Monday, January 8, 2007
Hamas responds to harsh criticism from Fatah, accuses latter of collaborating with Israel, US to overthrow gov't. Fatah call Hamas 'Shiite agents' while Hamas negotiate with Islamic Jihad over possible merge
"A day after Fatah leaders spoke out against Hamas , Hamas are now warning of a "revolutionist sect within Fatah" which is trying to lead the Palestinians into civil war. The past 24 hours in Gaza and the West Bank have been relatively quiet though tensions are still running extremely high; especially if judged by statements made by both sides.
Hamas spokesman Dr. Fouzi Barhoum told reporters at a press conference on Monday that there are those in Fatah who are in league with the Zionist-American conspiracy to stage a coup and overthrow the elected Palestinian government – this as punishment for the fact that the government refuses to recognize the State of Israel .
Barhoum said that there are Israeli and American interests shared by Fatah and that the economic and political siege led by the US, Israel and officials within the PA is designed to defeat the Islamic movement – represented by Hamas which won the Palestinian vote.
Barhoum said that Muhammad Dahlan – the leading Fatah leader in Gaza who once tried to overthrow Yasser Arafat – now seeks to overthrow the current government.
Barhoum said that over the course of the past month there were 70 incidents in which Hamas establishments and leaders were attacked, including parliament and the prime minister's office.
He said that Hamas will not let the situation come to civil war and addressed Fatah leaders, calling them back to the Palestinian negotiation table.
Hamas, said Barhoum, will not allow a group seeking a coup to destroy it, nor will the movement allow the Zionist enemy victory.
"The kidnapping of Hamas officials by Fatah is taking place while Israel continues to arrest movement leaders," he said.
Fatah compares Hamas with Iraqi Shiite leader
Hamas' scathing comments were issued in response to a harsh speech by Muhammad Dahlan on Sunday during a Fatah rally in which he called Hamas "murderers" and said that Fatah will respond when its people are attacked. Barhoum said that Dahlan's speech was an invitation for civil war.
Meanwhile – despite a relative lull in gunbattles – the two warring factions devoted their time to pointing fingers over recent events and specifically over President Mahmoud Abbas' declaration Saturday that Hamas' special security force was illegal.
While Hamas says that the decision was engineered by the revolutionary group surrounding Abbas, the press have labeled Hamas "Sadari", after Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, an archenemy of Iraqi Sunni Arabs and who reportedly participated in Saddam Hussein's execution.
Fatah imply that Hamas is being run by Iranian Shiite interests and in response to Hamas' use of the term "Israeli agents" regarding Fatah – the latter has labeled Hamas "Shiite agents".
Hamas, Islamic Jihad tie the knot?
Ynet has learned that in preparation for a potential face-off and in light of Fatah's US-supplied weapons, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are in talks to possibly unite their ranks.
A Palestinian source says that leaders from both organizations have met in Damascus and in Gaza and it has been decided that the groups will form a unified front against Fatah.
The matter was discussed in these meetings between Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ramadan Abdullah Shallah. It was decided in these meetings that Islamic Jihad would initially support Hamas in the public and in the media to strengthen the organization.
In recent days Islamic Jihad has adopted virtually all of Hamas' positions in the question of its special force and who shoulders the responsibility for what has occurred on the Palestinian street.
At the time it remains unclear if, should larger-scale clashes erupt, Islamic Jihad fighters will physically join Hamas but both sides continue to prepare for the possibility of an upcoming conflict, while still calling for a return to negotiations."