No friend of Abbas – Hamas' Mahmoud al-Zahar
Photo: AP

Hamas: Abbas visit to Gaza? No chance

Senior Hamas man al-Zahar said Palestinian president will not be visiting Strip

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will not be visiting the Gaza Strip, Hamas' Foreign Minister Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar said Saturday.


"An Abbas visit to Gaza is something we reject out of hand," the senior Hamas man said. "Given the current security situation, it's unclear how we can receive Abbas. It is unclear how this would affect the relatives of those killed by his men, as well as those whose homes were destroyed in Operation Cast Lead…under the current circumstances, I cannot see a scenario whereby he will arrive in Gaza."


Meanwhile, al-Zahar again stressed that the Gaza government will not allow Fatah members to leave the Strip and travel to the Fatah convention scheduled for next week in Bethlehem.


"Fatah needs to pay a price for its convention to succeed, and the price needs to be the release of Hamas prisoners," he said. "We said that if they adopt this gesture, we will adopt our own gesture, but it's impossible for them to continue arresting people and robbing them of their liberty, torturing them, and killing them, while in exchange expecting us to allow convention participants to travel from the Strip to the West Bank."


Fatah officials made it clear that Hamas' decision to prevent Fatah members from traveling to the convention will have grave implications of the success prospects of the intra-Palestinian dialogue, as well as for ties between the sides. Some Fatah members have urged the movement to postpone the upcoming convention, scheduled for August 4, should Hamas prevent Gaza representatives from attending.


פרסום ראשון: 07.25.09, 19:29
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