Source: Hamas wants military option open
Senior security establishment source tells Ynet Hamas not interested in winning Palestinian legislative elections, so it may maintain ‘legitimacy’ to use terror against Israel; Hamas believes in adopting Hizbullah’s strategy in Lebanon, whereby the terror group is part of the political establishment but continues to operate against Israel along the southern border, he adds
A senior security establishment source has told Ynet on Sunday that Hamas is not interested in winning the Palestinian legislative elections so it may maintain the ‘legitimacy’ to use terror against Israel to realize its vision.
According to intelligence estimates, Hamas is expected to win some 40 percent of the votes, thus becoming a major political factor in the PA.
The security official said the terror group wishes to remain armed after the elections, as it believes the “military process,” which, according to the Palestinians, has brought about several Palestinian accomplishments such as last summer’s Gaza pullout, has not been exhausted as of yet.
Senior Hamas officials believe in adopting Hizbullah’s strategy in Lebanon, whereby the terror group is part of the political establishment but continues to operate against Israel along the southern border, the official added.
'Israel will not interfere'
During Sunday’s cabinet meeting security officials are expected to warn of additional terror attacks on Israel, mainly by Islamic Jihad. Officials also fear anarchist groups may try to carry out terror attacks on Election Day to influence the vote or stop it altogether.
The security official added that forged ballots in the PA elections are a possibility, especially among Palestinian security officers, who have begun casting their votes on Saturday.
While security officials are encouraged by the Authority’s ability to maintain a relative state of calm ahead of Wednesday’s vote, they estimate Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will find it difficult to disarm Hamas within the 60 days after the elections, as he had promised the Americans.
“On the one hand we welcome democratic elections in the PA, but we are also worried Hamas may gain strength,” a senior government official said.
“In any case, Israel will not interfere in the elections and is prepared for the possibility of terror attacks and that Hamas will be part of the Palestinian government. One thing is for certain – this is a dramatic event that will determine future Israeli-Palestinian relations and negotiations.