Fatah says Hamas ”preparing for civil war”
Fatah's Revolutionary Council issued a statement late Friday condemning comments made by Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal, accusing him of "igniting and preparing for civil war." Speaking in Damascus, Meshal attacked Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas after the latter had reportedly blocked Hamas bid to set up a new security force.
Meshal vowed, "The military-security coup supported by Zionists and Americans will not happen." He reaffirmed Hamas' position regarding Israel. "We will not recognize Israel," he said.
"Meshal is inciting a Palestinian civil war. He shouldn't interfere with what is going on in the Palestinian territories," a Fatah spokesperson was quoted as saying. "We are the ones who live here and are more aware of what the Palestinian interest is. He should let us solve our problems here in the territories without interfering."
Meshaal made his comments at a rally in Damascus commemorating the 2004 assassinations of Hamas' leading members Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi. "We can understand that Israel and America are persecuting us, and seeking ways to besiege and starve us, but what about the sons of our people who are plotting against us, who are following a studied plan to make us fail," he said. "Today is not the time to expose them, but I say the day will come soon when we will reveal to all the truth," Mashal said.
Meanwhile, Hamas said Friday night it would stand by its appointment of a senior activist wanted by Israel to supervise the interior ministry even after Abbas said he would cancel the posting.
Late on Friday, government spokesman Ghazi Hamad told a news conference in Gaza the appointment of Samhadana would stand. According to Hamad, "The decision was taken in accordance with the basic law, which gives the interior minister the right to take measures in order to maintain security and public law and order." "We will resolve the differences [with Abbas] with dialogue," Hamad added.