AN ISRAELI INVASION OF THE GAZA STRIP ‘IS JUST A STONE’S THROW AWAY’ says Hamas Legislative Council member Yahya Musa

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Girls in London on a march in support of a Palestinian state
Girls in London on a march in support of a Palestinian state

HAMAS’ Yahya Musa, a deputy in the Palestinian Legislative Council declared yesterday that an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip was discussed behind the scenes at the recent Annapolis conference.

He said: ‘There are many pieces of information and analyses that can push us to say that the invasion has become a stone’s throw away or even less than that.’

On the Annapolis Conference, he said: ‘Undoubtedly, what happened in Annapolis is that there was a kind of alliance.

‘This alliance brought together the United States and some of those who are moving in the US orbit, including the Arabs and Palestinians, over what is called, in quotation marks, the war on terror.’

He said that the Palestinians must always keep in mind that they are confronting a bloody and unjust occupation.

He explained that ‘an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip will in one way or another unite the Palestinian people against the occupier.’

He cautioned that President Mahmud Abbas’ return to the Gaza Strip, if borne on the back of Israeli soldiers, ‘would make him lose any national character and would turn him into an agent in the eyes of the Palestinian people.’

Musa continued: ‘With regard to the Zionist entity, the security issue is always a very important matter, but in the final analysis, the decision is political.’

He said that Israeli Premier Olmert has made special estimations and calculations on the basis of which he has postponed the invasion of the Gaza Strip for months.

Musa highlighted the possible negative repercussions for Israel of an invasion of the Gaza Strip, such as the large number of losses among Israeli ranks in the case of an invasion and of ‘dismantling the structure of the resistance, or what they call terrorism.’

Israel, he maintained, is unable to pay this moral price, apart from the fact that there is no guarantee that Israel would be successful in eliminating the resistance if it invades the Gaza Strip.

He drew parallels between the US invasion of Iraq and Israel’s possible invasion of the Gaza Strip, noting that it may score grand victories in the short term, but in the long-term an invasion of the Strip could be extremely costly.

Musa added: ‘The occupation has fears that are growing about Gaza,’ such as that the resistance missiles can reach the heart of Israeli settlements, up to the borders of Ashdod.

He stated: ‘The occupation continues to calculate matters in a political manner.

Musa added that the resistance’s capability continued to be ‘primitive,’ and Israel exaggerated this ability for its own reasons.

‘The resistance fighters are distinguished for their fighting spirit, their determination, their desire for martyrdom, and their desire to fight for a doctrine, for the people, and our sanctities.’

He criticised the world for treating the Palestinian people unfairly and unjustly, saying ‘it equates the victim to the murderer and criminal,’ noting that ‘the Palestinian people should be protected by the international community because they have inalienable rights that must be addressed.’

Musa said the ultimate objective of the current Israeli government is that Olmert stays in power and the coalition continues to survive.

If anything threatens this coalition or Olmert, ‘then he may embark on a political adventure in order to avert the bad reputation he acquired through the Winograd Committee and to enable the Israeli Army to demonstrate an illusionary victory.’

He noted also that ‘pressure from the opposition on the Zionist entity could push it in this direction,’ and explained: ‘There is a process of pulse-feeling on both sides. The battles taking place now are balanced and accurate.’

Musa continued: ‘Unfortunately, the Palestinian side enjoys an unlimited amount of stupidity. Just imagine: There is someone who is taking action on the basis that he is responsible for the Palestinian people and is in the presidential position and supposedly a guardian of these people, but he does not care a jot about them. He embarks on negotiations as though nothing is happening.’

Musa accused Abbas of not once condemning the Israeli government and Olmert for his attacks on the Palestinian people and incursions into various parts of the Palestinian territories.

‘On the contrary, he praised him at Annapolis,’ he said.

‘We believe that the occupation senses the danger of the missiles,’ because if the resistance develops more advanced missiles, some 250,000 Israelis will fall within the range of these missiles, a worrying and problematic thought for Israel.

‘The bigger danger, he continues, is that Israel fears a situation where the resistance prepares an infrastructure so Israel is unable to invade the Strip.’

He explained that Israel is currently waging ‘a clean war’ from its perspective, and therefore it feels comfortable with this war it is waging from a distance, without having to enter the camps and incur losses and damage.

He said: ‘I tend to believe that the occupation will realise illusionary victories and will try to enter the Strip by dividing it.’

He ruled out a full invasion, noting also that an invasion can have positive results for the Palestinian people by making the whole people resist the occupier. Such an invasion could rally the people together more than divide them. He added that, if an invasion does take place and the Israeli Army marches into the Strip and re-occupies it, such a reoccupation of the Strip would not be able to maintain itself there in the long-term.

He said: ‘The response to an invasion will be greater solidarity among the political forces, further stamina and ability to overcome our pain and wounds, further cohesion and establishment of operations rooms for the resistance forces.’

Musa also denounced the continuing seige of Gaza.

‘It is not correct for this siege to continue. Whoever is inside a cell must knock at the door. Whoever is being besieged – that is, the 1.5 million Palestinians – must revolt against those who are besieging them.’

He asked Hamas and all the existing forces to revolt against the siege and not to wait to die a slow death.

‘It is neither correct nor acceptable for the Egyptian regime to continue closing the crossings.

‘Nor is it correct for the Arab world to stand aside watching. Nor is it correct for us to remain quiet.’

On whether Hamas has the ability to combine authority and resistance, Musa denies that Hamas is being targeted and prevented from coming to power. The target is Hamas’ programme, Palestinian nationalism, and Palestinian existence.