Zahar: Abbas visit in Gaza could become violent

ByJPOST.COM STAFF
August 30, 2011 15:36

Hamas leader tells London newspaper death threats are preventing PA president from visiting, shuns likelihood of Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.

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Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar

Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking (R) 311. (photo credit:Reuters)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has no intentions of visiting the Gaza Strip in the near future, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told London-based al-Quds al-Arabi, hinting that there may be threats on Abbas's life should he choose to do so.

Zahar stressed that Hamas was not interested in jeopardizing the internal security situation in the Gaza Strip should Abbas decide to visit and cause internal Fatah violence to occur as a result of "unsettled accounts."

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According to al-Quds al-Arabi, Zahar may have been referring to the ongoing conflict between the Palestinian Authority president and ex-Fatah official and strident Abbas critic Muhammad Dahlan.

Most recently, Dahlan claimed that a $1 billion fund had gone missing since Abbas became president in 2005. He made those comments only a few days after PA security forces raided Dahlan's Ramallah home confiscating documents, weapons, and private luxury vehicles.

Zahar also dismissed any attempts by Abbas to rekindle the stalled reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah's leadership as futile, saying of the failed process: "the [reconciliation] agreement was completed [in Cairo], but it's implementation is defunct."

Zahar dismissed any sort of talks that have occurred between officials in Fatah and Hamas of being concerned simply with "peripheral matters."

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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