Arab League Goes Into Closed-Door Session as PA’s Abbas Takes on Hamas (VIDEO)
In another sign of the growing disunity in the “Palestinian Unity Government” between the West Bank and Gaza, The Arab League, meeting in Cairo on Sunday, forced an address by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas into a closed-door session, Israel’s Walla News reported.
Less than a minute into his comments, as Abbas began to list historical fractures between the PA and Hamas, an aide hurried over with a note for Abbas, and the video coverage of the open session abruptly ended.
“I don’t understand – to close…?” Abbas asked the aide on-mike, momentarily confused in the midst of his speech.
“Only if you’d like to…” the aide answered.
As Abbas waited, a spokesmen then requested repeatedly that reporters and guests leave the hall, according to the report.
On Saturday, Abbas accused Hamas of running a “shadow government,” according to Arab media.
“If Hamas won’t accept a Palestinian State with one government, one law, and one weapon – then there won’t be any partnership between us,” said Abbas. “This is our condition, and we won’t back away from it,” Ynet News said.
“There are 27 undersecretaries of ministries who are running the Gaza Strip, and the national consensus government cannot do anything on the ground,” Abbas said, according to the PA’s Ma’an News Agency.
Abbas, according to the Palestinian report, said “only 50 of the fighters killed during [Operation Protective Edge] were affiliated to Hamas, while 861 were affiliated to Fatah.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri on Sunday replied to Abbas, contending that “president Abbas’ remarks against Hamas and the resistance are unjustified and the sources of information and figures he relied on were incorrect and have nothing to do with the truth.”
After Israel’s unilateral pullout in the summer of 2005, Fatah ruled the coastal enclave. In 2007, however, Hamas took power in a violent coup, which led to the historic split between the two sides.
The two groups signed a reconciliation pact in April, but tensions have only risen between the rival factions since.
Watch a video of the truncated session: