Photo: AP
Gaza Strip demonstration (Archive photo)
Photo: AP
Photo: Reuters
Khaled Mashaal
Photo: Reuters

Fatah: Mashaal stirring civil war

In show of force, dozens of Fatah activists flock to streets of Gaza City to protest Hamas leader's comments, after he accused PA officials of collaborating with Israel, U.S. to undermine Hamas government

Dozens of Fatah activists, including many gunmen, flocked to the streets of Gaza city and the surrounding refugee camps Friday night to protest against the remarks made by Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal, who accused Palestinian Authority officials of cooperating with Israel in an attempt to undermine the Hamas government.


Mashaal said Hamas will not allow "collaborators with Israel to take power" with Israeli and American support. He said intra-Palestinian attempts to undermine the Hamas government were tantamount to a military revolution.


"What's happening today in the Palestinian Authority is not opposition activity, but rather, a conspiracy to thwart the elected Palestinian government," he added.


Mashaal blamed senior PA officials and said that they stole the Palestinian people's money.


"The former ministers even stole the coffee and sugar in their offices. They stole the sofas, the notepads, and left empty cash boxes. Now they are taking part in a conspiracy to bring the elected government down," he charged.


Mashaal said that "the opposition has the right to be an opposition, but when they talk about shadow cabinet, they don’t mean a shadow cabinet as is customary in the western democracies. Here they are referring to a combined force taking part in a conspiracy."


"I call on the Palestinian people to resist it. We will not let it happen," he added.


Abbas' condemnation of terror attack slammed


Mashaal also referred to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' condemnation of Monday's terror attack in Tel Aviv. Abbas had said that the attack was a despised act, and Mashaal wondered "whether the despised one is the person arriving in Tel Aviv to blow himself up or the senior PA officials arriving in Tel Aviv's restaurants to eat and get drunk."


Mashaal also slammed Abbas' decision to veto the controversial appointment of Popular Resistance Committees head Jamal Abu Samhadana as the PA Interior Ministry director-general, saying that the act undermined the government's authorities.


"When they talk about the PA clerks' overdue salary distress, they tell the Palestinians that it's the government's responsibility. But when we want to establish an organization to deal with the security problems, they tell us that it's the responsibility of the Rais (Abbas)," he said.


"We will not allow them to push us to the corner on the salary issue in an attempt to divert us from the issues of Jerusalem, the occupation and the refugees," Mashaal added.


Fatah members, who were angered over Mashaal's remarks, flocked to the streets in a show of force and protest.


In response to the accusations, Fatah Spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman harshly blasted Mashaal, saying that the Hamas leader was stirring civil war. He called on Mashaal not to interfere in the Palestinians' business.


"We, the ones who live here, are better aware of what our interest is. You are stirring civil war. Leave us alone here at the territories to solve our problems without your interference," he said.


According to Abdel Rahman, Mashaal is not involved in what is happening in the territories.


"Our transfer of the government to Hamas was intact. The cooperation between us continues. The Hamas leadership even asked us to take part in a national unity government," he said.


Mashaal was even implicitly criticized by his party member, Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Nasser Shaer, who called on Palestinian leaders to exercise self-control in their comments.


Speaking to the al-Jazeera satellite network, Shaer said: "We, in Palestine, are in real need of self-control, calm and precision in declarations and statements so that they will not be used or misunderstood."


פרסום ראשון: 04.22.06, 09:26
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