The unity government’s six-month term has expired, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said at a press conference in Gaza City, adding that talks would take place regarding a future government, Palestinian News Agency Ma’an reported.
Hamas “isn’t interested in incitement, but rather seeks to maintain national unity,” he said.
Hamas also responded to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who accused Israel and Hamas of secretly negotiating, and claimed that only Hamas is responsible for Gaza.
Zuhri said that Hamas “does not control the Gaza Strip at all. … If the national consensus government doesn’t want to take responsibility for Gaza, this doesn’t mean the government is exempted from this responsibility,” Ma’an reported.
Zuhri also accused Abbas’s forces of arresting its members for political reasons.
In response to the accusation by Abbas that Hamas has been negotiating with Israel, Hamas called on the Palestinian president to stop spreading lies, Israel Radio reported.
Abbas said in a report on Sunday that Hamas is completely responsible for Gaza, and not the joint Fatah-Hamas unity government.
“The Palestinian Authority does not exist in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is responsible for the Gaza Strip,” he said.
Abbas continued, saying that he will not negotiate over land with Israel, and accused Israel of holding secret negotiations with Hamas.
“I won’t give up one inch of [land past the]1967 [borders]; I have evidence that Hamas and Israel are conducting negotiations,” Abbas said.
According to an interview Abbas gave to an Egyptian TV station, Hamas and Israel were directly negotiating in secret and reached “understandings,” Channel 10 reported.
The Palestinian president claimed in the interview that Israel offered Hamas control over 50 percent of the West Bank and that negotiations would be held over 15 years to decide on control for the rest.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
View original The Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hamas-rejects-Abbas-claim-that-it-colluded-with-Israel-and-says-unity-government-is-over-383264