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Jabari (R) and al-Zahar
Hamas heads at odds over deal with Fatah
Military wing split over Hamas Politburo Chief Mashaal's deal with Palestinian President Abbas giving latter leadership of new unity government

Hamas' leadership is reportedly struggling with the deal signed last week between Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Qatar, effectively granting Abbas the premiership of the future Hamas-Fatah unity government.

 

According to a Monday report in the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, the political rift has found its way to the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades – Hamas' military wing.

 

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According to the report, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Commander Mohammed Deif has sided with Politburo delegate in Gaza Mahmoud al-Zahar on the matter: The latter was the first Hamas official to openly oppose the deal over the weekend.

 

But Ahmed Jabari, head of Hamas' military wing in Gaza reportedly supports the deal. Jabari met with Mashaal in Cairo following his retirement announcement, and asked him to continue on as Hamas Politburo chief.

 

The internal rift may affect the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal, since the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades are considered the core of Gaza Strip's security forces and many of them may refuse to accept Abbas' authority as their prime minister.

 

 

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