Mohammed Shtayyeh, member of the Fatah Central Committee and one of the Palestinian Authority negotiators with Israel, was quoted Sunday as saying that the Palestinians may cancel the agreements signed between the PLO and Israel.The Palestinian Authority hasn't held elections since 2005, when Hamas and Fatah split the vote and ending up fighting a civil war that left Hamas in full control over Gaza while Fatah maintained civil administrative control over the West Bank. The Palestinians continue their attempts to revise history by claiming that Oslo didn't recognize Palestinian rights to territories, but they continue to avoid recognizing Israel's rights to territories, including historic claims to Jerusalem that extend back hundreds and thousands of years.
Meanwhile, some PLO and Fatah leaders have privately criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for agreeing to incorporate Hamas into the PLO.
At least three senior officials in Ramallah have voiced strong reservations over the decision, a Fatah official told The Jerusalem Post. He said that those who were opposed to the move were worried that Hamas would replace Fatah as the dominant party in the PLO.
One official was quoted as saying that Abbas was paving the way for Hamas and Islamic Jihad to take control not only over the PLO, but the entire West Bank as well.
Shtayyeh's comments were published by the London-based Asharq Al Awsat newspaper.
This was not the first time that a senior PA official had talked about the possibility of abrogating the Oslo Accords.
The comments came less than 48 hours after Hamas and Islamic Jihad agreed to join a temporary leadership of the PLO that would prepare for new elections for the organization's two key bodies - the Palestine National Council and Executive Committee.
In response to a question about Israeli settlements, Shtayyeh said: "If Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insists that there is no difference between the settlement of Abu Ghneim [Har Homa] and Tel Aviv, we won't distinguish between Ramallah and Jaffa."
Hamas is not ruling out running in elections that may be held in 2012. They think that they might win in a landslide. That may be wishful thinking on their part considering that Hamas has shown an inability to do anything other than carry out attacks against Israel and find reason to blame Israel for all that ails the Palestinians. It can't do anything constructive. While Fatah remains open to concerns about corruption, Palestinians living in areas controlled by Fatah are able to move about more freely and have far more economic opportunities than those in Gaza. It doesn't seem likely that people living in the West Bank would consider voting for Hamas, unless they're looking for a more violent confrontation with Israel and an end to the peace process.
Yet, Hamas must think that they've got support to make such claims. Indeed, looking back at the 2006 election results, and one sees that Fatah maintained support only in a few select West Bank cities, while Hamas generated support elsewhere. That dynamic isn't likely to change even though the economic situation is worse now in Gaza than before the elections.
Despite the worsened economic conditions, Hamas wears that with a badge of pride - all in the cause of fighting Israel's existence and undermining Israel's right to exist at every opportunity. They portray the fight and the lack of economic opportunity as sacrifices that must be made in the fight against the Zionists.
Hamas celebrates a 3-year anniversary since the start of Operation Cast Lead, when Israel went after the Palestinian terror group after hundreds of rockets and mortars slammed into Israeli cities and towns. They refer to Israeli war crimes and genocide, even though by Hamas' own admission the vast majority of those killed were Hamas terrorists. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of civilians killed were not purposefully attacked by Israel, but were rather used by Hamas as human shields so as to inflate the body count and inflame Palestinian passions against Israel. At the same time, Palestinians look the other way as those Hamas rocket and mortar attacks were themselves war crimes as they purposefully targeted civilians so as to maximize the body count. To Hamas, there are no Israeli civilians - all are worthy targets.