To some, the mock trial in the Gaza Strip of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may seem trivial or like some sort of bizarre comedy act. The "trial," however, is something else entirely: it is designed to send a signal not only to Abbas, but to any Palestinian who even thinks of making peace with Israel or recognizing its right to exist.
The "trial" is aimed at showing what awaits any Palestinian who dares to work with Israel by conducting security coordination or normalizing ties with it. Verdict: Any Palestinian who accepts a peace plan with Israel will also be found guilty -- and signing his own death warrant.
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has made no secret of its desire to see Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas stand trial for betraying the Palestinians for his alleged "collaboration" with Israel and sanctions against the Gaza Strip.
Last year, a senior Hamas official, Ahmed Bahr, called for bringing Abbas to trial for "great treason" -- a crime punishable by death. Abbas is not only refusing to make peace with Hamas, he wants it to hand over its weapons to his government, Bahr said. "For that, he should be brought before a popular and constitutional court on charges of great treason."
Earlier, another Hamas official, Marwan Abu Ras, called for Abbas to be executed by hanging in accordance with Islamic sharia law. Abu Ras, accusing Abbas of "collaboration" with Israel, claimed that the Palestinian president was depriving the Gaza Strip of international financial aid. "Abbas is the biggest traitor the Palestinian cause has known," he said. "He should be put on trial in the center of the Gaza Strip and sentenced to death by hanging in line with sharia law." Read more...