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Fatah-Hamas merger on thin ice
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
06/24/2014
Senior Hamas official accuses Abbas of evading commitments to reconciliation agreement, as kidnapping of youths intensifies tensions between the factions.
 
Hamas said on Monday that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has buried the reconciliation agreement with Fatah even before it started.

Mohamed Nazzal, a senior Hamas official, accused Abbas of evading his commitments in accordance with the reconciliation agreement that was signed in the Gaza Strip in late April.

This was the first time since the signing of the agreement that Hamas spoke about the end of the reconciliation with Fatah.

Nazzal told the Hamas-affiliated Al-Resalah news website that the PA’s actions against Palestinians in the West Bank and its failure to implement the agreement mean that the reconciliation has reached a dead-end and entered a dark tunnel.

The Hamas official said the Palestinian Authority and the IDF were launching a joint security crackdown “to strike at the resistance under the pretext of combating terrorism.”

He said the events in the West Bank following the abduction of the three Israeli teenagers has “once again exposed the ugly face of the Palestinian Authority security forces, which are joining the occupation in the war against the resistance.”

Nazzal said unless Abbas backtracks, “he would have declared the death of the reconciliation at a very early stage – much faster than the enemies of reconciliation expected.”

The kidnapping of the three youths has intensified tensions between Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas.

Abbas’s declared opposition to the kidnapping, as well as his insistence on pursuing security coordination between the PA security forces and Israel, have angered Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip.

Over the past week, a number of senior Hamas officials have publicly condemned Abbas for saying he was working to secure the release of the three teenagers. Some Hamas leaders accused Abbas of turning his back on his people, while others denounced him as a traitor and called for his removal from power. But this was the first time that a senior Hamas representative talked openly about the end of the reconciliation agreement with Fatah.

Tensions between the two parties have also escalated over the salaries of some 50,000 Hamas civil servants in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas insisted that the new Palestinian government, headed by Rami Hamdallah, should pay salaries to the employees.

But Hamdallah said on Monday that his government is unable to pay the salaries because it is facing a severe financial crisis and a $1.8 billion deficit.
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