Six armed Palestinian groups affiliated with Hamas issued a statement Sunday evening threatening to respond with force to any attempt to dissolve the government's special security force.
"We warn that anyone planning to harm Hamas' security force, in accord with the Israeli occupation, will have to face us," the statement read.
The statement comes following President Mahmoud Abbas' declaration Saturday that the force was illegal.
The six organizations, which include Hamas' armed wing, the Popular Resistance Committees, and groups that split from Fatah, announced they will allow no one to attack the security force, saying that anyone who takes such action "will be held accountable for the consequences."
The organizations referred to Abbas as "the president of the Oslo Authority," and stressed they do not recognize his decision to declare the force "illegal."
"We hold Abbas responsible for every drop of blood that will be shed by our kinsmen because of his decision. We hold him personally responsible, along with the master of conspiracy and division, the godfather of the American plot, called Muhammad Dahlan," the groups wrote in the statement.
The statement continued, "We make it clear to our people that we will remain loyal to national unity and won't allow collaborators and traitors to drag us into civil war, even if we are forced occasionally, and with much regret, to strike the hubs of treason and conspiracy…"
Fatah fights backFatah officials responded to the statement by saying it constitutes a threat to assassinate Dahlan and other Fatah operatives. Hamas, on the other hand, claimed that Abba' decision was aimed at fueling tensions in the Palestinian arena.
The Palestinian Legislative Council also rejected Abbas' decision, which was lauded by Fatah. Interior Minister Said Siam asked the Egyptian delegation in the territories to act immediately towards putting a stop to actions against Hamas institutes and members in the West Bank.
However, a Fatah official estimated that Fatah's mass rally Sunday will force Hamas to rethink its strategy in the West Bank.
"We have made it clear to Hamas that the Strip should not be taken for granted, and that our decision not to respond was motivated by a desire to contain the confrontation. But the recent incidents led us to change our attitude, and from now on we will not allow any attack against our people," a senior al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades operative in the northern Strip told Ynet.