Abbas asks China to support Iran sanctions

Posted: May 2, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in International, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, United Nations, West Bank

Palestinians on the line? Iran tests its long-range missiles Surprisingly enough, it seems Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abaas allegedly asked the Chinese to support sanctions against Iran. Reason: many Palestinians could be killed in case of armed confrontation:

Hu received the Palestinian leader after the gala opening of Shanghai World Expo.  According to Chinese sources, Abbas explained that for once, most Arab nations – and the Palestinians, most of all – are ranged on the same side asIsrael and the West in their profound anxiety about Iran’s nuclear program and the threat it poses of regional violence.

Abbas told the Chinese leader that he spoke on behalf of a majority of Arab rulers, in particular, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zaed al-Nahyan and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Palestinian cities have no defenses against their rockets should Iran and its allies, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas wage war against Israel, he said, and thousands of Palestinians in the line of fire would pay with their lives. He therefore pleaded with President Hu to drop his objections to harsh sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council as the only way to avert a conflict that could spark a Middle East conflagration.

(DebkaFile)

WHILE THE DEVELOPMENT is amazing, two important points should be mentioned:

  1. As he opposes Israel, Abbas still aligns himself with the West, all the more underscoring his rift with Gaza’s Hamas. Hamas, an Iran-aligned group, works together with Syria and HizbAllah. While Abbas certainly worries about an all-out war betweeen Israel and Iran, he finally sees an opportunity to hit Hamas where it hurts – its support from Iran. As Hamas feels the pinch in Gaza, it might attempt a coup in the West Bank, just as it did in Gaza. In order to save his power, Abbas needs sanctions against Iran, thus weakening Hamas.
  2. Among all Arab nations (even though not exactly a nation) the Palestinians are weakest of all. The distance between Israel and the West Bank is very little – if Iran strikes, particularly with nuclear weapons, the West Bank will get same dose of atomic residue as the Israelis would. Abbas knows that if there’s a war – his people get it.
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