Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh (R) and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani arrive at a cornerstone laying ceremony in the southern Gaza Strip.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority on Wednesday reiterated its opposition to a truce agreement between Hamas and Israel under the sponsorship of Qatar and the United Nations.
“Hamas is seeking a written agreement with Israel, through the UN and Qatar, because such an accord with have a political implications,” said Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior official with the PA’s ruling Fatah faction. “The Palestinian leadership, represented through President Mahmoud Abbas, the PLO Executive Committee and all the PLO factions, have said no to such an agreement.”
Ahmed said that any agreement signed with Israel will be considered a “form of negotiations” - and this, he explained, is a “national, and not factional, issue.”
Ahmed told the PA’s Palestine TV station that the PA leadership, with the help of Egypt, recently succeeded in foiling an Israeli proposal to establish a seaport in Cyprus that was supposed to be used to ship goods to the Gaza Strip. He claimed that any political agreement with Israel will be part of the US administration’s attempt to impose its yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East which, he said, was aimed at establishing a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.
“It’s painful that Hamas would embark on such a step,” the senior Fatah official said. Some Palestinian factions and Arab countries, he added, were “colluding” with the Americans and Israelis to pass the US administration’s unseen plan. Although he did not name the Arab countries, it’s believed that Ahmed was referring specifically to Qatar.
Ahmed criticized Qatar’s role in the current efforts to achieve a truce between Israel and Hamas. “The Palestinian leadership has told our brothers in Qatar that it is a mistake to channel funds to Hamas through Israel,” he disclosed. “This will deepen the division among the Palestinians and give Israel an excuse to continue ignoring international resolutions.”
He said that despite the Palestinian leadership’s opposition to Qatar’s role, the emirate began channeling funds to the Gaza Strip without consulting with the PA. “We have publicly expressed regret over what Qatar did,” he said. “We were expecting Qatar to take a better position.”
Ahmed accused UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, of breaching his mandate by acting as a mediator between Hamas and Israel. “We have spent as letter to the UN secretary-general informing him that we have decided to stop dealing with Mladenov because he has dissented from his mandate. Fortunately for is, in a few days Mladenov will end his work in Palestine.”
Meanwhile, Qatar announced on Wednesday that it will provide emergency financial aid to some 50,000 families in the Gaza Strip. Each family will receive $100, said Mohammed al-Emadi , chairman of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. He said that the total aid of five million dollars will be paid to the families in the next few days through the post offices in the Gaza Strip.
Emadi said he was planning to visit the Gaza Strip soon to discuss additional humanitarian aid to the Palestinians there.
On Tuesday, Hamas announced a series of decisions to provide financial aid to tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As part of the decisions, Hamas will pay civil servants 60% of their July salaries, Yusef al-Kayali, a senior official with the Gaza-based Finance Ministry said.
Another official said that Hamas was planning to launch a project to create 10,000 temporary jobs for laborers and university graduates in the coming days.
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