Abbas fears Hamas takeover

Monday, October 29, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Just weeks before he is scheduled to demand on a US-provided platform that Israel surrender control of 100% of Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank"), Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas admitted that his government could be overthrown by the Hamas terrorist organization in the near future.

Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Abbas said he has received intelligence that points to a planned Hamas coup in Judea and Samaria modeled on the terror group's successful conquest of the Gaza Strip earlier this year.

Abbas said he is relatively confident the Hamas takeover bid will fail, but he made similar assertions prior to the collapse of his forces in Gaza. Hamas managed to wrest control in Gaza despite being severely outnumbered by Abbas' US-trained and equipped forces.

Israeli politicians from both the opposition and governing coalition have been warning for months that a final status agreement with Abbas that cedes control of strategic portions of Judea and Samaria could be catastrophic for Israel if Hamas does take power. Security experts have added that Abbas and the forces loyal to him are already incapable of exerting control over the area.

Hamas has used its Gaza base to launch daily artillery attacks on communities in southern Israel. If it is permitted to do the same from Samaria, the group's rockets will be in range of Jerusalem, Greater Tel Aviv and Israel's only international airport.

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