Hamas Leaders Caught Off Guard by Bush's Divine Mission

(Telegraph-UK) - Alan Philps President Bush told Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas earlier this month that bringing peace to the Middle East was a "divine mission" for him. Mr. Bush's divine mission is gathering strength, and all the Arab leaders are scrambling to avoid being trampled by the diplomatic and military juggernaut. The most scared of all are the Syrians, whose capital, Damascus, has been the home of the exiled leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The fact Washington has offered no explanation - let alone an apology - for a raid on June 19 in which five border guards were wounded and taken away is the clearest indication that the U.S. is no respecter of Syrian sovereignty. The Israelis dismiss any truce as a sham, and are demanding that Mr. Abbas's Palestinian Authority set about disarming Hamas, a role he is too weak to carry out. The stage of dismantling Hamas will mark the point when Mr. Bush's divine mission collides with the dark realities on the ground.

2003-06-27 00:00:00

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