When Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, there were firm assurances that such a coup could never happen in Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”), which the international community was pressing Israel to surrender for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Of course, those same types of promises were made when Israel surrendered Gaza two years earlier, when the world vowed that the Israeli gesture would result only in calm and future peace.
Hamas, it would seem, was on the verge of once again getting the better of Israel, the Palestinians and the international community.
Israel’s Shin Bet (the local equivalent of the FBI) revealed on Monday the recent arrest of over 90 Hamas operatives and a large quantity of weaponry in Judea and Samaria.
After interrogating the suspects, Israel learned that Hamas was planning a series of major attacks against both the Palestinian Authority and Israel (including an assault on the Temple Mount) aimed ultimately at overthrowing the regime of Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas himself was taking the report seriously, and ordered an internal investigation into what he called “a grave threat to the unity of the Palestinian people and its future.”
Israeli government officials said this was yet further evidence of why a fully independent Palestinian state must not be established.
“Today, once again, it was proven that it is impossible to abandon the security of Israel to the Palestinian Authority,” said Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky. “It’s time to wake up from the dreamland…and understand that only a constant military and political presence in Judea and Samaria will prevent [the Tel Aviv area] from becoming” the new front from terrorist rocket attacks.
Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis added: “This publication is a warning sign. It makes clear that we must not acquiesce to innocent illusions that will turn into a nightmare for us all.”