(photo credit: REUTERS)
Nabil Abu Rudeinah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, on Sunday slammed a senior Iranian official for making disparaging comments of the Palestinian Authority leader.
“The statement and attack of Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, an adviser to the Iranian foreign minister, on the Palestinian president and the Palestinian struggle is unacceptable and irresponsible,” Abu Rudeinah told Wafa, the official PA news site. “It is not acceptable for a state that has contributed to the division [between the West Bank and Gaza] to talk about Palestine and its people.”
Iran is a sponsor of Hamas, which dominates Gaza, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Sheikh al-Islam told the Hamas-affiliated al-Risalah website earlier Sunday that “what [the] PA and Mahmoud Abbas are perpetrating at the expense of the Palestinian people in Gaza is a crime.”
Sheikh al-Islam’s comments came three days after Abbas informed Israel that the PA is stopping its payments for electricity in Gaza.
Abbas is reportedly considering withdrawing parts of other budgets that the PA allocates to Gaza.
The adviser to the Iranian Foreign Ministry also said that the PA is carrying out a “proxy war against Gaza.”
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The PA and Iran have largely maintained cold ties, but the two sides seldom criticize each other in the media.
Abu Rudeinah added that Iran, “which is stoking civil wars in the Arab world,” should not interfere in internal Palestinian affairs.
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