Hamas supporters demonstrated in Gaza and called for the death of Israel, the US and called Abbas a traitor for even daring to talk with the Israelis (ht: njdhockeyfan at LGF).
Tens of thousands of Palestinians joined an anti-Annapolis rally in Hamas-run Gaza on Tuesday, chanting "Death to Israel, death to America" and calling President Mahmoud Abbas a traitor for attending the peace talks.The diplomats are similarly unburdened by the reality that the Palestinian civil war never ended, but has been simmering on the fringes for months.
Speaking at the protest in Gaza City, leaders of the Islamist group which seized the enclave from Abbas's forces in June said the president had no right to make concessions to Israel at the U.S.-sponsored conference near Washington.
"Let them go to a thousand conferences, we say in the name of the Palestinian people that we did not authorise anyone to sign any agreement that harms our rights," Mahmoud al-Zahar, a Hamas leader, told a cheering crowd.
Waving Palestinian flags as well as the green Hamas banner and black flag of the Islamic Jihad faction, protesters shouted "Abbas is a traitor" and "We will not recognise Israel".
Palestinians in Ramallah wanted to demonstrate against the summit, but Palestinian police dispersed the crowd.
It's also now apparent why Syria agreed to come to this summit. They see that the Golan is on the table. Syria has done nothing to warrant being invited, let alone being returned the strategic Golan Heights, from which they can control the strategic headwaters of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) which supplies much of the water to Israel and Jordan. Syria's continued meddling in Lebanon is also of serious strategic and tactical concern to the US and Israel, and yet they've got a seat at the table.
Hamas' chief thug Haniyeh says the summit is doomed to failure, and he's right, but not for the reasons he thinks. It will fail because the Palestinians will refuse to accept any deal proffered by the Israelis, no matter how generous it is, not matter how injurious to Israelis it may be, and because the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Case in point is the fact that other Palestinian terrorist groups are promising a rain of mortars and rockets on Israel. Diplomats are unburdened by such things. They don't have to live in the path of those rockets and mortars. The paper they write on isn't worth much to the Israelis who have to build bomb shelters at their childrens' schools just in case one of the terrorists' rockets strikes (and they have).
Of course, Haniyeh and Hamas will accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel, so any summit that delivers anything less is deemed a failure.
President Bush is lending his prestige to the diplomatic efforts, but I find that there's nothing warranting such an effort because the Palestinians do not want peace with Israel or even accept a two-state solution. They have never sworn off their ultimate goal of supplanting Israel with a Palestinian state of their own.
Just today, one kassam and two mortars were fired at Israel by Palestinian terrorists.
MSNBC notes that the non-invitees loom large over the summit - namely Hamas, Hizbullah, and Iran. No kidding. They seek Israel's destruction and are not interested in accomodation or diplomacy. That they weren't invited is a sign that even the diplomats know (or have been told) that there are some things that even they can't paper over.
Will US diplomacy work this time? The short answer is no. The longer answer is still no. The Palestinians simply do not seek peace with Israel and are unwilling to negotiate in good faith on a two-state solution, not to mention that the PA doesn't even speak for all Palestinians or even all Palestinian controlled territory. Using the summit as a clue-bat against Hamas isn't going to work because Hamas isn't simply a political entity, but a religious one. They are radicalized and it is a part of their religious theology that Islamic rule will come to dominate all of the land now where Israel exists. There can be no accomodation or concession on that point.
The State Department is holding back a report that is critical of the Palestinian Authority so that it doesn't affect the diplomatic blatherings at Annapolis. Don't say you haven't been warned that the PA and Fatah are not doing what they've said they would do, and/or are incapable of fulfilling obligations, because I've been writing as much for years now.
President Bush has announced that the various parties have declared that they will get a peace deal done by the end of 2008. Let's just say I'm not holding my breath. This announcement provides cover for the fact that this summit is not going to produce anything more than a photo op for those involved, and that nothing good will come of it.
One person is killed in anti-Annapolis demonstration in Hebron (that's the West Bank that Fatah supposedly controls for the unaware). Well, here's how Fatah controls the situation. They use water cannon, and when that's insufficient, they beat the protestors senseless with rifle butts and clubs. A Palestinian journalist was among those beaten. And, when beating is insufficient, they use live ammo and shoot the protestors. One protestor was killed.