and gave it an excuse not to carry out the stages of withdrawal from the Palestinian territories; how the operation on March 28, 2002 in Netanya (i.e., Park Hotel suicide bombing, 30 murdered) gave [then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon an excuse to carry out Operation Defensive Shield (i.e., a counter-terror operation in response to the PA terror campaign 2000-2005; see note below), during which the infrastructures of the PA and the Palestinian people were destroyed, and which ended with the assassination of eternal leader [former PLO Chairman and PA President] Yasser Arafat in 2004 (sic., medical teams have refuted the PA libel that Israel poisoned Arafat; see note below)."

Abbas' advisor Al-Habbash stated in a sermon in October 2018 that "Hamas has become a contemptible tool in the hands of Israel and America." He accused Hamas of having "left the path of Prophet Muhammad" and "turned into a movement whose religion is the throne, and its god is the dollar and diesel fuel." Al- Habbash vowed to "defend" people in the Gaza Strip against the Israel and Hamas' joint "crime":

Al-Habbash: "We will spare no efforts to defend our people in the Gaza Strip from the consequences of this crime in which Israel and Hamas are participating... it is a Shari'ah commandment on us to liberate the Gaza Strip from Hamas, so that afterwards we will all go to liberate Jerusalem."
[Official PA TV, Oct. 5, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch documented Al-Habbash's criticism of Hamas in 2018 for sending Palestinian civilians off to endanger themselves and get killed in demonstrations at the border so that Hamas would get international media coverage.

The following are longer excerpts of the statements quoted above:

Headline: "The Israeli serial incitement against the [PA] president - a scenario that repeats itself"
"The Israeli right-wing government is continuing its systematic attack and incitement against the legal leadership of our Palestinian people, led by [PA] President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas.
In the latest chapter in the series of Israeli incitement, the occupation's so-called [Israeli] 'Minister of Public Security' Gilad Erdan - who is close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - called to prevent President Abbas from returning to the homeland (see note below -Ed.). He demanded that his government 'examine this option.'
Simultaneously with the incitement campaign that the Israeli government is waging, terrorist settlers are distributing posters along the access routes to settlements in the West Bank that call to assassinate President Abbas (see note below -Ed.)...
In his response to the Israeli threats and to the settlers' incitement to murder him, the president recently told members of the press in Cairo: 'They can kill me in my home with bullets or with a missile at any given moment. They can also kill me with poison, as they poisoned the late [PLO Chairman and PA] President Yasser Arafat (sic., scientific teams have debunked this conspiracy; see note below) and killed [Palestine Liberation] Organization leaders in the past - but I will not surrender. Life is in Allah's hands, and even if they kill me, it will not solve their problems.'
President [Abbas'] advisor on Foreign Affairs [and International Relations] Nabil Shaath said: 'The Israeli incitement against President Abbas that is increasing these days is very similar to what happened to Martyr (Shahid) President Yasser Arafat, as the two leaders acted in the same way facing the pressures and refused to renounce our people's legitimate rights.' He added: 'We are all potential Martyrs; we will continue to stand firm and will not surrender in order to save ourselves.'
Shaath noted that President Abbas is repeatedly saying in his meetings abroad that 'he will not betray his cause and will not renounce Jerusalem and the refugees' right [of return].' ...
Shaath said: 'President Abbas is a man of peace, a just and comprehensive peace that will lead to the establishment of the independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem, will lead to the end of the occupation, and will guarantee the refugees' right of return. He will continue to adhere to his positions despite all the threats.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 15, 2019]

On Jan. 13, 2019, Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan suggested barring PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas from returning to the West Bank the next time he travels abroad. Erdan said that Abbas is "one of the main instigators of violence on the southern border," because of the measures he is taking to try and break Hamas' control of the Gaza Strip.

Headline: "Al-Habbash: Suspicious coordination between Israel and Hamas in an attack on [PA] President Abbas"
"Supreme Shari'ah Judge of Palestine and [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas'] advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash said that there is suspicious and dangerous coordination between the statements of the occupation state's leaders and the statements of the Hamas Movement's leaders on all that is connected to an attack on [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas. The former talks in the occupation government's Cabinet about the ways of getting rid of him (apparently refers to Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan saying on Jan. 13, 2019 that Israel should not allow Abbas to return after he travels abroad -Ed.), as they did to the late [PA] President Martyr (Shahid) Yasser Arafat (refers to PA libel that Israel assassinated Arafat; see note below -Ed.); while the latter [Hamas] writes to the parliaments of the world's states and claims that [Abbas] should have his legal qualifications [to serve as president] revoked...
The supreme Shari'ah judge emphasized that this coordination of statements and the attack on the Palestinian leadership headed by the president is not coincidental, because both Israel and Hamas incite against the president morning and night, challenge his legitimacy, and want to assassinate him."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 14, 2019]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also holds the position of and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice.

Yasser Arafat - Founder of Fatah, former chairman of the PA. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s Arafat was behind numerous terror attacks against Israelis. Although he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 together with then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres "for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East" after signing the Oslo Accords peace agreement, Arafat launched a 5-year terror campaign - the second Intifada (2000-2005) - in which more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered. Arafat died of an illness in 2004. However, following his death, the
PA created the libel that Israel murdered Arafat, and it has been spreading it since. In 2012, samples were taken from Arafat's remains and tested for poisoning by Swiss, Russian, and French teams of scientists. The Swiss team concluded that the tests were "coherent with a hypothesis of poisoning" - but a member of the team also stated that "our study did not permit us to demonstrate categorically the hypothesis of poisoning by polonium." The Russian scientists concluded that "there was insufficient evidence to support the theory that Yasser Arafat died in 2004 by polonium poisoning." [Reuters, Nov. 8, 2013] In March 2015, three French judges ruled that "it has not been demonstrated that Mr. Yasser Arafat was murdered by polonium-210 poisoning." The French prosecutor stated that there was "not sufficient evidence of an intervention by a third party who could have attempted to take his life." [France 24, Sept. 2, 2015] The French prosecutor also explained that the polonium and lead found in Arafat's grave were "of an environmental nature." [Jerusalem Post, March 17, 2015].
Despite these results, the PA continues to blame Israel for Arafat's death without any proof or backing for this claim.

Excerpt of an op-ed by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily
Headline: "The Zionist pawn destroys the PA TV offices"
"One who decides to break into the offices of the [Palestine] Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) while masked and to destroy and shatter everything inside it is certainly a Zionist pawn (refers to attack on PBC offices in Gaza on Jan. 4, 2019). This is because it is impossible that any patriotic Palestinian would commit this crime against a national institution whose main work is to defend the Palestinian people and its cause...
Since nothing happens in the Gaza Strip without Hamas' knowledge, it bears the responsibility as the de-facto government...
Let us ask ourselves in a moment of clear thinking: What has Hamas really achieved for the Palestinian people? ...
As much as Hamas will attempt to hide behind the word 'resistance'... its actual activity and its results on the ground are the destruction of the Palestinian cause.
Is one who behaves this way not a Zionist pawn?
Let us recall how the timing of Hamas' suicide operations (i.e., suicide bombings) served Zionism and gave it an excuse not to carry out the stages of withdrawal from the Palestinian territories; how the operation on March 28, 2002 in Netanya (i.e., Park Hotel suicide bombing, 30 murdered) gave [then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon an excuse to carry out Operation Defensive Shield (i.e., a counter-terror operation in response to the PA terror campaign 2000-2005; see note below), during which the infrastructures of the PA and the Palestinian people were destroyed, and which ended with the assassination of eternal leader [former PLO Chairman and PA President] Yasser Arafat in 2004 (sic., medical teams have refuted the PA libel that Israel poisoned Arafat; see note below).
This Zionist pawn, or this pawn that serves the Zionist plan, is the same one who broke into the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation offices and the offices of the [official PA news] agency WAFA. After all, who but this pawn could think to commit a crime such as this?"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 6, 2019]

Park Hotel suicide bombing - On March 27, 2002, Abd Al-Basset Odeh carried out a suicide bombing at a Passover dinner at the Park Hotel in Netanya. 30 Israeli civilians were murdered and 140 were wounded.

Operation Defensive Shield - a large Israeli military operation in April 2002 in response to the many suicide bombings during the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005). Israel put Arafat under siege and invaded six of the largest West Bank cities in an attempt to destroy the terror infrastructure.

Excerpt of op-ed by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily
Headline: "The Israeli invasions of Ramallah and El-Bireh"
"Everyone is wondering about the meaning of the violent and recurring invasions of Ramallah and El-Bireh by the Israeli occupation army. The stated Israeli excuse is that they are carrying out 'security measures' following the two operations that were carried out against settlers and occupation soldiers north-east of Ramallah a few weeks ago (i.e., shooting attacks next to Ofra and Givat Assaf, 3 murdered; see notes below), but the way the invasions are being carried out, their great number, and the fact that they are recurring each and every day indicates that their goal is political par-excellence...
The Palestinian people is familiar with these provocations and knows what their true goals are; apparently, Israel has a plan to destroy everything that the Palestinian people builds every few years, so that this people will remain at the starting point. We remember how Israel dragged some [of the Palestinians] into the circle of armed violence during the second Intifada (i.e., PA terror campaign 2000-2005), how it justified all of its barbaric operations, and how it completely destroyed the Palestinian people's capabilities and its national institutions. The moment we overcame this destruction, the occupation state wanted to lead us into an additional round of its barbarity and destruction. Since Israel's goals and its invasions are clear to us, the policy of restraint and avoiding any being dragged into the Israeli provocations are the key to salvation.
The meaning of this restraint is not that we will let them to invade our cities in peace - and that is what is happening on the ground, as our young people are receiving the occupation's vehicles with rocks and confronting them every time. This is the required level of confrontation, without being dragged into the trap Israel is setting, as any rogue bullet will become an [Israeli] excuse for a new wave of destruction...
What is strange is that there are media trumpets acting - knowingly or unknowingly - to bring about a situation that will achieve the Israeli goals when they try to provoke our [PA] Security Forces and the official establishment so that they will enter an undesirable adventure. An example of this is the recurring question 'Where is the sovereignty?'
What is strange is that they know well that no one claims to have sovereignty, as we are an occupied state.
Most of these media outlets are close to the Hamas Movement...
Anyone that follows the Hamas media outlets discovers its regular strategy: to carry out an operation against Israel, but the goal is to weaken the PA. The question that arises here is what is the division of roles between the occupation state and Hamas?"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 13, 2019]

Ofra shooting attack - Palestinian terrorists shot and wounded 7 Israelis - a pregnant woman, her husband, another man, and 4 teenagers - in a drive-by shooting attack next to Ofra, north of Jerusalem, on Dec. 9, 2018. The pregnant woman was severely wounded and doctors had to deliver her baby prematurely before operating on her. The baby, Amiad Yisrael Ish-Ran, died three days later. The terrorists fled the scene but most of them were located three days later on Dec. 12, 2018. One terrorist, Saleh Omar Saleh Barghouti, was shot and killed by the Israeli army during the attempt to apprehend him, while other terrorists were taken into custody. Another terrorist, Saleh's brother Asem Barghouti, was arrested on Jan. 8, 2019. He also participated in the Givat Assaf shooting attack on Dec. 13, 2018, in which 2 were murdered. The Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas' military wing) claimed responsibility for the Ofra shooting attack.

Givat Assaf shooting attack - Palestinian terrorist Asem Barghouti shot and murdered 2 Israelis and seriously wounded 2 others in a shooting attack next to Givat Assaf, near Ramallah, on Dec. 13, 2018. Barghouti fled the scene in a car driven by another terrorist, but was arrested by Israeli forces on Jan. 8, 2019.Together with his terrorist brother Saleh Barghouti, Asem Barghouti also participated in the Ofra shooting attack on Dec. 9, 2018, in which 1 was murdered.

Headline: "Al-Fatiani: The [PA] president is a red line"
"Fatah Movement Revolutionary Council Secretary [and Jericho and Jordan Valley District Governor] Majed Al-Fatiani emphasized that our people continues to adhere to the principle of resistance against and confrontation with the occupiers and settlers. He held the occupation directly responsible for the consequences (apparently refers to Givat Assaf shooting attack, 2 murdered; see note below -Ed.) of the escalation of the murder operations against Palestinian civilians (apparently refers to the killing of terrorists Saleh Barghouti, Ashraf Na'alwa, and Majdi Mteir; see notes below -Ed.) and the settlers' direct threats to kill the symbol of the Palestinian legitimacy, while emphasizing that [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas constitutes a red line.
Al-Fatiani said yesterday [Dec. 13, 2018] in an interview with Radio Mawtini: 'The Martyrs' (Shahids') souls have ascended for the freedom and liberation from the occupation.'
He added: 'The occupation's tyranny, violence, harassment, racism, and injustice are pushing them to confront and resist with bare chests,' and emphasized the Palestinians' love for life, but no less for freedom and honor...
Regarding the settlers' threats and their calls to kill President Mahmoud Abbas... Al-Fatiani held the Israeli government directly responsible for these threats, and explained: 'If not for the political cover from the highest echelons in the settler government, they would not be threatening the president through posters that they have glued to the occupation army's checkpoints. This is direct incitement by the occupation government, exactly like they incited against [late PLO Chairman and PA] President Martyr leader Yasser Arafat before and during the siege on him.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 14, 2018]

Friday sermon from the mosque at former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's grave in Ramallah by Supreme Shari'ah Judge, PA President Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash; in attendance: Secretary-General of the PA Presidential Office Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, Head of the Supreme Muslim Council and head preacher in the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, and Fatah Central Committee member and Fatah Commissioner for Arab and China Relations and Abbas Zaki
Supreme Shari'ah Judge, PA President Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs, and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-Habbash: "You [Hamas] are serving 'the deal of the century' (i.e., US President Donald Trump's as yet unpublished Middle East peace plan), and implementing 'the deal of the century.' Yes. I say wholeheartedly, regardless of who it angers, and do as you will: Hamas has become a contemptible tool in the hands of Israel and America. It is implementing 'the deal of the century' with complete criminality, and with boundless insolence. You will tear the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian West Bank. Read, if you wish, what was written joyfully in the Israeli media two days ago [Oct. 3, 2018], when Israel confirmed that its plan was beginning to be realized. They said: 'We have begun the first plan.' Read what was said in the Hebrew newspapers and websites: 'We have begun the first plan for the implementation of the deal of the century' by creating two separate Palestinian entities, one in the Gaza Strip and one in part of the West Bank - and of course without Jerusalem and the refugees, and without sovereignty and without anything (PMW could find no record of such a statement -Ed.).' ...
Between us, O Hamas, is the book of Allah and the path of his Prophet [Muhammad], may Allah bless him. You have left it; I say this wholeheartedly: You have left it, and turned into a movement whose religion is the throne, and its god is the dollar and diesel fuel. They will be angry over these words? I know they will be angry...
Faithful brothers... we differentiate between Hamas that is hijacking the Gaza Strip and the residents. The Gaza Strip and its residents are an inseparable part of us... and we will spare no efforts to defend our people in the Gaza Strip from the consequences of this crime in which Israel and Hamas are participating. We will do everything we can, everything we can...
 A while ago we said that the Hamas entity - which I again say that its end, the end of its rule over the Gaza Strip, is a Shari'ah [Islamic legal] commandment and a national necessity - I say this morning and night - it is a Shari'ah commandment on us to liberate the Gaza Strip from Hamas, so that afterwards we will all go to liberate Jerusalem, because the continuation of this situation does not serve the cause of Jerusalem."
[Official PA TV, Not a Neighbor, Oct. 5, 2018]
 
Categories in this Analysis
Related View all ❯