Vanity Fair reported that the US signed
off on a plan to quash Hamas [AFP]
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 George Bush, the US president, 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.

Watch this episode of Inside Story on YouTube

This episode of Inside Story aired on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 17:30 GMT

To contact us click on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page