Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh: Factionalism divides resources
In the heart of the internal crisis after the media collapse, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh sent a message Sunday evening advocating reconciliation within the Palestinian people. Haniyeh asserted that the continuation of the internal crisis and the battles within the Palestinian public will bring about the death of the Palestinian issue.
In a speech given in a special meeting, Haniyeh said that all the Palestinian factions must consolidate their ranks in order to strengthen the battlefront and the unity of the Palestinian people.
"We must do everything in order to prevent the possibility that the Palestinian people will deteriorate into an internal war, which is a red line. Our differences, our problems, and our struggle need to be against the occupation. These internal disagreements need to be arguments within the political arena," he said.
Haniyeh, whose Friday speech was met with an onslaught of responses by Fatah who defined the speech as incitement to factionalism, emphasized in his speech Sunday the need for Palestinians to unify their ranks.
In his speech, he said, "I want to promise to the Palestinian people - that despite the criticism we voice about one another, and despite the harsh tones in the media discussion between us, I promise you – and this is a religious commitment – that this issue won't result in war. This is a commitment of the government and of all those who are impassioned about the Palestinian cause. We are in the period of national liberation, liberation from the occupation. All the resources need to be dedicated to this issue and to cooperation and institution building of the Palestinian people."
In the past two days, especially following Haniyeh's speech on Friday, emotions have been heated, especially among Fatah members. Fatah accused the Palestinian prime minister of delivering a divisive and incendiary speech. Fatah even mocked Haniyeh and his followers saying they understand their hardship seeing that control is not in their hands, but in the hands of their friends in Damascus – Khaled Mashaal and Moussa Abu Marzook.
"We must speak with the real decisionmakers in Hamas – those in Damascus – if we want to advance a unity government," said Ahmad Abdel Rahman, a Fatah spokesman in the territories.