Top Official Says Hamas Seeking Take Over of West Bank
Hamas is currently focusing its efforts on seizing power in the West Bank, co-founder of the terror group Mahmoud al-Zahar said in a recent TV interview, the Donia Al-Watan news site reported on Tuesday.
Al-Zahar, a senior member of the organization’s leadership in the Gaza Strip, told Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV that Hamas should build upon its successes in legislative and municipal elections in the West Bank, and move from there to consolidate power in the territory.
He claimed that “resistance” against Israel, a euphemism for terrorism, had raised Hamas’s standing as a serious player in the international arena, and that its successful model in Gaza, where it ousted the rival Fatah party in a military coup, should be replicated in the West Bank.
Responding to a question about reported secret talks between Hamas and Israel, al-Zahar called the reports “lies that have no basis in reality.”
The reports alleged that former U.K. Prime Minister and Mideast envoy Tony Blair has been working for the past few weeks to broker a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel. According to the reports, the terms of this so-called agreement included a pledge from Hamas to cease weapons development and terror-tunnel construction in exchange for a lifting of the security blockade on Gaza and a “water passage” to the Strip supervised by Israel.
Israel has also denied these reports.