Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with President Bush at White House in July 2003
RAMALLAH – In a speech today commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the founding of his Fatah party, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Palestinian factions to put an end to weeks of infighting and instead “raise rifles against the Israeli occupation.”
“Shooting at your brother is forbidden. Raising rifles against the occupation is our legitimate right, but raising guns against each other is forbidden. We should put our internal fighting aside and raise our rifles only against the Israeli occupation,” said Abbas in a speech in Ramallah attended by WND.
Abbas’ call to arms was not reported by most major media outlets featuring articles on the Palestinian leader’s speech.
Sources close to Hamas said the Fatah militants, including members of Force 17, worked with Hamas after receiving larger paychecks from the terror group.
“When they join Hamas, they bring along their new weapons,” said a Hamas source.
During a WND interview earlier this week, Hamas spokesman Abu Oubaida told WND his terror group will obtain any American weapons transferred to Fatah militias or purchased by Fatah using the incoming $86.4 million in U.S. aid.
“I am sure that like in the past, this $86 million from America will find its way to the Hamas resistance via the honorable persons in the Fatah security organizations, including in Force 17. I can confirm 100 percent that this money and purchased weapons will find its way to Hamas,” said Abu Oubaida.
The last confirmed American arms shipment to Fatah took place in May. At first, it was denied by the U.S. and Israel, but Olmert in June admitted the transfer took place, telling reporters, “I needed to approve the shipment to help bolster Abbas.”
The U.S. weapons were delivered to Gaza and Ramallah by the IDF, according to reports.
U.S. weapons prompting Palestinian arms race?
Meanwhile, Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’ so-called military wing, told WND the U.S. aid and weapons shipments have prompted a Palestinian arms race.
The Hamas leader said weapons procured as a result of the U.S. shipment will be used against Israel.
“The more the Americans give Abu Mazen (Abbas) weapons, the more we will have in the future weapons to use against the Israelis, because it incites the different organizations to intensify their own supply of weapons,” said Abu Abdullah of Hamas’ Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas’ declared “resistance” department.
According to Palestinian security sources, the increased drive by Hamas to obtain new weapons has raised the price of arms in Egypt and Jordan.
“An M-16 that sold for 6,000 Jordanian dinar now is worth 10,000 dinar, because Hamas is trying to get more weapons,” a Palestinian security source told WND.
Like Hamas spokesman Abu Oubaida, Hamas’ Abu Abdullah said U.S. weapons to Fatah would eventually fall into the hands of Hamas:
“These American weapons will be one day the property of all the Palestinian people and its resistance, including Hamas,” Abu Abdullah said. “The U.S. gives weapons to Fatah during internal Palestinian clashes, but one day when we go back to carrying out operations together, these [weapons] will be shared.”
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