Hamas Leaders Slam Senior Palestinian Authority Gaza Visit, UN Draft Bid
Already tense relations between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas took a turn for the worse on Monday, as eight ministers came under withering criticism upon their arrival in Gaza for the first official visit since the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge in the summer, Israel’s NRG News said Monday.
Locals slammed the PA Minister of Civil Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, and his 50-member entourage for not doing more to rehabilitate Gaza after a summer of punishing Israeli strikes on terror infrastructure and attack tunnels aimed at Israeli cities, towns and villages.
Even before their arrival, Palestinians held demonstrations claiming that the West Bank-based PA, run by President Mahmoud Abbas, did little or nothing nothing to promote the rehabilitation of the coastal enclave.
“The government’s agenda is that it is necessary to hand over control of border crossings and nearby security points in the Gaza Strip. But they did not care to transfer salaries to officials,” Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil said, attacking the delegation.
“There is nothing new on the issue and there are not expected to be any positive developments during the visit,” he charged, adding, “The Authority wants reconciliation without Hamas and wants to control Gaza without Hamas resistance forces – it will not happen.”
Bardawil’s accusations come a day after harsh comments by Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, vowing that Hamas intended to hold on to its control of Gaza following a lack of governance on the part of the near-dormant “national unity government” and delays in rebuilding the Strip.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Hamas’ armed wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades called on the PA to “withdraw the draft resolution that it intends to present to the UN Security Council (UNSC) for ending the Israeli occupation, saying the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) must declare failure of the so-called peace process.”
In a scathing statement on the terrorist group’s website, the group charged that the draft “aims at liquidating the just Palestinian cause and includes unwarranted concessions on Palestinians’ legitimate rights.”
Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, has said the draft would be presented to the UNSC Monday and that the council members would vote on it on Tuesday or Wednesday.