Inside Story - The backfired plan - 05 Mar 08

Al Jazeera English

by Al Jazeera English

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It has emerged that the Bush administration caught off-guard by the rise of Hamas, embarked on a secret plan to overthrow its democratically-elected government.

The magazine Vanity Fair reports in its April edition that President Bush and Condoleeza Rice, the US secretary of state, signed off on a plan for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to quash the Hamas authorities.

The plan involved Washington's allies in the region channeling arms and cash to Fatah fighters, who would rise up against Hamas.

But the plan backfired spectacularly, with Hamas apparently anticipating the move and taking over in Gaza.

How and why did Washington fail in its aims? What were its true motives, and where will its policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict head now?

Sami Zeidan of Inside Story investigates.