WEST BANK (Dispatches) – The Palestinian Islamic resistance movement Hamas has between 70 and 80 percent support in the West Bank, a former Zionist chief of the general staff says.
Retired General Gadi Eisenkot made his comment when asked about the possibility of a new outbreak of violence between the occupying regime and the Palestinians.
“The question is not whether there will be another outbreak, but when and how intense it will be,” said Eisenkot. “It is quite clear that this will happen. There’s no way that it’s not going to happen… It will happen at the least convenient time and place for us.”
With so much support for Hamas in the West Bank, he added, “It is just a matter of time before another outbreak of violence with the Palestinians.”
According to Akka news website, Eisenkot told Maariv that the occupying regime should soften its stance towards the besieged Gaza Strip. It is “illogical,” he suggested, to tie the easing of the siege of the territory to the release of the bodies of Zionist troops and two other Zionists.
‘Internal Divisions Greater Threat Than Foreign Enemies’
Meanwhile, Eisenkot warned that the regime’s internal divisions pose a greater threat than its foreign foes. Eisenkot issued a similar warning a year ago.
“I think that the rifts in Israeli society, and the attacks from both sides, the decline in governance, the decline in faith in institutions, in the courts, crime — all these are the greatest threats for the future,” explained the former general. “People are worried, not because of the Iranian threat, but because of internal weakness, loss of cohesion, inequality, friction between different communities. Entire groups of the public are not being absorbed into society.”
Meanwhile, Hamas said the Palestinian resistance will succeed in lifting the occupying regime’s years-long siege on the impoverished Gaza Strip and commence its reconstruction.
In a press statement, carried by the Palestinian Information Center, Hamas Political Bureau member Mousa Abu Marzouk said on Sunday that all options are on the table to deal with the occupying regime’s behavior.
“We will not accept any Israeli delays or any attempts to link the prisoners swap deal with the reconstruction file,” the Hamas official added.
Gaza, home to some two million Palestinians, has been under Zionist siege since June 2007. The tight blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Abu Marzouk stressed that the Gaza-based Hamas is working to relieve Gaza citizens’ suffering, saying that the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is based in the occupied West Bank, does not want any solution for the blockaded enclave except after removing Hamas from the scene. The Ramallah-based PA, which is run by the ruling Fatah party and led by President Mahmoud Abbas, considers Hamas as its arch-rival.
“Fatah movement deals with the institutions of the Palestinian people as a private property,” the Hamas official went on to say, accusing Fatah of being one of the most important causes of Palestinian crises. He said the establishment of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is supposed to be according to a transparent and fair mechanism, and “not according to the Fatah movement.”