Former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas and Fatah officials threatened on Wednesday they would boycott former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s visit to the Gaza Strip.
Some Hamas officials called for arresting Fayyad and bringing him to trial on charges of treason.
Fayyad arrived in Gaza through the Erez border crossing at the invitation of the Beit Al-Hikmeh (House of Wisdom Institute) organization headed by Ahmed Yusef, a former adviser to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Established in 2008, the institute aims to “fulfill the Palestinian need for a forum to guide decision makers and assist in practicing good governance.”
Hamas said the visit was a private one, adding that Fayyad would not meet with any of its leaders.
Fayyad was expected to stay in Gaza for a few hours before returning to his home in east Jerusalem.
On the eve of the visit, some Palestinians in Gaza, former Palestinian Authority employees whose salaries had been cut by Fayyad, urged Hamas to arrest him and put him on trial.
The Hamas-controlled public workers’ union in Gaza called on Hamas leaders to boycott Fayyad because of his “negative policies” towards Gaza when he was prime minister.
Bassem Naim, a senior Hamas official in Gaza, said that Fayyad was responsible for the split between the West Bank and Gaza, and that he should apologize for his “previous sins.”
Several senior Fatah officials in Gaza also decided to boycott Fayyad, accusing him of endorsing anti-Fatah policies when he was prime minister.
Fayyad served as Palestinian prime minister from 2007 until he resigned in 2013 amid disputes with PA leader Mahmoud Abbas about running the self-rule government’s finances. He had been popular with Western donors to the PA for implementing economic reform.