The Hizbullah Precedent
Point of View | 20
Prior to the electoral victory of Hamas, Ismail Haniyya compared the status of Hamas in the PA to that of Hizbullah in Lebanon (Rubinstein, Ha'aretz, 1/6/06). US ambassador to Israel, Richard Jones, stated that "we maintain contacts with the Lebanese government, but not with Hizbullah ministers, and a similar mechanism can be created for the PA as well" (Benn, Ha'aretz, 1/24/06).
On 1/24/06, UN Security Council reiterated its demand from the Lebanese government to implement Resolution 1559, calling for the disarmament of militias in Lebanon.
The Re'ut Institute argues that the fastest way to disarm Hamas may go through the previous disarmament of Hizbullah.
What is the Issue?
What is the "Hizbullah Precedent"?
A terror organization enters the political system through the parliament and the government;
The Organization continues to sustain a militia which does not obey the central government and continues to take military actions against Israel;
Yet, the international community, including the US, continue to conduct contacts with the Lebanese government, including the ministries under Hizbullah control (though the US avoids direct contacts with the ministers themselves).
What is the relation between Hizbullah and Hamas?
Both Hizbullah and Hamas negate the Jewish people's right to self-determination; do not recognize Israel; promote the use of terror; and develop an independent system of social welfare.
Hamas is a declared terrorist organization by the US and the EU. Hizbullah was declared as such only by the US. Both organizations are facing an international demand to disarm and dismantle their terrorist infrastructure (within the Roadmap and Resolution 1559 respectively).
The main difference between Hamas and Hizbullah is that Hamas is expected to take over the PA, Hizbullah is a marginal participant while in the Lebanese government.
Point of View
Israel is trying to establish an international coalition that would sustain the PA's effective governance, assure the dismantling of the terrorist infrastructure and promote the annulment of the Hamas charter.
Two State Solution, Diaspora Relations, Delegitimization, Partner for Peace, Emergency Preparedness
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