A relative of Palestinian gunman Naji al-Zaneen, who was killed in an Israeli air strike, reacts during his funeral in the northern Gaza Strip October 17, 2018.
(photo credit: SUHAIB SALEM / REUTERS)
The leaders of Hamas and Fatah have failed their people and have turned them into “beggars and street vendors who can hardly earn a living,” senior Hamas official Ahmed Yousef said on Monday.
Yousef, who previously served as a senior adviser to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, made his remarks in an article he published on the Palestinian Donia Al-Watan website.
The article was published in response to a statement made by PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat in which he called on Hamas to implement previous reconciliation agreements it had signed with the ruling Fatah faction.
The Egyptian delegation, headed by Ahmed Abdel Khaleq, head of the “Palestinian Portfolio” in Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, held a series of meetings in the past few days with Hamas and Fatah officials. The delegation also held talks with Israeli security officials in Jerusalem.
The delegation returned
to the Gaza Strip on Monday and immediately held lengthy talks with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yehya Sinwar.
Sources close to Hamas said they did not rule out the possibility that the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, Kamel Abbas, may visit the Gaza Strip, Ramallah and Jerusalem this week as part of his effort to secure a truce and end the Hamas-Fatah rift.
Yousef’s unprecedented criticism of Hamas and Fatah came as Egyptian intelligence officials held another meeting in the Gaza Strip with Hamas leaders to discuss a possible truce with Israel, and ways of ending the continued dispute between the two rival Palestinian factions.
“We have all made mistakes – Hamas and Fatah alike,” Yousef wrote. “Hamas and Fatah have failed to reach agreement on a unified national vision. We have failed in the management of good governance that enhances the ability of our people to maintain stability and the momentum of resistance. We have also failed to establish a political partnership that brings together all the Palestinians. Each of us bears full responsibility.”
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Yousef, who in recent years has been expressing views that are not necessarily in coherence with those of the Hamas leadership, also criticized Hamas and Fatah for launching smear campaigns against each other.
“Hamas and Fatah failed the day they showed the world – with ignorance and political idiocy – that the factions are more important than the homeland,” the Hamas official said. “We failed when we showed the world that the position of the leader has become the goal of everyone. We failed the day the Palestinian street became polarized. We have all failed the day disputes and controversies became platforms for bickering. We have failed because we are no longer good to lead the people. We failed the day our leaders became castrated horses whose neigh can’t be heard.”
He urged Erekat not to hold Hamas alone responsible for the current state of affairs of the Palestinians. “Fatah is a par excellence partner in the state of failure and degradation,” Yousef added.
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