The Palestinian Authority will soon take “painful decisions” against Hamas,
senior Fatah official Azzam al- Ahmed announced on Sunday.
Ahmed did not
specify the nature of the decisions.
However, he said that Hamas would no
longer be considered a partner in any process after the decisions are taken by
the PA leadership.
The official denied that the PA leadership in the West
Bank was considering declaring the Gaza Strip a “rogue entity.”
President Mahmoud Abbas had already declared the Gaza Strip a “rebellious
entity” back in 2007 after Hamas seized control of the area.
decision then did not stop him from continuing to seek reconciliation with Hamas
and from reaching three unity agreements with its leaders.
Abbas’s decision back then stop the PA from allocating about 55 percent of its
annual budget to the Gaza Strip.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in the
Gaza Strip have since continued to receive salaries from the PA, although most
of them have been left jobless after Hamas took control of the
Sources close to the PA said that the “painful decisions”
planned by the PA leadership may include cutting off financial aid to the Gaza
The crisis in Egypt has further escalated tensions between Fatah
While Fatah supports the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi,
Hamas has strongly condemned the move as a military coup.
from power has left many PA and Fatah officials hoping that the Egyptian
experience would be copied in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu
Zuhri accused Fatah of “political extortion” and attempting to recruit “outside
parties” in its campaign against the Islamist movement.
“We call on Fatah
to abandon the illusion of ousting Hamas from power,” Abu Zuhri said. He accused
Fatah of inciting the Egyptians against Hamas and Palestinians in the Gaza
Wasfi Qabaha, a senior Hamas official in the West Bank, insisted
that the PA leadership was considering declaring the Gaza a “rogue
He said that the purpose behind such a move was to show the
world that Hamas had revolted against Palestinian “legitimacy.”
Hamas officials said that the PA was trying to drive a wedge between their
movement and the Egyptians, with the hope that the Egyptian army would
Emad al-Ifranji, a Hamas-affiliated political analyst, said
that no force in the world would be able to remove Hamas from power.
said he did not rule out the possibility that the PA would seek the help of
Israel to regain control over the Gaza Strip.
In a related development,
Fatah and other Palestinian factions rejected Hamas’s offer to participate in
managing the affairs of the Gaza Strip. The offer was made last week by Hamas
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
The factions said that the proposal would
only consolidate divisions among the Palestinians and save Hamas from its