Senior Hamas official in Gaza accuses PA President Abbas, who’s presidency officially ended in January 2009, of ‘hijacking’ Fatah and acting like a dictator.
A senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip on Sunday called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to step down from his position because he poses a threat to Palestinians achieving national unity.
Salah Bardaweel accused Abbas of acting like a dictator “who lives in a state of personal intransigence and total refusal to share powers,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
An April 2014 reconciliation deal leading to a unity government sought to bridge the gulf between the Palestinian factions since Hamas evicted Fatah from Gaza in a week of deadly clashes in 2007. But a devastating 50-day war last summer between Hamas and Israel as
well as a dispute over payment of the salaries of tens of thousands of Hamas security forces
have blocked progress on the deal.
The senior Hamas official accused Abbas of “hijacking” the Fatah movement that he heads.
According to Bardaweel, Abbas has refused to end the dispute between Fatah and Hamas
and has prevented the PA government from carrying out its duties in the Gaza Strip.
“The reconciliation [between Fatah and Hamas] does not require new agreements,” the
Hamas official said, referring to previous accords between the two rival parties to end their
Bardaweel’s comments come just two weeks since Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited Gaza and urged rival factions to set aside their differences.
It was only Hamdallah’s second visit to the Gaza Strip since a unity government agreed on
by rivals Fatah and Hamas took office last June.
“We have come here today to strengthen national reconciliation and to restart dialog with
all Palestinian factions,” Hamdallah told a news conference in Gaza City, where he was to
meet officials of the Islamist movement Hamas.
He vowed that civilian workers of Hamas’s de facto administration in Gaza would go on the payroll of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), which is dominated by the Fatah party.
Several dozen protesters at the news conference chanting “Leave, Leave, Hamdallah!” held
up banners that read: “No welcome for those who besieged Gaza”, an accusation that the
PA was complicit in Israel’s blockade of the territory.
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