|A massive December 2012 Hamas rally, the first of its kind|
in years, in Nablus [Image Source]
In today's Times of Israel, there's a report ["Report: Israel fears Hamas making move for control of West Bank"] taken from the London Sunday Times that cites a fear among "senior officials in Jerusalem" about an imminent "Gaza-style takeover of the West Bank by Hamas". This concern is evidently based on
intelligence estimates that show the Iran-backed terror group making a move for control of the Palestinian territory.Here's how they present it:
Military Intelligence and the Shin Bet security service both have information that Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal has ordered his supporters to prepare for a battle for control of the West Bank, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday. The move is feared by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party, which has seen its popularity on the Arab street wane in the face of the more hard-line Hamas movement.Iran and Hamas on Israel's entire eastern border - an appalling thought that must be concentrating many minds right now.
“We’re on the verge of catastrophe,” Tawfik Tirawi, a senior Fatah member, told the paper. ”Hamas wants intifada and now only a spark is needed to light the inferno. Hamas will take over the West Bank.”
Jerusalem reportedly fears that a Hamas takeover of the West Bank would give Iran, which is allied with the group, a foothold on the border of Israel’s heartland. According to the report, Iran is the driving force behind Hamas’s push to control the West Bank. [more]
The caption under the AP photo above reads (in the San Francisco Chronicle of December 13, 2012):
Palestinian supporters of Hamas gather during a rally to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hamas militant group, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. Hamas supporters rallied in the first display of force by the Islamic militant group in the West Bank since it overran Gaza from the Western-backed party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007. Photo: Nasser Ishtayeh / APOne might conclude that last month's United Nations decision to award the Mahmoud Abbas/PLO/Fatah regime "non-member observer state" status, as well as the energetic speeches and votes in support, seems somewhat in danger of being rendered irrelevant, pointless and counterproductive.