Photo: Yaron Brenner
Halutz: Beware Hamas 'sweet talk'
Photo: Yaron Brenner

Army chief: Beware Hamas 'sweet talk'

Terror group presents moderate facade, but radical ideology remains, Halutz says

Hamas should be tested not by its declarations to the world, but rather, by what it says behind the scenes, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz warned Sunday during a government meeting called to discuss Israel's response to the terror group's election win


During the session, Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin said Hamas "refers in its demands to the1967 borders, but in its conventions its real goal is the 1948 borders, and even that isn't the end."


Dan Halutz added that "there is no need to consider seriously what Ismail Haniyeh said since it's clear that first and foremost he wants to take control over the government."


"That very sweet talk can erode our response capability in the next five weeks leading to the establishment of a new Palestinian government. We need to assert our policy today since our basic premise is that Hamas will not change and will continue to be a threat to Israel," he said.


False pragmatism


Meanwhile, IDF Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin said during the meeting that the PA is a double-headed creature:


"The Fatah on one hand, the Hamas on the other hand. On the one hand, the presidency and on the other hand the parliament, and later on the Hamas government. Hamas sticks to an ambiguous model: on the one end, its ideology, and on the other end, the so-called pragmatic side, in order to present moderation".


Yadlin also added that Hamas' view is not a short-term vision and noted the group plans for generations ahead.


"According to (assassinated Hamas founder) Sheikh Yassin, Hamas will be celebrating its victory over Israel in 2027," Yadlin said.


The first phase is taking over government offices, but at the same time strengthening the military branch.


Later on, Yadlin estimated, Hamas will work toward implementing Islamic policies. The intelligence chief also estimated Hamas does not fully understands the full economic issues it will have to face.


"They don't comprehend what it means to having to get two billion dollars a year," Yadlin said.


Hamas clings to its ideology


Meanwhile, Diskin said that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, speaking Saturday, did not place strict conditions on Hamas, though he did achieve International legitimacy; particularly on the part of the Americans.


"Hamas will try to propose a long-term cease-fire by using agreed upon rules that will justify its moves", Diskin said.


The Shin Bet chief added that Hamas presents vague, pragmatic messages to the international community, "but in the Palestinian streets, it clearly very much adheres to its ideology".


Diskin also noted that a Hamas-led Palestinian government will have both a short and long-term effect on Israeli-Arabs, and said that just like Israel, Egypt and Jordan are also anxious over Hamas' win since they, too, have problems with the Islamic Brotherhood.



On another front, Diskin told ministers that twice as many Qassam rockets were fired at Israel in January compared to December 2005 (130 compare to 64, respectively) and added he expects this trend will continue in February.


פרסום ראשון: 02.19.06, 19:43
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