PA alarmed over Hamas's legitimacy

"IDF raid was a gift from heaven for Gaza leadership."

June 16, 2010 01:56
2 minute read.
A member of the Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistanc

hamas man 311. (photo credit: AP)


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As Hamas prepares to mark the third anniversary of its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority officials in the West Bank voiced deep concern over what they described as attempts to “legitimize” the Islamist movement’s “coup.”

A PA official in Ramallah said on Tuesday that the flotilla incident two weeks ago had played into the hands of Hamas.

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“The [Israeli] assault on the aid ships on May 31 has boosted Hamas,” the official said.

“It came as gift from heaven to Hamas.”

The official said that while the PA supported the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, it was worried that such a move would further embolden Hamas and its allies in Damascus and Teheran.

“We must prevent Hamas from benefiting from the [flotilla] incident,” the official said.

“We want to see the blockade on the Gaza Strip lifted. But at the same time we must be careful not to allow Hamas to reap the fruits and consolidate its control over the Gaza Strip.”

PA outraged over Arab League secretary-general visit to Gaza

The PA is said to be outraged over a visit to the Gaza Strip earlier this week by Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa.

“This visit legitimizes the Hamas coup,” another official said. “We need to remind the Arab world and the international community that Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip through a bloody and violent coup.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who met separately in Sharm e-Sheikh on Tuesday with Moussa and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, reportedly relayed to them his deep concern over attempts to recognize Hamas’s authority in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas announced after the meetings that he was prepared to form a new government if Hamas accepted an Egyptian initiative to solve the crisis between the movement and his ruling Fatah faction.

“If Hamas signs the [Egyptian] document, we would have no objections to the establishment of a caretaker or a technocratic or independent government that would receive the funds needed to rebuild the Gaza Strip,” Abbas said. “We are prepared to discuss with Hamas all of its demands, but only after it signs the Egyptian document.”

Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official and advisor to Abbas, called on Hamas not to be “deluded by imaginary victories” – a reference to the movement’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip and the flotilla incident. He said that lifting the blockade should be linked to efforts to end the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah.

“The solution to the lifting of the blockade lies in ending the state of schism and achieving Palestinian national unity,” al-Ahmed told reporters in Ramallah. “We need to be united so that we can have one law, one homeland and one people to face Israeli crimes.”

He said that he and other Fatah officials were prepared to meet with Hamas in the framework of the Egyptian “reconciliation” initiative.

He added that Hamas had refused to receive a delegation that was formed by Abbas and entrusted with visiting the Gaza Strip to discuss ways of ending the crisis between the two parties.

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