After unity deal, Zahar says Israeli intelligence worthless

Hamas leader tells Channel 10 Abbas learned of Palestinian reconciliation deal only after details worked out with Egyptians.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
April 28, 2011 21:41
1 minute read.
Hamas and Fatah announce unity deal in Cairo

Palestinian Unity Egypt 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A day after the announcement of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told Channel 10 News that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas only heard about the consolidation of the agreement after it was completed with the Egyptians. He also claimed that Israeli intelligence was surprised by the move.

"Your intelligence is worthless", Zahar said during the interview. "We were in Cairo last month and then I returned to Gaza then Damascus and from there we went to Cairo."

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"In Cairo, we met the Egyptian foreign minister and intelligence personnel and even with people in Egypt's military council, he explained. "We discussed all these issues and how best to implement them."

Earlier on Thursday, an Egyptian security source told Reuters that Egypt will send a security team to the Gaza Strip to help implement the reconciliation agreement.

Restructuring and unifying security forces in Hamas-run Gaza is a key condition for the success of the accord, brokered by Egypt on Wednesday to overcome a rift that had stifled a Palestinian drive for independence.

"An Egyptian security delegation will head to Gaza to help settle and organize the internal security situation there, now that the reconciliation agreement is finally in place," said the security source, who declined to be identified.

He said the security team would seek to meld the disparate security forces belonging to Palestinian factions in Gaza, but declined to explain how.

The deal provides for the creation of a non-factional professional security force which would be subject to scrutiny by the Palestinian legislature.

Another security source said the team would consist of specialists from various branches of the Egyptian army. Like in a previous mission that ended in 2007, Egypt's intelligence service will oversee the team's work in Gaza.


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