Ibrahim al-Madhoun, a Palestinian political analyst affiliated with Hamas, called for launching dialogue with the US.
“The dialogue with America is required and important,” al-Madhoun wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “There is a collective recognition of Washington’s bias toward Israel and its blatant support for the continuation of the Zionist entity. America is a force that cannot be ignored and, if possible, we should have a dialogue with it on the basis of our people’s rights. All countries want to be friends with America.”
الحوار مع أمريكا مطلوب ومهم، وهناك إدراك جمعي بانحياز واشنطن نحو إسرائيل ودعمها الصارخ لاستمرار الكيان الصهيوني.— إبراهيم المدهون (@n9owsHb650O2dip) أمريكا قوة لا يمكن تجاهلها ويجب الحوار معها إن أمكن على قاعدة حقوق شعبنا والتمسك بها.جميع الدول والقوى تتمنى وتطلب ود أمريكا، في السياسة لا يوجد قطعيات.December 3, 2019
In another statement on Twitter four days ago, al-Madhoun wrote: “Why shouldn’t Hamas have a relationship with America? Why is the Palestinian Authority afraid of the openness of the resistance to the world?”
ما المانع أن يكون لحماس علاقة وتواصل بأمريكا؟ لماذا تخشى السلطة من انفتاح المقاومة على العالم وتريد حصرها وعزلها، لأنها تدرك أن العقل السياسي المتحجر الضيق يزول والعقل الواعي المنفتح يدوم ويتمدد ويبقى.— إبراهيم المدهون (@n9owsHb650O2dip) November 30, 2019
Madhoun’s remarks came as Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Cairo for talks with senior Egyptian intelligence officials on the possibility of reaching a long-term ceasefire with Israel.
A senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad delegation headed by the group’s secretary general also arrived in Cairo for talks on the proposed ceasefire with Israel, and other issues related to the situation in the Gaza Strip.
Commenting on Madhoun’s remarks, a Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah claimed that Hamas was searching for ways to open channels of communication with the US administration and Israel.
“For many years, Hamas has been calling us traitors for talking to the Israelis and Americans,” the official noted. “But while we have been boycotting the US administration and the [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu government, it has now become clear that Hamas is wooing the Israelis and Americans. Hamas does not care about the Palestinians. Its No. 1 priority is to remain in power.”
Jamal Muheissen, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, claimed that Hamas was holding “secret negotiations” with the US and Israel. He accused Hamas of collaboration with US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East.
Hamas has been facing sharp criticism from its rivals in Fatah and the PA for agreeing to the construction of a field hospital in the northern Gaza Strip. The new hospital is being built near the Erez Border Crossing with Israel with the help of US volunteers. The project is believed to be part of ceasefire understandings reached earlier this year between Israel and Hamas under the auspices of Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations.
The PA and Fatah have come out against the new hospital, claiming that it comes in the context of Trump’s “Deal of the Century.”
PA and Fatah officials accused Hamas of seeking to “appease” Israel and the US by allowing US volunteers to build the field hospital in the Gaza Strip.
In a statement last week, Fatah described the hospital as a “US military base.” PA officials in Ramallah warned that the construction of the hospital was part of a US and Israeli “conspiracy” to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior PLO official and adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Tuesday that the hospital was part of an Israeli-American scheme to “solidify divisions” among the Palestinians and “eliminate the Palestinian cause.”
Ahmed told the PA’s Palestine TV that the American hospital would serve as a “military, security and intelligence” base. Noting that the hospital was being built with Israel’s approval, he added: “If the US was really sincere about helping our people, it wouldn’t have cut financial aid to hospitals in [east] Jerusalem, where Palestinians from the Gaza Strip continue to receive medical treatment.”
Last year, Trump ordered that $25 million earmarked for the care of Palestinians in east Jerusalem hospitals be directed elsewhere as part of a review of US aid, a State Department official said. The PA condemned the decision as a “dangerous and unjustified escalation against the Palestinian people.”
The PA has also come out against an Israeli initiative to study the possibility of building an artificial island port off the coast of the Gaza Strip. A report on Israel’s Channel 12 said last week that Defense Minister Naftali Bennett is seeking to revive the artificial island plan.
Ahmed and another PA official, Hussein al-Sheikh, warned that Hamas was not entitled to negotiate with any foreign party about the proposed port or any other issue concerning the Palestinian cause.
Ahmed said that while the PA supports negotiations to achieve calm in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians should not pay any “political or national price.” The PA, he said, is opposed to the establishment of a “mini state” in the Gaza Strip.