Crossfire War – Israel Invades Ramallah – West Bank Capital

Crossfire War – JERUSALEM WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Jerusalem – Cairo – Washington /(Ramallah)/ Amman – Gaza City – Damascus – Tehran; Israel Invades Ramallah – Capital of Palestinian Authority – Forms Alliance With Pres. Mahmoud Abbas – Largest Israeli Action in West Bank in Five Years

Night Watch: RAMALLAH – We could now be seeing the beginning of the next wave of war around Israel, a resumption and extension of the fighting this past summer. Though it was confined mostly between Israel/Hezbollah in south Lebanon, it began with the Palestinian action in late June near the Gaza strip with the capturing of an Israeli soldier and just after Damascus-Tehran made their security agreement official. AKI is now reporting Israel has launched its largest operation in Ramallah, the West Bank capital of the Palestinian Authority, in five years. It has been timed with the meeting at the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh between Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Egypt President Hosni Mubarak, the only Islamic head of state to have done nothing to support the Jihad in any way. [AKI]

Moderate Islamic heads of state, like Jordan King Abdullah II, want the Jihad to be moderately successful in removing the West’s influence in the affairs of the region. Perhaps they believe after the Jihad has run its course then Palestinian people may be in a better position to negotiate, especially if Israel has another difficult war, but in the meantime, the West is definitely no longer seen as a desirous, progressive presence, in fact as quite the opposite. The West is now perceived as a regressive influence that still seeks to control and manipulate the region, with the most recent example being the occupation of Iraq’s economy. That is not much different from the view of Islamic fundamentalists, which is why they have no difficulty attracting financing.

It almost confirms what the fundamentalists have been saying since the Iranian Islamic Revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 and now the government he instituted and laid the foundation for, is probably targeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for not resisting Israel’s invasion into Ramallah where Iran has its embassy. This is a direct result of the December 16 meeting between Olmert and Abbas and their understanding, which should have been obvious for more than two years, that they are both seriously threatened by Islamic militant groups like Hamas and its direct support from Damascus-Tehran just as they support Hezbollah. Tehran-Damascus do not support these military-political organizations for the cause of peace but instead for the cause of popular wars against Israel.

This next war Damascus – Tehran will enter but for different reasons and that could limit their military coordination. As has stated, ever since the war last summer, Syria President Bashar al-Assad believes Hezbollah won a stunning victory and therefore it will be easy for Syria to retake the Golan Heights lost to Israel in its shocking Six Day War victory in 1967. However, Tehran’s reason, for committing a few units against Israel, is because Iran’s foreign-military policy is extremely economic and there is no market for salt in the Dead Sea. Tehran is more concerned about controlling the oil and gas in the Caspian. But Iran will also assist Syria and Palestinian people largely for the enormous publicity it will cause, which will generate more Islamic radicalism and more popular support against the one Islamic head of state who refuses to cooperate with Iran, Egypt President Hosni Mubarak. It was Islamic radicals who assassinated his predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in 1981, just two years after the Khomeini revolution and those who did so cited Khomeini as their inspiration. Tehran named a street after the assassin.

Yesterday Iran Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Hossein Saffar – Harandi met with the Head of Egypt’s Interest Section in Iran, Amir al-Zyat, and called for “comprehensive ties” between the two countries. This meeting was held under the guise of discussing culture and art. Both officials know that with Mubarak removed then the West will have virtually no influence in any Islamic capital and that Murbarak is more of an obstacle than Israel. He is actually an embarrassment. President of one of the Islamic world’s most important countries yet he is more proud of his relations with the hated West and Mubarak has been showing signs of working with Israel militarily. [IRNA]

The latest example-insult is this current meeting at Sharm al-Sheikh as Israel invades Ramallah in support of Mahmoud Abbas who is also out of touch with the majority of his people due to the enormous corruption he inherited from PLO founder Yasir Arafat. The fragmented Palestinian community is in a near civil war between the popular Hamas and the established corrupt Fatah of Abbas, just as the King Abdullah warned at the end of last year when he issued his warnings of three possible civil wars in the region going on simultaneously, Lebanon/Iraq/Palestine. The situation in Iraq is similar to the civil war in Lebanon that raged from 1975-90 and the divided Palestinians are now targeting each other more than Israel.

This alliance of inconvenience has very little chance of any effective success against Tehran. There are so many political-military weapons Tehran is using, mostly Damascus now, the main threat to Jerusalem in the next conflict. The regional impact will result in the removal of three of the leading members of what is now being billed as a 4-Party Peace Process. Olmert-Mubarak-Abbas-King Abdullah. King Abdullah is probably embarrassed at being mentioned as supporting it, a “support” more imagined than real. Imagined by Washington-Jerusalem-Cairo, without Jordan being informed or the King’s permission, just taken for granted.

When the smoke clears after this next wave of fighting, Washington-London would be without any influence anywhere in the region, having even burned their bridges with Israel, Olmert will probably no longer be Prime Minister, though Israel will still be there, very much intact, Abbas, if he is still alive, would have fled into exile to Europe, Hezbollah would have achieved martyrdom, Mubarak would have been replaced by a government with extremely close relations to Tehran, Beirut would be in Tehran’s sphere of influence through the coalition sponsored by Iran, Damascus would have spent itself in its vain but glorious attempt to retake the Golan Heights, Syria and other Islamic governments will be leading the celebration and recognition of new martyrs. The occupation of Iraq will be phased out in a dead run and redeployed in the Balkans to confront the next war there over Kosovo as NATO goes to war with itself. It is in that theatre Tehran intends to commit most of its offensive units and they know that will do more to reduce the West’s remaining influence in West Asia (Middle East) than wars against Israel.

Tehran also wants the next war around Israel to engulf the Rome led UNIFIL European forces now based in south Lebanon, which is why Iran had al-Qaeda declare UNIFIL to be an enemy of Islam.

Willard Payne
Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.