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Hamas taking over PLO?

It is purported to be a merger between the Hamas, Jihad Islami and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), but was is more likely is that Hamas is trying to swallow the PLO. In the recently concluded local election, Hamas swept aside candidates of Fatah and other Palestinian factions. This has sent a chill down the spine of the PLO, which fears that in the parliamentary elections, scheduled to happen later this year, Hamas may sweep power and the PLO may become history. With the wave of Islamization, the Hamas could well pull this off and jeopardize not just the PLO, but also the fragile and tottering peace deal with Israel.

Hamas supporters set a fake coffin covered with the flags of Israel and the U.S. on fire during a Hamas rally in the West Bank city of Hebron, March 30, 2005.

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So to save the political fortunes of those in the PLO, the PLO may Hamas and Jihad Islami join its ranks for the first time, according to Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi said.

So far, both Islamic Jihad and Hamas have long objected to joining the mainstream PLO, opposing its peace moves with Israel, but have recently softened their stance and agreed to a temporary halt (Hudna) to attacks against the Jewish state.

In a meeting late on Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to Islamic Jihad members taking part in a meeting of the PLO executive this week to help cement the March 17 truce. Al Hindi said both his group and Hamas would attend the PLO session “to discuss a basis on which the PLO should be rebuilt” and said the PLO would consider a bid to let them join the organization.

Abbas, who was elected in January to succeed Arafat, told reporters after the Gaza meeting that he was seeking to further “national unity and calm” with the militants. “It is necessary to follow up these issues with them (militants) so that we can push forward calm and the political process,” or peace talks with Israel, Abbas said. But the reality is far from this. A merger of the PLO with the Hamas and Jihad Islami would subsume the PLO which is already becoming radicalized so as to blur the difference between moderate and extremist in the Palestinian spectrum, if at all there is any difference. What we foresee is the subsuming of the PLO into the extreme terror based outlook of the Hamas.

An indicator of the foreboding shape of things to come was in the shooting incident yesterday when Palestinian militants fired at Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ West Bank headquarters while he was in the compound, but he was not injured. Later, the 15 gunmen — who said they belong to an armed group linked to the ruling Fatah movement — went on a shooting rampage throughout the city of Ramallah, damaging several restaurants and forcing shops to close, Another incident that is very telling about Hamas’ mindset was when its supporters set a fake coffin covered with the flags of Israel and the U.S. on fire during a Hamas rally in the West Bank city of Hebron, March 30, 2005. Thousands of protesters marched in the Jewish state to mark ‘Land Day,’ while thousands of Palestinians held demonstrations, some marred by stone-throwing clashes with Israeli soldiers, in the West Bank Israel is watching these development with anxiety and it would be advisable for it to withhold its army in Gaza, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) if it want to avoid a bloodied re-occupation that would become necessary when terror attacks escalate to unparalleled height, when the Hamas completely subsumes the PLO, which has observed a formal modicum of negotiations for peace with Israel.

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