Monday, September 05, 2016
ABBAS DECRIES PRESSURE FROM RUSSIA-US AND THE ARAB WORLD.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
Netanyahu accepts invitation to visit Down Under in 2017-On official trip to Israel, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets with prime minister, president-By Times of Israel staff September 4, 2016, 7:29 pm
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minster Avigdor Liberman on Sunday.Netanyahu began the meeting by telling Bishop that “your friendship is terrific – Australia, the government’s and yours personally. And we appreciate our friends.”In return Bishop invited Netanyahu to visit Australia. “I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm our absolute enduring commitment to the State of Israel and our friendship, and invite you to come to Australia,” she said. “We’re thinking there’s a little window of opportunity early next year maybe?”According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu accepted the invitation.On Sunday afternoon Rivlin met with Bishop at his residence, welcoming her to Israel and Jerusalem.“I want to say to you that the connection between us — Australians and Israelis — is very important for us in Israel. We appreciate the friendship between our peoples, between our two states, and your friendship with the people of Israel,” he said.Rivlin also stressed the importance of the cooperation between Israel and Australia in the fields of innovation and cybersecurity, among others. “We are cooperating greatly on issues that are of concern to the whole free world,” he said.Rivlin made specific mention of the fallen Australian servicemen in the Holy Land on the centenary of World War I. “We as Israelis remember the Australian servicemen, who helped the Jewish people return to their homeland, along with the necessity to cooperate with all of the people living here,” he said.Rivlin added that he hoped to be able to reschedule a previously postponed visit to Australia for the near future.Bishop told the president that her visit to Israel was “an opportunity for me to ensure that this relationship is not taken for granted, that this relationship will continue to be nurtured by both sides, and that it will continue to flourish based on common values.”Bishop also told the president that Australia was committed to standing up for Israel in international arenas that were “obviously biased, discriminatory and unfair resolutions put forward,” according to a readout from the President’s Residence.During her visit, Bishop also met with Defense Minister Liberman, with whom she met several times in the past when he served as foreign minister. The two discussed issues of international and regional security, including the war on Islamic State, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.Liberman thanked Bishop for the role Australian soldiers play in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, which supervises the ceasefire between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights, and their participation in the Multinational Force and Observers mission, which monitors the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in Sinai.Liberman and Bishop agreed that the two countries would work together to plan a commemorative event to mark the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba, when Australian forces captured the city from the Ottoman Turks in 1917.While in Jerusalem Bishop also visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum, where she laid a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance.
Israel and Palestinians sign deal to improve postal service-International mail will now be transferred to the PA directly at border crossing, cutting costs and speeding up delivery-By Times of Israel staff September 4, 2016, 8:45 pm
Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement Sunday to upgrade the postal service system in the West Bank.Major General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), and the Palestinian Authority’s Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh signed a memorandum of understanding to allow international mail to enter the PA directly without first going through the Israeli mail service.The agreement was intended to assist the transfer of international mail to the PA through Jordan via the Allenby Bridge border crossing. The memorandum will also improve the direct mail transfer between Israel and the PA.Until now all mail entering the Palestinian Authority had to first go through the Israeli postal services, according to the Palestinian news agency Maan.Israel and the PA signed a similar agreement in 2008 but it was never put into practice. This time, COGAT said, the memorandum will be put into effect.In 2011, in protest over the delayed implementation of the agreement, the PA threatened to stop sending and receiving mail through Israel. Then Palestinian communications minister Mashhour Abu-Daqqa claimed that failure to implement the agreement was costing the Palestinian postal services over $200,000 a month.At the time Israel denied that there was any censorship or delay to the mail bound for the PA. A spokesperson for the Israel Postal Company said that only mail sent to and from the Gaza Strip was subject to special security checks.
At Herzl Shaul’s burial, PM vows to return his son’s remains-Oron Shaul’s brother says his father died of ‘grief and regret’ after mourning the son he lost in Gaza in 2014-By Times of Israel staff September 4, 2016, 8:25 pm
Herzl Shaul, the father of a soldier whose remains are held by Hamas in Gaza, was laid to rest Sunday at a funeral in northern Israel attended by the prime minister, president, IDF chief of staff and other Israeli dignitaries.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot both vowed to carry on in efforts to ensure the return of Sgt. Oron Shaul’s remains from Hamas custody.“I came here to look you in the eyes and tell you: My commitment, [and] those of the government of Israel, of the IDF, of the State of Israel — our commitment is to bring Oron home,” Netanyahu said at the funeral in Poria Ilit, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.Eisenkot, in turn, called the father, who died last week from cancer, “an exemplary family man” and promised to bring Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin, whose body is also held by Hamas, back to Israel for burial.The two soldiers were killed in the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and have been held by the Palestinian group since.“I guarantee that the IDF will continue to support you and fulfill the will of Herzl,” he said.Aviram Shaul, the son, said his father died “from grief and regret, regret over sitting shiva for Oron,” mourning his son as dead. “I have no doubt that this broke you. I know it’s just because of that.”The Shaul family has for months been holding daily vigils outside Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem, calling for the government to bring Oron’s body home.Upon news of Herzl Shaul’s death over the weekend, Moshe Ya’alon, who was defense minister during the 2014 war, called him “a gallant man, humane and exceptional, who together with his wife Zehava built a model home and raised three children to contribute to the State of Israel. Painful circumstances brought us together two years ago, and since then we have been in close contact, even on days when his cancer tormented him. Herzl was a special man and each meeting and conversation with him showed the reserves of human strength he possessed.”The Shaul family has “lost its supporting pillar two years after the fall of Oron. We will continue to embrace Zehava, Aviram and Ofek with love,” Ya’alon said.“The State of Israel will not give up until it returns Oron and Hadar to burial in Israel,” he said. “This is Israel’s commitment to the sons and the families. This is our commitment to Herzl. This is also my personal commitment.”Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also vowed to realize Shaul’s wish to see Oron buried in Israel.“The Defense Ministry and the people of Israel bow their heads in sorrow at the death of Herzl, of blessed memory,” Liberman said.“I met with Herzl about a month ago. [He] did everything in his power to return his late son Oron, and I am saddened he did not achieve this before he died. The Israeli government is committed to returning the bodies of Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul and Lieutenant Hadar Goldin of blessed memory and bringing them to Israel for burial.”Liberman’s office told The Times of Israel last week that he is opposed to negotiations with Hamas for the return of Goldin and Shaul’s bodies.
Shots fired from Gaza at IDF troops, army returns fire at Hamas post-None hurt on Israeli side; three of the terror group’s fighters reported wounded in return shelling-By Judah Ari Gross and Times of Israel staff September 4, 2016, 2:06 am
Shots were fired from northern Gaza at IDF forces across the border, the army said early Sunday. No one was hurt on the Israeli side.IDF troops found one of the bullets near their position.Three Hamas fighters were reported wounded after the IDF responded with a volley of shells targeting a Hamas post, according to initial Palestinian reports.Tensions along the border flared on August 22 after a rocket from the coastal territory landed in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, leading to an IDF retaliation against as many as 50 installations which the army termed “key Hamas strategic assets” using tanks and aircraft.Hamas quickly claimed the response was an attempt by Israel to change the status quo in Gaza — and Israel agreed.“You can’t expect the State of Israel to allow [Hamas] to rearm itself, to steal money from the residents of Gaza. They are levying taxes and not constructing buildings, but tunnels,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the following day at an army base in the Galilee.Palestinian security sources in Gaza said several targets in the northern Strip were struck by Israeli fire, and that a reservoir in Beit Hanoun was damaged. Israel also hit a base belonging to Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in nearby Beit Lahiya, witnesses said. Palestinian health and security sources said between two and five people were lightly wounded by Israel’s retaliatory fire.Hamas officials have decried the Israeli bombardment, but have not indicated that they intend to respond immediately.Two days after that exchange, Israeli naval forces patrolling off the coast of the Strip were fired upon from the shore after shooting a Palestinian suspect during an arrest at sea.No injuries were reported among Israeli forces.The military said the incident occurred when navy forces identified a Palestinian boat deviating from permitted fishing zones off northern Gaza.“IDF forces called the vessel to halt, firing warning shots into the air,” an army spokeswoman said. “Upon the continued advance [of the vessel], forces fired toward the area of the vessel to stop their advance, wounding a suspect.”The suspect was arrested and taken to Ashdod port to receive medical care and to be questioned, while his boat was allowed to return to Gaza.Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007 for fear of arms smuggling by Hamas. It bans fishing beyond nine nautical miles (16 kilometers) off the coast. Boats exceeding that limit are at risk of being considered suspicious, and may be fired upon as possible arms-smuggling vessels.
LAND FOR PEACE (THE FUTURE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH)
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people(ISRAEL) and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.(UPROOTED ISRAELIS AND DIVIDED JERUSALEM)(THIS BRINGS ON WW3 BECAUSE JERUSALEM IS DIVIDED,WARNING TO ARABS-MUSLIMS AND THE WORLD).
THE WEEK OF DANIEL 9:27 WE KNOW ITS 7 YRS
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:(7 YEARS) and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he ( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant (PEACE TREATY) with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE ANIMAL SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:3
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
8 The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant,(7 YR TREATY) he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.(THE WORLD LEADER-WAR MONGER CALLS HIMSELF GOD)
20 And Isaac was forty years old (A BIBLE GENERATION NUMBER=1967 + 40=2007+) when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22 And the children (2 NATIONS IN HER-ISRAEL-ARABS) struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels;(ISRAEL AND THE ARABS) and the one people shall be stronger than the other people;(ISRAEL STRONGER THAN ARABS) and the elder shall serve the younger.(LITERALLY ISRAEL THE YOUNGER RULES (ISSAC)(JACOB-LATER NAME CHANGED TO ISRAEL) OVER THE OLDER ARABS (ISHMAEL)(ESAU)
24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.(THE OLDER AN ARAB)
26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob:(THE YOUNGER-ISRAELI) and Isaac was threescore (60) years old when she bare them.(1967 + 60=2027)(COULD BE THE LAST GENERATION WHEN JERUSALEM IS DIVIDED AMOUNG THE 2 TWINS)(THE 2 TWINS WANT JERUSALEM-THE DIVISION OF JERUSALEM TODAY)(AND WHOS IN CONTROL OF JERUSALEM TODAY-THE YOUNGER ISSAC-JACOB-ISRAEL)(AND WHO WANTS JERUSALEM DIVIDED-THE OLDER,ESAU-ISHMAEL (THE ARABS)
ISAIAH 28:14-19 (THIS IS THE 7 YR TREATY COVENANT OF DANIEL 9:27)
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
Abbas decries pressure from the US, Russia and the Arab world-‘No one will dictate to us any position,’ PA leader says; Palestinian press suggests he’s irked by demand to reconcile with Dahlan-By Dov Lieber September 4, 2016, 8:46 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas pushed back against attempts by foreign capitals, including Moscow, Washington and other unnamed Arab capitals, to intervene in internal Palestinians affairs.“Our relations with everyone must be good, but no one will dictate to us any position or idea…Therefore, let us think as Palestinians. I will think about Palestine, not Washington or Moscow,” said Abbas Saturday night during a meeting in Ramallah, according to footage aired by the official PA news channel Palestine TV the following day.After mentioning Washington and Moscow, Abbas said he was also tired of “other capitals,” apparently in the Arab world, adding that he wouldn’t mention them by name in order not to insult them.“Release us from the capitals, and from the money of the capitals and the influence of the capitals. We want to work as Palestinians,” said Abbas, who appeared emotional during his statements. Washington is a long-time player in Palestinian politics, and has reportedly been working to set up a meeting between Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Moscow, which has close ties to Ramallah, has also recently offered to host a meeting between the Palestinian and Israeli leaders.However, Abbas has refused to meet with Netanyahu until Israel agrees to a total freeze of settlement construction and to the release of a fourth batch of Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners promised during negotiations in 2014 — conditions Netanyahu is unlikely to agree to.The Palestinian press concentrated on Abbas’s mention of the unnamed capitals, which they believed to be a thinly veiled allusion to the so-called Arab Quartet: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.According to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, the Arab quartet met a few days ago with members of Abbas’s Fatah party in a bid to “restore unity” in Fatah and subsequently between Fatah and its bitter rival Hamas, the Islamist party in control of the Gaza Strip.Abbas’s statements also coincide with a recent push for reconciliation between him and former Fatah strongman Mohammad Dahlan, who was expelled from the Palestinian territories by Abbas in 2011 and currently resides in the UAE.Among the heads of state who have weighed in on Abbas-Dahlan reconciliation are Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Jordan’s King Abdullah, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.As the Palestinians prepare for municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza in October, candidates linked to Dahlan have avoided running on slates other than those of Fatah, a move seen as a positive step toward reconciliation with Abbas.Avi Issacharoff contributed to this report.
Abbas, former Gaza strongman Dahlan urged to mend fences-Dahlan supporters will run on Fatah lists in upcoming Palestinian local elections, but antagonism remains as Arab leaders call for reconciliation-By Avi Issacharoff August 31, 2016, 4:36 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Arab leaders have recently been pressuring the Palestinian Authority and its leader Mahmoud Abbas to patch up differences within Fatah and make peace with former Gaza strongman Mohammad Dahlan.Among the heads of state who have weighed in are Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Jordan’s King Abdullah, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.Dahlan is regarded as close to the UAE’s ruler and the Egyptian president, and his name is mentioned — mainly by Israeli commentators — as a contender to replace Abbas when the time comes.In response, Fatah’s Central Committee has resolved to consider readmitting to its ranks several dozen senior Fatah figures expelled for their links to Dahlan. But they have not yet agreed to readmit Dahlan himself, who was kicked out of the Gaza Strip in 2011 after a feud with Abbas.Indeed, despite Arabic media reports about possible reconciliation within the Fatah movement, senior figures within the Palestinian Authority (PA) say there is still quite some way to go.Dahlan — who today lives in the UAE — was once regarded as one of Fatah’s most prominent figures.Since his expulsion from Gaza, he has continued to criticize Abbas’s policies and even to fund projects in the West Bank and Gaza in a bid to strengthen his own status, moves seen by Abbas’s supporters as a continuing effort to one-up the PA president.During preparations for local elections in the West Bank and Gaza in October, candidates linked to Dahlan have avoided running on slates other than those of Fatah, a move seen as a positive step toward reconciliation with Abbas.The new reconciliation calls likely constitute an attempt to push Dahlan as the successor to the octogenarian Abbas, but Dahlan’s many disputes with other Fatah leaders suggest he will still struggle to secure his position. Dahlan himself recently threw his support behind the candidacy of Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for murder, to replace the aging Abbas.
Despite gloom in Israel, PA officials insist Fatah will sweep local elections — even in Gaza-Abbas’s movement is confident of trouncing its Islamist rival on October 8, and says it has the electoral math to prove it-By Avi Issacharoff September 4, 2016, 5:37 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
RAMALLAH — Among the most urgent challenges that await the new mayors of the adjacent West Bank cities of Ramallah and El Bireh is a prosaic one: traffic congestion. The traffic jams, which are increasing in frequency and severity, are a blight on the downtowns, as well as the suburbs. And although there are new buildings, shopping malls and restaurants opening in the two ever-growing cities all the time, the road infrastructure seems stuck in the 1970s. Some argue that’s caused by the Israeli occupation, but this problem, at least, cannot be so easily laid at the feet of the “Israeli enemy.”The new mayors will be chosen in local elections throughout the West Bank and Gaza on October 8, and winning those races is now the most urgent task faced by the top leadership of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.When the elections are over, of course, they will be able to turn their attention to other issues, such as traffic, sanitation, culture, and what-have-you. But the main effort at the moment is focused on ensuring their victory five weeks hence.These efforts have been quite impressive. While some squabbles have arisen among high-ranking Fatah-linked officials, the movement as a whole has maintained a surprising degree of unity. Even the close associates of Mohammad Dahlan — the erstwhile senior Fatah official expelled from Ramallah in 2011 who now lives in the United Arab Emirates and is considered Mahmoud Abbas’s main rival — have refrained from running on competing lists and are cooperating with Fatah’s efforts to win big in Gaza as well.Abbas, who is not only the chairman of Fatah but also the president of the Palestinian Authority, has worked together with Fatah’s Central Committee (which makes up its senior leadership) to hand out “sectors” of responsibility. Each committee member has been allocated a geographical area in which to supervise election efforts, and especially the ongoing battle to prevent the many Fatah lists in those cities and villages from running against each other. This effort has been at least partially successful.“This isn’t the situation of 2005,” one of Abbas’s close associates told The Times of Israel recently, referring to local elections in which Hamas performed well, “and that’s also surprised Hamas. They thought that there would be serious infighting within Fatah that would help them win. When they realized that wasn’t going to happen, they played a trick and decided not to run openly in the elections in the territories.”Indeed, the “trick” that Hamas is playing in these final weeks before the vote seems transparent — almost too transparent. Despite the many statements by Hamas officials insisting that public opinion favors them, the movement has refrained from placing its best-known leaders on the ballot in the West Bank. This was undoubtedly done in part to avoid drawing Israeli attention to those individuals, but also, and probably in equal measure, in an attempt to avoid being stained by any possible electoral defeat. Hamas officials have said the organization will support certain lists and/or place candidates identified with Hamas on those lists. But if these lists lose, Hamas will be able to claim that it was the list, not the movement, that has lost favor with Palestinian voters. If they win, of course, Hamas officials will trumpet their victory – and Fatah’s defeat – to the world.Fatah’s high-ranking officials knew this would likely happen when they, together with Abbas, decided to hold local elections and allow Hamas to run in them. The decision seemed an irresponsible gamble until about two weeks ago.Israel’s coordinator of civilian activity in the Palestinian territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai “and the Shin Bet tried to warn us that we were going to lose, that Hamas would win,” said one high-ranking official. “They leaked story after story to their media about what would happen if Hamas won. We asked them for one thing: a little patience. A little. And a little humility wouldn’t hurt either. We told them that as no one in Israel could even predict the results of the Knesset elections, how could they presume to predict the results of the local elections in the territories?”I asked this official: What if Hamas wins just in the big cities? Isn’t that enough for it to claim victory? “I have a hard time understanding you Israelis sometimes,” the high-ranking official responded angrily. “If Labor wins the elections in Tel Aviv, does that mean it’s the same in all of Israel? Or do you count all the votes together at the end?”-The way Fatah counts it-Another high-ranking Fatah official, also an enthusiastic supporter of the decision to hold the local elections, said that a victory for Fatah would be “just the beginning. Then we will go to Fatah’s Central Committee, convene the Palestinian Central Council, and, God willing, go to parliamentary elections.“The numbers are with us,” he said. “Look closely. The total number of seats for the local councils, municipalities, villages — altogether in the West Bank and in Gaza — that will be elected on October 8 is 3,818. Of that number, there are 313 seats in Gaza and 3,505 in the West Bank. Even before the election campaign began, Fatah was assured of 1,335 seats. In other words, Fatah already had approximately 35 percent even before the election campaign started. Do you understand what I am talking about?”He explained: “We have a mechanism called tazkiya. This means that even before the elections, there is an agreement in a village or in a local council on just one list that will run in the elections. In 181 such councils out of the 391 in the West Bank, the tazkiya set up one list. No elections are to be held at all in another 38 local councils because that was what the residents decided. In other words, there are only 172 councils in the West Bank where elections will actually be held.“In those 181 local councils where the tazkiya exists, there are a total of 1,702 seats. Of that number, 1,335 belong to Fatah. Seventy-two belong to Hamas, 60 belong to the Popular Front, 30 belong to the Democratic Front, and another 160 are considered independent. There are also the seats that will go to smaller parties such as Fida, Hizb a-Sha’ab, and others. Of the 181 tazkiya lists that were elected to the leadership of the local councils, for all practical purposes, 100 are called ‘Fatah lists.’ Another 26 lists, with large clans, belong to Fatah.”He continued: “The other 55 lists belong to Fatah together with the small splinter groups, including Hamas. For some lists, we agreed to bring in one representative who is identified with Hamas. For example, a certain local council has seven council members. The tazkiya determined that six of them would be from Fatah and one would be from Hamas. Now are you starting to understand which way the wind is blowing? “So let’s go with the scare tactics of you Israelis, and assume for a moment that all the Hamas candidates for the remaining 172 local councils in the West Bank, and another 25 in Gaza (there are 416 local councils altogether), win. Their number of candidates adds up to 750. So let’s say that we took all of them together and they won — and again, there is no chance of that happening, but let’s say it does. In such a situation, they (Hamas) will have 20 percent of the seats. That’s it. Twenty percent of the seats in the impossible scenario that they win everything — and that’s why you’re screaming that we’re going to lose?” he demanded angrily.“There is a movement within Hamas that understands which way the wind is blowing, so it is reluctant to go anywhere near [the vote]. Several high-ranking members of Hamas are applying pressure to withdraw from the elections. We saw how they folded in Jenin and did not participate in the elections there in any way. In Ramallah, there is a Fatah list and a left-wing list, but no Hamas list at all. Fatah won the tazkiya in Salfit [where a rotation is expected between a left-wing list and Fatah]. In Jericho, two Fatah lists are running against one another, entirely without Hamas. It’s the same in Bethlehem, Beit Jala, and Beit Sahour. There is no Hamas list. They have lists in Hebron, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya, and [current mayor and Hamas member] Adly Yaish in Nablus, who will be mayor in rotation with a member of Fatah.”Fatah officials, in short, are supremely confident about their position in the West Bank. How much of that is optimism? Does the electoral math stand up to scrutiny? One indication may be the changing tone from Israel. Everyone agrees there will be no anti-Fatah “tsunami” like in 2005’s local elections or the parliamentary vote of 2006. As the lists are set and the races (not to mention the tazkiya mechanism) become clearer, it is becoming increasingly obvious in Israel, too, that Hamas is not set for any dramatic victory.-All eyes on Gaza-Yet Hamas could still rack up achievements in Tulkarm, Qalqilya, Hebron, and Tubas. (In Nablus, a joint Fatah-Hamas list is led by Hamas’s Yaish, but requires that he yield the office to a member of Fatah after two years.) In all these cities, the Hamas-identified lists are considered strong, while Fatah’s position is lackluster at best.Thus, there are three lists running in Hebron identified to some degree with Fatah: those of Ayman al-Qawasmeh, a well-known journalist; Khaled Qawasmeh, a former minister in the Palestinian government; and the official Fatah list led by Ahmed Bayoudh al-Tamimi.Hamas has a list called Ahl al-Balad, led by Abdel-Moati Abu Sneineh, While Abu Sneineh’s ties to Hamas are seen as personal, and his list is not officially a Hamas list, there is no confusion among voters as to which faction the list represents.Fatah may win across the width and breadth of the West Bank, but Hamas may be poised for substantial inroads nonetheless.Yet the real story in the upcoming elections may lie in Gaza.Despite Hamas’s iron-fisted nine-year rule of the territory, Fatah appears to be mounting a close challenge. Unlike in the West Bank, Gazans will be able to choose between two lists explicitly identified with either Fatah or Hamas. A head-to-head battle is shaping up in which Fatah may well be the better organized faction, at least in the large cities.There is a sense of “significant accomplishments there,” said a senior Fatah official in Ramallah. “There are only 15 seats in the Gaza City council. I would not be surprised if Fatah got more than seven.”
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