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Abbas Reminds Security Men Who’s Boss

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas assembled the security chiefs in the West Bank on Saturday night, and told them they are subordinated directly to the Chairman’s Office, reports the Israeli daily Haaretz.

‘Abbas made the move following the election results, which showed Hamas is the most powerful force in the Palestinian Authority. In the near future, Hamas will establish a new government under its dominance, and ‘Abbas wanted to ensure that the security forces still answer to him. ‘Abbas also told the security chiefs that there would be no dismissal of people in the various Palestinian security forces.

Meanwhile, leaders of Hamas in Gaza and Damascus – Isma’il Haniyya and Khalid Mash’al – gave interviews where they suggested the establishment of a “Palestinian army”. The leaders said the army will include people from the security forces, and from all Palestinian factions – Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and others. “This army will defend the Palestinian people,” said Mash’al during a press conference in Damascus on Saturday.

Mahmoud ‘Abbas is scheduled to meet Hamas leadership on Monday, to discuss the establishment of the new government. The new parliament is to be established in the next few days. Of the 132 members of parliament, 76 will represent Hamas. Only 43 parliamentarians will represent Fatah.