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Ross warns Israel lack of progress in talks could aid Hamas

IDF assisting PA forces but still fears Islamist takeover

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Ross warns Israel lack of progress in talks could aid Hamas

Senior White House advisor Dennis Ross told a meeting of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee on Monday that the failure of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority would, among other things, jeopardize the progress made by US trained PA security forces in the West Bank in combating the forces of the Islamic terror militia Hamas.

“These positive developments will be difficult to sustain if the prospects for peace look less and less real,” Ross warned, adding that Israel probably won’t get a better chance to make peace than is currently being offered by PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who have rejected violence but continue to urge “popular resistance” to Israel at every opportunity.

IDF Central Command officers held a training session at Lachish over the weekend in which they outlined their main problems in keeping the volatile West Bank stable and secure.

“The most extreme situation that we can envision in the Command is that the Palestinian Authority will decide to turn its weapons against us. This is a possible scenario, but we do not believe it will happen in actuality,” GOC Central Command, Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrachi said. “There is a suppression of Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel share a mutual interest in ensuring that terrorism will not come out of the Judea and Samaria region. The Palestinian leaders fear a Hamas takeover of the Judea and Samaria region more than they fear us. It is important to remember that even after the next clash, both sides will remain here. None of us will go off to Switzerland.”

Elsewhere, Hamas’s interior minister Fathi Hammad declared on Monday that Hamas will soon “liberate Haifa and Acre” and warned his followers that Israel is preparing for “another battle against the Gaza Strip in order to uproot the Palestinian resistance.” He added that convoys of supplies which have reached Gaza despite Israel and Egypt’s blockade of the Hamas-ruled Strip send a message to Hamas that “we must remain committed to jihad and resistance.”

Hammad, who is a very senior figure in Hamas’ military wing, also took a shot at the PA, warning chairman Mahmoud Abbas that “no matter how many concessions you make, the occupation [Israel] and America will never be satisfied with you.”

 

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