Abbas calls Mubarak to express support

Palestinian officials express concern over protests; Hamas spokesman says he hopes "revolution" leads to Egyptian president's downfall.

By
January 29, 2011 19:40
2 minute read.
Abbas and Mubarak in Cairo

Abbas and Mubarak 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

 
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Palestinian Authority officials in the West Bank expressed concern over the current events in Egypt, noting that President Hosni Mubarak has been very supportive of the PA.

Hamas spokesmen in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, voiced hope that the “revolution” in Egypt would lead to the downfall of Mubarak’s regime.

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas phoned Mubarak on Saturday and expressed his support for him and Egypt, a PA official in Ramallah said.

During the phone conversation, Abbas expressed concern over the events in Egypt, the official added.

Abbas was one of the few Arab leaders to phone ousted Tunisian President Zine el- Abidine bin Ali shortly before the latter fled to Saudi Arabia.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of unrest in Egypt

“President Mubarak has been a great supporter of the Palestinian Authority,” the PA official told The Jerusalem Post. “He also had an excellent relationship with President Abbas.”



The official pointed out that Mubarak had also sided with Fatah in its power struggle with Hamas.

Abbas visited Cairo last week, where he met with Mubarak and General Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, who was appointed vice president on Saturday.

The PA has banned Palestinians from demonstrating in support of the Egyptians, who are demanding the removal of Mubarak from power, sources in Ramallah revealed.

The sources noted that the PA leadership had also banned Palestinians from staging demonstrations in support of the uprising in Tunisia.

In the Gaza Strip, Hamas spokesman did not conceal their satisfaction with the anti-Mubarak protests.

Relations between Hamas and Egypt have been very tense for a number of years, especially because of Cairo’s refusal to reopen the Rafah border crossing.

The Egyptian authorities have also been waging a relentless campaign against underground tunnels along the border with the Gaza Strip, enraging Hamas and many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Egypt’s decision to build an underground steel wall along its border with the Gaza Strip further exacerbated tensions with Hamas.

Recently, the Egyptian authorities accused a Palestinian radical group based in the Gaza Strip of being behind the New Year’s Eve suicide bombing in a church in Alexandria that killed more than 20 Christians.

Hamas has in the past accused Egyptian security forces of torturing some of the movement’s members after they were detained in Egypt.

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