Palestinians wave Hamas and Palestinian flags.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Fatah officials in the West Bank have expressed concern over reports about the rapprochement between Hamas and Saudi Arabia.
Reports in a number of Arab media outlets claimed recently that Hamas and Saudi Arabia were working to restore their relations. Tensions between the two sides increased following Saudi Arabia’s support for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi in his confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot.
Last week, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh appealed to Saudi Arabia to replace Egypt as the main mediator between the Islamist movement and Fatah.
Other Hamas officials were quoted as saying that Saudi Arabia’s new monarch has indicated his desire to improve the kingdom’s ties with their movement.
Amin Makbul, a senior Fatah official in the West Bank, accused Hamas of seeking to “neutralize” the Egyptians by inviting Saudi intervention in internal Palestinian affairs.
“Hamas is trying to get Saudi Arabia involved in Palestinian issues in order to neutralize the Egyptian role and to avoid fulfilling previous reconciliation agreements [with Fatah],” Makbul said.
“Hamas’s position is very clear; it does not want national unity and is trying to cover up for its plan to establish its own emirate in the Gaza Strip.”
The Fatah official said, however, that if the Saudis come up with a proposal for ending the dispute with Hamas, “we will study it. But so far, they haven’t contacted us to end the division.”