Abbas Reportedly Tells Emir of Qatar: Hamas Tried to Assassinate Me
by Dave Bender
At a recent Qatari-hosted summit, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly asserted that rival group Hamas has attempted to assassinate him in the past, Israel’s NRG News said on Monday.
“In 2006, they tried to take my life, placing a bomb on the route I was supposed to have traveled – they tried to blow me up,” he claimed. “They dug a tunnel that reached beneath my residence in Gaza – I have photographic proof!” Abbas contended, suggesting that the evidence was on a CD he held.
The embarrassing newly leaked details of the August 21st summit between Fatah and Hamas leaders hint at the sour state of relations behind the “Palestinian Unity Government,” NRG said.
The report first appeared in the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Akhbar newspaper, published on Monday.
At the meeting, held by Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas was also quoted as harshly criticizing more recent purported attempts by Hamas to overthrow the PA leadership.
Two weeks before, in a secret meeting with Abbas, Israel Security Agency (ISA) head Yoram Cohen said his agency and IDF forces had foiled an attempt by Hamas to overthrow the PA leadership in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), Israel Radio reported Monday.
“Palestinian security forces, working on Israeli tips, discovered weapons and bombs that were not meant for attacks against Israel, but rather attacks against us!” Abbas contended to his Qatari hosts.
“Why do they want to overthrow us – where’s the cooperation? Why are they taking ‘Iranian’ measures?” he complained.
“During the talks on national unity we had in 2006, we made a pilgrimage to Mecca and talked about national unity. Three months later they carried out a military coup in Gaza and overthrew the rule of the Palestinian Authority,” Abbas told the Qatari emir, and concluded, “Khaled Meshal is a liar,” according to the NRG report.
“(Former PLO leader Yasser) Arafat invited them (Hamas) to join the Palestinian Authority and the 1996 elections, but they refused and said that democracy is forbidden because it is the rule of the people, while we want the rule of sharia,” Abbas was quoted as saying. “They issue fatwas (religious decrees) as they like and use religion to serve their interests,” he added, according to The Jerusalem Post.
During “talks in Cairo [during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza], Mashaal sent a five-member team, and yet, after deliberations, they returned,” Abbas reportedly fumed.
“Meshaal refused agreements … despite the difficult situation in Gaza,” according to Abbas, who charged that the Hamas leadership “did not care about the price paid by ordinary people, because they do not live in Gaza. We are living there. We are being killed,” Abbas reportedly said.