Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking (R) 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not serious about
reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, Hamas leader Mahmoud al Zahar
told pan-Arab daily Asharq Alawsat in an interview published Wednesday.
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to Zahar - a co-founder of the Islamist group - Abbas only wants to
continue postponing full reconciliation. The PA president is unfit to
"meet the requirements of reconciliation," and has set untenable
deadlines for the formation of a government early next year and
legislative and presidential elections in May, Zahar told Asharq Alawsat.
reliance on what Zahar called the "US-Israeli axis" also stunts the
formation of a unity government with Hamas, because a Palestinian
government including Hamas is not a welcome development in Washington.
US views Hamas as a terrorist organization, and Israel has said it
would not negotiate with a Palestinian government including a Hamas that
refuses to recognize the Jewish state - something Hamas leaders have
vowed will not change post-reconciliation.
The Hamas leader also
accused Abbas's government of close ties with Jerusalem, something he
said was evident by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's announcement
Wednesday that $100 million in frozen tax revenue would be released to the
"Israel is very comfortable regarding what the Palestinian
Authority and its security apparatus is doing, and therefore the noise
that is being made in some cases is nothing more than a deception to
cover up the reality of the situation," Zahar told Ashaqr Alawsat.
Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that his position vis-a-vis
releasing the tax funds was clear: those funds belong to the PA, and it
is used to support their security forces.
Zahar expressed optimism regarding "inter-Palestinian" reconciliation,
however, saying that events throughout the Middle East supported a
scenario where "all those who are committed to the resistance and the
perseverance of our rights" can succeed.
The Hamas leader noted that the so-called Arab Spring has emboldened
supporters of the "Palestinian cause," saying Israel's restraint in
attacking terrorists in Gaza after a cross-border terrorist attack
killed 8 Israelis was proof of the influence that the Arab street was
having on Jerusalem.
According to Zahar, Jerusalem buckled to pressure following a violent
protest in Egypt when a mob crashed the Israeli embassy in Cairo's Giza
neighborhood, forcing Jerusalem to airlift more than 80 diplomats from